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National Study of Health and Wellbeing: Children and Young People

The 2017 survey aims to find out about the health, development and wellbeing of children and young people aged between 2 and 19 years old in England. It will cover around 9,500 children and young people living in private households in England. Find out more.

2004 survey report - this is from the last time we carried out this survey

Visit the UK Data Services Catalogue - the UK Data Services Catalogue publish a full anonymised data set of this survey.

About the survey

The information collected will be used to look at how common different kinds of health, developmental and emotional disorders are. We're interested in factors associated with good health, development and wellbeing, as well as the things associated with poor health, development and wellbeing.

The information will be used to inform policy decisions about the need for child and adolescent mental health services and to help with planning services. The survey is funded by the Department of Health.

Why we do the survey

The survey asks about a range of topics to do with development, health and emotional wellbeing. The information will improve understanding of how different experiences can impact on health and wellbeing.  Over time, and for many different reasons, there can be changes in the health and wellbeing of both young adults and children. The last time this national survey was carried out was in 2004, and the first survey was carried out in 1999.

Having more up-to-date information will help the NHS, policy makers and charities make decisions about services for children and young people. Statistics about how common different kinds of health, developmental and emotional disorders are, and about factors associated with poor health and wellbeing, can help them improve and plan local and national health and support services that children, young people and their parents use.

Managing the survey

The survey is being carried out by NatCen Social Research and the Office for National Statistics on behalf of NHS Digital.

Survey review

This survey has been reviewed by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee (REC), to protect the safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity of those taking part. The West London REC (reference 16/LO/0155) gave this survey a favourable opinion.


We've chosen children and young people at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone in England. For the survey to paint an accurate picture of our society, it's vital that as many people as possible, from all walks of life are interviewed.

What the survey involves

If you've received a letter asking you to take part, an interviewer will call at your house to explain more about the study and will be happy to arrange a convenient time to do the interview. Interviewers carry an identity card, for your reassurance.

If your child has been chosen, you will be asked questions about their general health, development and wellbeing. If you're the selected child or the young adult and you're aged between 11 to 19 years old then you will also be asked questions about your general health, development and wellbeing.

By taking part in the study you will ensure that your circumstances become an important part of the bigger picture of life in England today and will be helping to influence matters that affect us all.

Data collected

The survey collects information about:

  • health
  • development and wellbeing - including information around emotional disorders, conduct disorders, hyperkinetic disorders and autism spectrum disorder
  • social media use
  • bullying

A consultation about the content of the survey was carried out between 27 November 2015 and January 2016. Download the consultation report.

What we do with the answers

Your answers will be completely confidential and nobody can be identified from the results we publish - they are completely anonymous. 

The answers you give will be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England. The survey findings will be analysed anonymously The statistics will be published in a report and tables which will be freely available on our website.

If you agree, we would also like to link your survey answers to information from other datasets about health and education. These include the NHS Central Register, Hospital Episode Statistics and the National Pupil Database. This would help us to follow up your health status in the future, and it would allow us to link to information about your child's educational attainment. We will ask for separate permission to do this in the study and more information will be available.

What we do with the data

The data will be treated as confidential, as directed by the UK Statistics Authority's code of practice for official statistics.

An anonymised and reduced version of the dataset will be made, so your name, address, date of birth and other information which might directly identify you is removed. In addition, other data are removed or categorised into groups that are less detailed to ensure the risk of disclosure is remote. This process of disclosure control follows Government Statistical Service guidance.

This anonymised and disclosure controlled dataset will be made available on the UK Data Service Catalogue for the purposes of not-for-profit research, teaching or personal educational development. 

Last edited: 30 July 2018 1:00 pm