Round 8 of the ESS questioned people in 18 countries and explored a wide range of subjects.

Published (Updated )

Europeans have revealed their attitudes towards climate change in the latest round of the European Social Survey (ESS), which is headquartered at City, University of London.

The survey discovered that almost three quarters (73.4 per cent) of respondents across Europe are either strongly in favour or somewhat in favour of subsidising renewable energy to help combat the threat of climate change.

It also revealed that close to a third (29 per cent) of those interviewed in the UK are not worried about climate change, compared with a high of 42.8 per cent in the Czech Republic and a low of 13 per cent in Germany.

People across 18 countries gave opinions on a wide range of subjects for Round 8 of the ESS, a major piece of research involving face-to-face interviews that is carried out every two years.

It is the first time that participants have been asked about their beliefs and concerns about climate change and energy. They also discussed energy security, personal norms, efficacy and trust, and energy preferences.

What data are available?

The first edition of data and documentation for European Social Survey (ESS) Round 8 (2016) has been published. It means that data from the eighth iteration of the survey is now available from 18 countries who undertook fieldwork in 2016.

The 18 countries included in this initial release are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Data from the remaining countries who took part in Round 8 is expected to be included in the second data release, scheduled for publication in May 2018. Post stratification weights for all countries will be made available at that time.

Which topics are covered?

Round 8 of the ESS included questions asked in every round since 2002 on topics including crime, democracy and politics, human values, immigration, media consumption, national and ethnic identity, perceived discrimination, religion, social exclusion, social trust/trust in institutions, subjective wellbeing and socio-demographics.

The 2016 data set also includes attitudinal data collected on two rotating modules that were partly designed for inclusion by multi-national teams of external researchers in collaboration with the ESS Core Scientific Team.

Welfare attitudes were explored during Round 8 (2016) of the survey in a module that was originally fielded in Round 4 (2008).

The repeat module was designed by a team led by Wim van Oorschot and Bart Meuleman based at the University of Leuven, Belgium, in collaboration with the ESS.

The new data offers an insight into public attitudes towards welfare either side of the economic crisis, allowing academics to study the consequences on welfare attitudes of a deep economic downturn.

It includes new items added to the 2008 questionnaire on the future of welfare, including an item on the introduction of a universal basic income.

The climate change and energy module was partly designed by a team of European academics led by Wouter Poortinga of Cardiff University, UK.

The release also includes data from the Interviewer's questionnaire, and Media Claims data for Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Access the data

Questionnaire design templates for both rotating modules and new core items are also available