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European Values Study

Welcome to the European Values Study

Where is Europe heading? 

This is one of the central questions in the European Values Study (EVS) - a transnational empirical long-term study on the ideas and values of Europeans. The surveys have been conducted in a nine-year cycle since 1981 and offer insights into the European population's beliefs, perceptions, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions. The research project was initiated in the late 1970s by the European Value System Study Group (EVSSG). Since then, a well-established network of social and political scientists has developed, striving for a high degree of standardisation in the collection and processing of data. Currently, the EVS Foundation is responsible for the study. Data processing and documentation are carried out in close cooperation between the EVS teams at Tilburg University and GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.

Further information on the history and organisation of the EVS can be found on the EVS website.

What makes the EVS unique?

The EVS is the most comprehensive research project on human values in Europe. The EVS trend file 1981-2017 was created to facilitate time series analysis. For comparisons at the international level, this file can easily be combined with the trend file of the World Values Surveys 1981-2022. The resulting Integrated Values Surveys 1981-2022 include surveys conducted in 118 countries/regions.

Who are the EVS data suitable for?

The European Values Study is aimed at international researchers and students of social and political sciences who want to take a closer look at the development of values in the European area since the beginning of the 1980s and take them into account in their research.

Temporal and geographical scope

From 1981 to 2017, five survey waves were conducted in the respective EVS member countries, mainly European countries. The number of participating countries varies from wave to wave. In the EVS 2017, 37 countries participated. Here is an overview of the participating countries in the respective EVS waves.

Topics

The European Values Study focuses on family, work, religion, politics, and society. The Common EVS/WVS Dictionary - EVS Trend provides a thematic overview of all variables used in the five EVS waves. In addition, the GESIS Search Variable Catalog contains documentation at the variable level and enables a search for variables and questions and their comparability.

EVS data and documentation can be downloaded free of charge from the GESIS Data Catalog.

Publications using EVS data can be found in the EVS bibliography, which is accessible via GESIS-Search or can be donwloaded as PDF or BibTeX file from the EVS webpage.

This section provides an overview of the different EVS waves and the participating countries.

Detailed information on the individual EVS waves, the trend file, and the Joint EVS/WVS data sets can be found here.

Addresses and contact persons for your questions and comments on the European Values Study

  • EVS Website provides information on the EVS research project, and on history and methods of the EVS surveys.
  • EVS Bibliography contains links to publications based on EVS data.
  • 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.