Family Resources Survey

The Family Resources Survey is the only way the Government can stay in touch with how real people are coping in the current economic climate.
Busy high street pavement with pedestrians

About the survey

The Family Resources Survey is the only way the Government can stay in touch with how real people are coping in the current economic climate. The information you give will also be essential to helping the government understand the impact of increases in the cost of living.

Essential information

Carried out since 1992, it is the only major piece of national research that provides consistent, reliable information on the living standards of people across the UK.

The Family Resources Survey provides essential information to keep the Government in touch with how real people are coping in the current economic climate. It’s funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and is used by them to understand how their budgeting decisions will affect people’s every day lives.

Have your say on public spending

The results from the study are used to help the DWP understand how different sections of the public are managing today. The Family Resources Survey allows DWP to plan for the future and monitor the impact of policy changes in the United Kingdom.

Improving life in the UK

The Family Resources Survey is not just used by the Government, other organisations use it to try and improve life in the UK. Results from the survey were used by the Child Poverty Action Group to mount a national media campaign calling for an end to child benefit cuts.

Why take part?

By taking part you'll be helping the government and charities understand how people across the country are managing financially.

A token of our appreciation

As a thank you for taking part, you'll receive a £10 voucher which you can exchange for cash at any Post Office.

How the Family Resources Survey has made a difference

Tackling child poverty

The Child Poverty Action Group drew on the survey to launch a national campaign calling for an end to the Government’s proposed child benefit cuts. They argued that if the cuts were introduced, 20,000 children and their families would be thrown into poverty.

A better deal for older people 

Results from the survey were used by the Daily Express to back its Respect for the Elderly campaign, which lobbied Government over its plans to cut pensioner’s winter fuel allowance, free bus passes and TV licence. The Express drew attention to the plight of 30,000 pensioners who were living off just £37 a day to cover all their expenses, including rent, bills and food.

A little time to make a big difference

It’s easy to say no to taking part, but we hope you don’t. We’re not asking for money, just that you spare a little time to share your thoughts and opinions. We know your time is precious, but our work really does make a difference. We help government and charities to make the right decisions about the big issues.

Who are NatCen?

We’re Britain’s largest independent social research agency. For 50 years we’ve worked on behalf of government and charities to find out what people really think about important social issues and how Britain is run.

Read more

What's involved?

Interviewer visit

One of our interviewers will visit your address shortly. So that you know who they are, all of our interviewers carry photo ID with our logo on it. We understand that you may be busy, so we’ll organise the interview at a time that suits you.

The interview

Your interviewer will ask you about a range of topics including what your living standards are like and how you manage your income. And don’t worry – you don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, we can just skip on to the next one.

No need to prepare

There’s no need to prepare for the interview. You don’t need any special knowledge, we just want to hear about your daily life and what you think. Most people agree to be interviewed and enjoy taking part.

Why have I been chosen?

Why you’re so important to us

We’ve chosen your address at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone in the UK. Your address can’t be replaced by another one, as this would bias the results.

We want to hear from everyone

It’s really important to us and our clients that our research represents the views of everyone living in the UK. Whether you’re old or young, rich or poor, living in Land’s End or John O’Groats, we value your opinion.

Whoever you are, whatever you think, your opinion is important to us. Taking part is an opportunity to tell influential people who make the decisions in government and charities what you really think. 

Contact us

If you have any queries, please contact a member of the Family Resources team by email at or on Freephone 0800 652 4572.