About EVS

The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens all over Europe. It is a unique research project on how Europeans think about life, family, work, religion, politics and society.

The European Values Study started in 1981, when a thousand citizens in the European Member States of that time were interviewed using standardized questionnaires. Every nine years, the survey is repeated in an increasing number of countries. The fourth wave in 2008 covers no less than 47 European countries/regions, from Iceland to Azerbaijan and from Portugal to Norway. In total, about 70,000 people in Europe are interviewed.

A rich academic literature has been created around the original and consecutive surveys and numerous other works have made use of the findings. In-depth analyses of the 1981, 1990 and 1999 findings with regard to Western and Central Europe, and North America reinforced the impression that a profound transformation of modern culture is taking place, although not at the same speed in all countries. Cultural and social changes appear dependent upon the stage of socio-economic development and historical factors specific to a given nation. The new 2008 wave provides further insights in this matter.

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