The General Lifestyle Survey (GLS) is a study of how life is changing in Britain, covering aspects such as housing, employment and health.
It is an inter-departmental multi-purpose survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on approximately 9,000 households and 16,000 adults aged 16 and over.
It is a longitudinal survey, in which respondents are interviewed annually over a period of four years.
Data are collected on five core topics: education, employment, health, housing, population and family information.
Other areas such as leisure, household burglary, smoking and drinking are covered periodically.
This information is used by government departments and other organisations for planning, policy and monitoring purposes, and to present a picture of households, family and people in Great Britain.
The GLS has run continuously since 1971, with the exception of 1997 to 1998 when the survey was reviewed and 1999 to 2000 when it was re-developed.
From 1994 to 2005, the GLS was conducted on a financial year basis (April to March), with fieldwork spread evenly across the year.
However, in 2005 the survey period reverted to a calendar year and the whole of the annual sample was dealt with in the nine months from April to December 2005.
Subsequent surveys will run from January to December each year.
Data are published annually and the standard geographical classifications used for this data are Government Office Region (GOR) level or NHS Regional Office Area level.
The GLS Time Series Dataset combines each annual round of data into one dataset, containing 71 variables and 827,624 cases.
The smallest spatial unit for which data are made available is by postal sector.