Continuous Household Survey

This survey asks questions on a variety of topics, such as internet access, the environment, tourism, libraries, health, sport and education. The Survey is designed to provide a regular source of information on a wide range of issues relevant to Northern Ireland.

Background Information / Details of the Survey

It has been running since 1983, with recent results covering housing characteristics, changing population, tourism, participation in sports, arts and culture and attitudes towards the environment. We are carrying-out this survey for a number of Government Departments and Agencies.

Received a letter?

The information leaflet explains all about the survey in detail. A letter is sent out to households who have been selected to take part in the survey to inform the residents that an interviewer will be calling at the address.

Our interviewers will present their official NISRA ID when they call.

The letter received by households is available in alternative languages.

If you have any questions please phone or email Maureen Stewart on 02890 255 112,


The sample for the survey consisted of a systematic random sample of addresses selected from the NISRA Address Register (NAR). The NAR is developed within NISRA and is primarily based on the Land and Property Services (LPS) Pointer database. 

Data is collected by personal interview using CAPI, and the interviews are spread equally over the 12 months from April to March.

NISRA suspended all face-to-face household interviews in the middle of March 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. The Continuous Household Survey returned to face-to-face household interviews in July 2022 but we continue to interview by telephone in some cases.

Information for users on changes to methodology is available on the CHS survey documents page.


The current questionnaire and previous versions of the questionnaires are available to view on the CHS survey documents page.

Topics include:

  • Tenure
  • Household Internet Access
  • Car Access          
  • Children Travel to School
  • Environmental Issues and Actions Taken              
  • Domestic Tourism – Overnight Trips
  • Domestic Tourism – Day Trips    
  • Sports Participation
  • Use of Public Library Services/Museum Services              
  • Participation in Arts Activities and Arts Events
  • Use of PRONI and Inland Waterways     
  • Use of Irish and Ulster-Scots languages
  • Mobile Phone Ownership           
  • Individual Internet Access and Usage
  • Well Being          
  • Education
  • General Health
  • Smoking
  • Drinking              
  • Road Safety
  • Employment     
  • Accidents/Illness at Work
  • Cycle/Walk to Work       
  • Income and Benefits
  • Religion, Sexual Identity, National Identity

Results / Publications

The technical report is available to view on the CHS survey documents page.

CHS Result tables are available for the following topics:

Household Composition
Individual Demographics
Accommodation and Tenure
Families and Children
Internet Access
Access to Cars

For Tourism Statistics please contact:

John Magill
02890 255165

For Sports, Arts and Leisure Statistics please go to Department for Communities statistics and research.

Archived CHS results tables are available for the following topics, please click on the topic name to be re-directed to the results tables:

1. Household Composition 2. Accommodation and Tenure
3. Families and Children 4. Household Durables and Access to Internet
5. Environmental Issues 6. Adult Health
7. Child Health 8. Dental Health
9. Smoking 10. Drinking
11. Sport and Leisure 12. Carers
13. Mobility 14. Elderly
15. Childcare 16. Drugs
17. Accidents 18. Social Capital
19. Benefits 20. Languages 

If you have any queries about archived data, please contact:

Maureen Stewart
02890 255 112

Microdata / Datasets

CHS Datasets can be found on the ESRC UK data service.


For more information on the CHS please contact:

Maureen Stewart
02890 255 112

For Tourism Statistics please contact:

John Magill
02890 255165

For Sports, Arts and Leisure Statistics please contact:

Iain Bryson
028 9051 5431

Central Survey Unit

About the Central Survey Unit