European Values Study, Wave 4

The dataset for European Values Study (EVS), Wave 4, Great Britain has recently become available at the Economic and Social Data Service as SN 6757. The data also form part of the aggregated 47-country dataset for Wave 4 as SN 6539 (which includes the separate investigation in Northern Ireland).

EVS is the most comprehensive longitudinal research project on human values in Europe, covering citizens’ views about life, family, work, religion, sex, politics, and society. It began with Wave 1 in 1981, which surveyed 16 nations. The headquarters of EVS are at the Department of Sociology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

British data-collection for Wave 4 was undertaken by Quality Fieldwork and Research Services between August 2009 and March 2010 on behalf of EVS, with BRIN’s Professor David Voas as the British director. Funding was provided by the Economic and Social Research Council. 1,561 adults aged 18 and over were interviewed face-to-face.

The British questionnaire for 2009-10 can be found at:

Many of the questions replicate those in the three previous waves of EVS, but some are new and/or specific to Britain. The following list summarizes the explicitly religious (as opposed to moral) topics which were covered:

  • Importance of religion and other facets of life (Q.1)
  • Belonging to religious/church and other organizations (Q.5)
  • Acceptability of Muslim, Jew, Christian and other neighbours (Q.6)
  • Belonging to religious denomination (Q.23)
  • Previous religious denomination (Q.24)
  • Attendance at religious services now (Q.25)
  • Attendance at religious services when aged 12 (Q.26)
  • Importance of holding religious services for rites of passage (Q.27)
  • Self-assessed religiosity (Q.28)
  • Adequacy of the Churches’ answers to contemporary problems (Q.29)
  • Belief in God, life after death, hell, heaven, sin (Q.30)
  • Belief in reincarnation (Q.31)
  • Beliefs about God or life force (Q.32)
  • Method of connecting with the divine (Q.33)
  • Interest in sacred or supernatural (Q.34)
  • Truths of religions (Q.35)
  • Importance of God (Q.36)
  • Comfort and strength from religion (Q.37)
  • Prayer, meditation or contemplation (Q.38)
  • Prayer to God outside religious services (Q.39)
  • Belief in lucky charms (Q.40)
  • Religion in politics (Q.41)
  • Recalled religiosity of parents (Q.G1)
  • Importance of religion in upbringing (Q.G2)
  • Involvement of God in personal affairs (Q.G3a)
  • God’s anger at human sin (Q.G3b)
  • Censorship of books and films that attack religions (Q.G4)
  • Attitudes to the wearing of religious dress in public (Q.G5)
  • Attitudes to integration of Muslims in Britain (Q.G6)
  • Importance of shared religious beliefs and other factors to a successful marriage (Q.42)
  • Importance of religious faith and other qualities for children to learn at home (Q.52)
  • Confidence in the Church and other institutions (Q.63)

To celebrate the completion of Wave 4, a major international conference on ‘The Value(s) of Europe’ is being held at Tilburg University on 23-25 November, at which David Voas will be speaking on ‘Religion in Contemporary Europe’.

A new edition of the Atlas of European Values, based on EVS data, will be published at the same time. Other publications derived from Wave 4 are under consideration, including a book on Cross-National Values in Europe, which will offer ‘theoretical-empirical analysis on domain specific values’.

For details of Waves 1-3 of EVS in Great Britain, see the descriptions in the BRIN source database, as follows:

1981 –

1990 –

1999 –

For more information about EVS generally, go to:

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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