European Social Survey 11th round

Name of applicant

Stefan Bastholm Andrade


Senior Researcher


VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research


DKK 3,875,168



Type of grant

Research Infrastructure


The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically led biennial study of the social attitudes and values in Europe. Established in 2002, ESS has swiftly become the authoritative source of reliable data on the evolving social fabric in more than 30 European countries. Within the research community, ESS is known for high methodological standards and is often referred to as the gold standard for comparative surveys on attitudes towards society and politics. In 2020, ESS won the Dataset Award by the American Political Science Association for the best data set in comparative politics. ESS was also the first social science project in 2005 to win the Descartes Prize for ‘excellence in scientific collaborative research’. According to the latest user survey (May 2022), ESS had more than 200,000 registered users and ESS data have been used in more than 4,900 scientific publications. Denmark ranks among the top countries in number of users and downloads, only surpassed by larger countries such as France, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States.


From 2002 to 2014, Denmark participated in the first seven rounds of ESS due to founding from The Danish Ministry of Education and Research. However, support for this type of research infrastructure shifted in the mid-2010s. As a result, we did not obtain funding for participation in the 8th round of ESS. The Carlsberg Foundation stepped in with extraordinary grants in 2017 and 2020, so that the 9th and 10th rounds could be completed. If Denmark does not participate in the ESS, we will lose an important data source for comparative analyses. This loss will not only be a loss for Danish research, but it will entail a greater loss of knowledge, as Denmark will no longer be included as a reference in other countries’ research about the well-being in Europe.


ESS and takes place every two years, by means of face-to-face interviews of around an hour in duration. The questionnaire consists of a core module and two rotating modules, each devoted to a substantive topic. The core questionnaire remains constant at each round of ESS and monitor changing attitudes and values across Europe. The core questions are designed by leading academics and cover a range of themes, e.g. family values, social trust, politics, media use, subjective wellbeing, national and ethnic identity, and climate changes. In each round of ESS, teams of leading experts contribute to the design of two rotating modules. The first module in Round 11 is entitled gender in contemporary Europe and enables researchers to explain trends in gender attitudes in Europe. The second module is about social inequalities in health and their determinants. The COVID-19 pandemic put to test not only the European healthcare system but also its economy, welfare systems, and societal trust. The aim of the module is to monitor and compare how the burden of the negative consequences of the pandemic is distributed in Europe. With these modules, ESS continues to provide comparative data that is crucial in the work of governments, NGOs, journalists and researchers to understand and formulate new incentives that improve the social life in Europe

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