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 a variable number of countries. The fourth wave in 2008 covered no less than 47 European countries/regions, from Iceland to Georgia and from Portugal to Norway. In total, about 70,000 people in Europe are interviewed.
The data of the European Values Study are available free of charge. Rich academic literature has been created around the original and consecutive surveys, and numerous other works have made use of the findings: more than 2800 publications are listed in the EVS Bibliography.
In-depth analyses of 1981, 1990, 1999, and 2008 findings of Western and Central Europe 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 2017 wave provides further insights into this matter, also allowing analyses of the impact of the economic crises on the Europeans’ values. For the 2017 wave, EVS is cooperating with WVS for data collection in Europe. The preparation is enriched through participation in the SERISS project.