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Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey

The Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) Survey was launched in October 1998 as a resource for everyone interested in the social attitudes of people living in Northern Ireland.

Set up by Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University (as ARK) and run every year, the survey aims to put on record the attitudes, values and beliefs of the people in Northern Ireland on a wide range of social policy issues.

NILT surveys a sample of adults in Northern Ireland, and is weighted according to household characteristics. Users should therefore be aware that results require the application of the weighting factor included in the SPSS and CSV files. More information on how to do this is included in this guide.

N.B. the survey did not take place in 2011.

Links with other surveys

NILT has roots in the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey, which ran from 1989 to 1996. It also participates in the International Social Survey Programme. The ARK survey team work with a wide range of subject experts to develop questionnaires for each year.

NILT survey participants are all aged over 18 years. Users interested in the attitudes of younger people can access ARK's Young Life and Times survey. The Kid's Life and Times Survey covers all Primary 7 age children in Northern Ireland.

If you are interested in attitudes to community relations and political issues since 1989, time-series data is available on ARK Surveys Online from a wide range of surveys.

Reuse and impact of data

One major aim of the survey is to make the data freely available to the widest possible audience, and the results of each survey are available within 6 months from the end of the fieldwork. NILT surveys (and the other suveys in the Life and Times series) are a freely available and open resource for anyone interested in the social attitudes of people in Northern Ireland.

There is no charge to use the statistics or data made available by the publishers. However, the ARK team are interested in how the findings are used, and so would be very grateful if you would let them, or the Detail Data team, know how you have used them. In particular, copies or links to reports or articles are very welcome. Citation information is included with each set of survey data. ARK's contact details are available in the Helpline section.

Data and Resources

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
ARK Northern Ireland
Modified Date
Release Date
Rights Statement

Database Licence: Open Data Commons Open Database Licence (ODbL). Contents License: Database Contents Licence.

All work that uses or refers to the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey should acknowledge it using the following bibliographic citation: ARK. Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, [year] Dataset. ARK

Open Definition
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area (WKT)
POLYGON ((-8.16926 55.4436, -5.08667 55.4436, -5.08667 53.8702, -8.16926 53.8702, -8.16926 55.4436))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Northern Ireland
Temporal Coverage
Survey participant
Data Dictionary
Each dataset links to a data dictionary explaining the variables relating to the questionnaire for that particular year. This full list can be accessed here:
Contact Name
Paula Devine (ARK)
Contact Email
ODI Open Data Certificate