European Values Study

Where is Europe heading? This is one of the main questions of the European Values Study (EVS) - the most comprehensive research project on human values in Europe. It is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on how Europeans think about family, work, religion, politics and society. Repeated every nine years in an increasing number of countries, the survey provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values, and opinions of citizens all over Europe.

The research program was initiated by the European Value System Study Group (EVSSG) in the late 1970s and has emerged as a well-established network of social and political scientists aiming at high standards in data creation and processing. It is now carried out under the responsibility of the EVS Foundation. From 1981 to 2008 four waves of survey were conducted in European and other countries. These surveys explore value differences, similarities, and value changes among citizens of the EVS member countries. For an overview of participating countries in EVS waves, click here.

To facilitate time series analysis, the EVS Longitudinal data File 1981-2008 has been constructed. For comparisons on an international level, this data file can easily be combined with the World Values Surveys data file. The resulting data is called Integrated Values Surveys.

The Study overview provides information and documentation on the single surveys available.

Access to data and documentation

EVS data and documentation are stored at the GESIS Data Archive. They can be downloaded free of charge through both GESIS Data Catalogue and ZACAT-Online Study Catalogue

Question retrieval

  • Online variable overview EVS 1981-2008 allows for comparisons of trend variables of all EVS waves. In addition, it supports comparisons of original question texts across the waves 1999 and 2008.
  • ZACAT provides data and documentation for retrieval purposes and data exploration. It further allows searching for variables and identifying trend variables across EVS waves.
  • Question text retrieval allows for full-text searches in the English Master Questionnaires and multilingual variable documentation.

Special offers

  • EVS Website: provides information on the EVS research project, and on history and methods of the EVS surveys.
  • EVS Repository contains links to publications based on EVS data, partly enhanced by additional information on data, questions, and descriptions of concepts and syntax codes.
  • Atlas of European Values unlocks the results of EVS surveys for the general public;  presents values, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions through graphs, charts, and maps.
  • The interactive website 'Atlas of European Values' facilitates courses for secondary education and supports a better understanding of European values.