About the British Social Attitudes survey 2011

The British Social Attitudes survey has been conducted almost every year since 1983. Overall, more than 80,000 people have taken part. For the first time in 2011, funding for a selection of health care related questions – including those on satisfaction reported here – was sponsored by The King's Fund.

Latest public satisfaction survey

View the most recent results: British Social Attitudes survey 2015.

Sample and approach

The 2011 survey consisted of 3,311 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain. Addresses are randomly selected and visited by one of NatCen Social Research's interviewers. After selecting one adult (aged 18 and over) at the address (again at random), the interviewer carries out an hour-long interview. Most questions are answered by the participant selecting an answer from a set of cards.

The sample size for the health care questions reported here was 1,096. The data are weighted to correct for the unequal probabilities of selection probabilities, and for biases caused by differential non-response. The weighted sample is calibrated to match the population in terms of age, sex and region. The margin of error in 2011 was around +/-3 to 5 percentage points (this compares to around +/- 1 to 2 in previous surveys with a larger sample). Results reported here are statistically significant at 95 per cent of the time.

The 2011 survey was conducted from 4 July to 10 November, in three waves of six weeks each.


The topics covered by the survey change from year to year, depending on the identities and interests of its funders. Some questions are asked every year, some every couple of years, and some less frequently.


The survey is funded by a range of charitable and government sources, which change from year to year.

The survey is led by NatCen Social Research. NatCen carries out research in the fields of social and public policy, uncovering the truth about people's lives and what they think about the issues that affect them. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, NatCen focuses its time and energy on meeting clients' needs and delivering social research that works for society.