About us

We believe that social research has the power to make life better.

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is a registered charity and is the largest independent and not-for-profit social research organisation in the UK. NatCen was founded in 1969 by Sir Roger Jowell and Gerald Hoinville with the aim of carrying out rigorous social policy research to improve society.

We understand people

We are interested in what people really think and really do. Over the last 50 years we’ve asked the public what they think about thousands of different issues, enabling us to collect evidence to help inform policy decisions and present insights into human behaviour and attitudes.

We set the standard in social research

We deliver specialist expertise and experience, driving innovation in survey methods and methodology, providing a variety of research solutions to help you understand your stakeholders better.

Social research relies on giving everybody a voice. And that means finding new ways to engage with challenging or under-represented groups. We are seen as leaders in this field and are regularly asked to work with the most hard to reach audiences.

We are known for our annual British Social Attitudes survey, first published in 1983. This is Britain's longest-running annual survey of public attitudes and can be accessed for research through the UK Data Service

In addition to British Social Attitudes, NatCen collects a number of official national statistics on behalf of the UK government and government bodies. These include the English Housing Survey, Health Survey for England, National Diet and Nutrition Survey and the Scottish Health Survey.