The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a continuous household survey which collects information on a representative sample of private households in the UK. Detailed information is recorded on respondents’ income from all sources:
- housing tenure
- caring needs and responsibilities
- expenditure on housing
- pension scheme participation
- family circumstances
- child maintenance
The survey is conducted in respondents’ homes face to face with an interviewer.
In the latest three year period, 2014/15 to 2016/17, the FRS sample consisted of almost 60,000 households in the UK. It has a financial-year survey period with surveys conducted throughout the year and is cross-sectional (a ‘snapshot’ of households over the year). Individuals are not followed up for later surveys. Since responses reflect only a sample of the total population, they are weighted on the basis of subnational population totals by age and sex to give estimates for the entire UK household population.
Estimates are subject to sampling error and non-sampling bias. The FRS only covers private households. Therefore, individuals who live in communal accommodation (for example, care homes) or have no fixed address (for example, who are homeless) are not included in these results.
The data has not been recalculated to take into account any differences in household size and composition (known as ‘equivalisation’). Equivalisation adjusts incomes for household size and composition, taking an adult couple with no children as the reference point. For example, the process of equivalisation would adjust the income of a single person upwards, so their income can be compared directly to the standard of living for a couple.
In the pensioners’ incomes series, income is usually shown for single pensioners and pensioner couples separately. The benefit income of dependent children is included in estimates, but this was only relevant for one per cent of pensioner households.
This measure does not include any commentary on living standards or net income. You can find data on income before and after housing costs have been deducted in the data tables in the Pensioners’ incomes series.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Any percentages based on fewer than 100 responses have been suppressed.
Any average income amounts based on fewer than 50 responses have also been suppressed.
Percentages are given to the nearest whole percentage point, and income is rounded to the nearest whole pound. Due to this rounding, some figures may not add up.