Survey on Living Conditions (SLC)

Date published: 22 May 2019


Background Information / Details of the Survey

The Survey on Living Conditions (SLC) collects information on household resources, housing, employment, education, pensions, health and well-being.  The survey is designed to allow the results to be compared with other countries across Europe.  It helps the government understand how different sections of society are managing, so that it can plan for the future, assess the effects of policy changes and measure the state of the economy. The UK Government and European Union use the results to monitor and inform policies aimed at combating poverty and social exclusion.

The SLC is conducted throughout the year and all sectors of society are represented, ensuring that the results reflect the population of the country. NISRA collects the data for Northern Ireland on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) who has primary responsibility for this UK survey.

Received a letter?

If you have received a letter, then your address has been selected at random from a list of all of the addresses in Northern Ireland. We are interested in people from all age groups and all parts of Northern Ireland, whether families or those who live on their own. We cannot substitute another address for yours as this would bias the results, so your contribution is vital to the survey.  By taking part in this important survey, you will help us to produce statistics about matters which affect the whole community. 

An interviewer will call with you to arrange a suitable time to visit you to conduct the interview. They will present their official NISRA ID card when they call.

A copy of the letters sent to households can be viewed here.

The information leaflet provides further details about the survey and can be viewed here.



The SLC is used to meet a European Union requirement for longitudinal Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). Information collected from the SLC is used by Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union) for this purpose.

Each year, 250 addresses are drawn from the Pointer list of domestic addresses in Northern Ireland. Interviews are spread equally throughout the year.  Respondents are followed across 6 years (or “waves”) and are interviewed once in each wave.



Questionnaire data are collected face-to-face, using computer-assisted questionnaires. Questions are asked about many aspects of life including housing, childcare, access to healthcare services, employment, and income.



The results are used by a wide range of Government departments for monitoring areas such as education, housing and poverty. The results are also used by charities and other groups to help support their work.

Information collected from the SLC is used by Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union) to produce a number of publications, such as their “Living Conditions in Europe” report.

Publications can be found here.



Datasets can be found on the Eurostat website using the following link below. See Section 6.1 EU-SILC Datasets.



For more information about the Survey on Living Conditions please contact:

Claire Cromie

028902 55104 


Central Survey Unit

Central Survey Unit home page