Family Resources Survey Stat-Xplore database guide – GOV.UK

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Published 17 January 2023

© Crown copyright 2023
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gov.uk.
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-resources-survey-data-on-stat-xplore-user-guide/family-resources-survey-stat-xplore-database-guide
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) Stat-Xplore database provides information on individual and household incomes as well as characteristics and circumstances for a financial year.
Information is available for the United Kingdom from the financial year 2002 to 2003 up to and including 2020 to 2021 at:
a child level
an adult level
an individual level
a family level (benefit unit level)
a household level
Data is taken directly from the FRS, which is a continuous household survey which collects information on a representative sample of private households in the United Kingdom.
Read information on the FRS methodology in the background information and methodology.
Information is available at a regional, country and UK level and also by ethnicity. While Stat-Xplore displays results for single years, please ensure that FRS estimates for ethnicity estimates are calculated using three-year averages – see section ‘8. Known Issues’ for guidance on how to correctly calculate estimates.
Please note that particular care is needed in calculating three-year averages for percentages.
Please email team.frs@dwp.gov.uk with comments and suggestions.
Please add “Source: FRS Stat-Xplore” to any analysis shared or published.
Stat-Xplore is a free tabulation tool. Users can access Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data via databases to create their own analysis.
FRS estimates and underlying data is also available via:
Some benefits of Stat-Xplore are:
free and accessible to all with user guidance and virtual tour
new user-defined analysis of FRS data with a user-friendly Application Programming Interface (API) and quick export of tables/graphs to Excel/PDF
data is unrounded so users can produce more accurate analysis (final estimates must be rounded as described below)
Some constraints of using Stat-Xplore are:
confidence intervals around estimates and design factors cannot be produced in Stat-Xplore
analysis based on three-year averages is not currently possible so FRS estimates based on ethnicity variables must be calculated manually by the user. See section ’8. Known Issues’ for details
careful selection of row and column categories are necessary to ensure correct estimates are produced – please see ‘12. User-defined Analysis’ and ‘13. Further Top Tips’
FRS defines some groups and characteristics in a specific way, which may differ from definitions used in other sources.
The following table provides specific definitions relevant to the FRS.
Further information can be found in the FRS Background Information and Methodology, available from the main FRS publication page or by clicking on the “i” icon for a variable in the FRS Stat-Xplore database.
Please note that estimates derived in this database are unrounded and based on survey data.
Once the user has produced FRS estimates using unrounded outputs:
percentages must be rounded to the nearest whole per cent
numbers must be rounded to the nearest 0.1 million (or 100,000 individuals)
amounts must be rounded to the nearest £1 (weekly) and £100 (annual)
These rounding conventions have been set to reflect that FRS estimates are based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS) and not actual records of individuals in the UK.
Where tabulations result in a number of rows or columns with zero numbers or percentages when rounded, we recommend combining groups.
When comparing year-on-year changes, users are advised to refer to the suite of tables providing confidence intervals around the key FRS estimates (Methodology and standard error data tables) on the FRS homepage. There is some uncertainty around estimates derived from the FRS because:
For further information, including a number of methods which can be applied to estimate uncertainty within the FRS estimates, please refer to this FRS Uncertainty guidance.
FRS Stat-Xplore allows users to create their own analysis of these breakdowns.
Click on the ‘i’ icon for descriptions and any data issues for a breakdown.
The following breakdowns have not been included in this version:
The following known issues exist for FRS Stat-Xplore.
Please note that Stat-Xplore cannot calculate three-year average estimates. However final FRS estimates for ethnicity must be presented as three-year averages. To calculate a three-year average, output estimates for at least three consecutive financial years:
Click on ‘Financial Year’, tick the required year and add to column. To remove the latest financial year, go to ‘Financial Year’, tick on the latest year and then select ‘Remove’ at the top. This should leave just the required financial year.
Alternatively, output several years as numbers in a table and manually calculate the percentages for each year separately in Excel. From this, three year averages can be calculated as below.
An example calculation is:
Year 1 estimate = 120,000
Year 2 estimate = 145,000
Year 3 estimate = 110,000
Three-year average estimate (Year 1 to Year 3) = (Year 1 estimate + Year 2 estimate + Year 3 estimate)/3 = (120,000 + 145,000 + 110,000)/3 = 125,000
A series of footnotes are provided to guide the user when producing estimates.
Note that footnotes are not displayed on percentages tables in FRS Stat-Xplore.
Log in to the Stat-Xplore database.
Please take the tour to learn about how to use a Stat-Xplore database.
Click on the three dots on the top right-hand corner of the page (see blue arrow in the image below) and select to find the ‘Tour’ again if you have visited the website before.
Further really useful guidance can be found by selecting the ‘?’ icon (see green arrow in the image below).
On the main Stat Xplore website, scroll down to the Family Resources Survey Database and select it.
Once Family Resources Survey database is selected, available datasets will be shown (figure 2a) and main information page will be displayed on screen (figure 2b). Please take time to read the front, information page for important information on rounding final figures and known issues.
Family Resources Survey data on Stat Xplore is available on the following levels:
Each level forms its own dataset. Information about each, individual dataset can be accessed by clicking on it. Users are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information about the dataset prior to accessing the data. Dataset metadata information and ready-made tables can also be accessed from this screen, as shown in figure 3.
To access data, users can follow a link from the dataset information page or double-click the dataset itself.
A selection of ready-made tables is available for each dataset, to allow users to quickly output main headline FRS estimates or use as a starting point for further analysis. These can be modified, with additional categories added.
Here is the Ready-Made Table 6 from Individual dataset: ‘Main source of Household’s total, gross Income by Financial Year and Type of Individual’.
To create user-defined tabulations, double-click on the dataset icon, or click ‘Go to dataset’ link on dataset information page.
As with other breakdowns, ‘Financial Year’ has a total column or row by default.
However, please remove the total before outputting tables by clicking on the three dots next to the ‘Financial Year’ label in the table (see the blue arrow in the image below) and unticking the ‘Total’ (see the green arrow in the image below).
‘Financial Year’ is a mandatory field and the most recent year of published data will always be displayed as a column by default.
To have ‘Financial Year’ as a row:
To select specific financial years:
To remove the latest year, click on the year and select ‘remove’ at the top.
Once the ‘Financial Year(s)’ row or column selection is complete, the user can select breakdowns as columns or rows and click on ‘Retrieve Data’ to get the outputs (see the blue arrow in the image below).
Numbers are presented by default in the FRS Stat-Xplore Database.
Note that:
To convert a numbers table to a percentages table:
Note that:
Please add Source: FRS Stat-Xplore to any analysis shared or published.
A series of further top tips when using Stat-Xplore.
The Ready-Made Tables allow instant export and analysis for a selection of breakdowns in each FRS dataset. These can provide a good foundation for further analysis of headline FRS estimates.
When producing new tables:
Build a table in the following order:
Filter
Wafer
Column
Row
Please email team.frs@dwp.gov.uk with comments and suggestions.
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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