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European Values Study 2008: Belgium (EVS 2008)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • EVS
Publication Date
  • Swyngedouw, Marc (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) (Researcher)
  • Voyé, Liliane (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) (Researcher)
  • TNS-Dimarso, Brussels, Belgium (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Society, Culture
    • Religion and "Weltanschauung"
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Employment
    • Cultural and national identity
    • Religion and values
    • Social conditions and indicators
    • Social behaviour and attitudes
    • Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
    • Family life and marriage
  • Abstract

    This survey is a not up-to-date version. Please, use the updated version included in the EVS integrated data files. This national dataset is only available for replication purposes and analysis with additional country-specific variables (see ´Further Remarks´). Two online overviews offer comprehensive metadata on the EVS datasets and variables. The extended study description for the EVS 2008 provides country-specific information on the origin and outcomes of the national surveys The variable overview of the four EVS waves 1981 1990 1999/2000 and 2008 allows for identifying country specific deviations in the question wording within and across the EVS waves. These overviews can be found at: Extended Study Description Variable Overview Moral, religious, societal, political, work, and family values of Europeans. Topics: 1. Perceptions of life: importance of work, family, friends and acquaintances, leisure time, politics and religion; frequency of political discussions with friends; happiness; self-assessment of own health; memberships and unpaid work (volunteering) in: social welfare services, religious or church organisations, education, or cultural activities, labour unions, political parties, local political actions, human rights, environmental or peace movement, professional associations, youth work, sports clubs, women´s groups, voluntary associations concerned with health or other groups; tolerance towards minorities (people with a criminal record, of a different race, left/right wing extremists, alcohol addicts, large families, emotionally unstable people, Muslims, immigrants, AIDS sufferers, drug addicts, homosexuals, Jews, gypsies and Christians - social distance); trust in people; estimation of people´s fair and helpful behaviour; internal or external control; satisfaction with life. 2. Work: reasons for people to live in need; importance of selected aspects of occupational work; employment status; general work satisfaction; freedom of decision-taking in the job; importance of work (work ethics, scale); important aspects of leisure time; attitude towards following instructions at work without criticism (obedience work); give priority to nationals over foreigners as well as men over women in jobs. 3. Religion: Individual or general clear guidelines for good and evil; religious denomination; current and former religious denomination; current frequency of church attendance and at the age of 12; importance of religious celebration at birth, marriage, and funeral; self-assessment of religiousness; churches give adequate answers to moral questions, problems of family life, spiritual needs and social problems of the country; belief in God, life after death, hell, heaven, sin and re-incarnation; personal God versus spirit or life force; own way of connecting with the divine; interest in the sacred or the supernatural; attitude towards the existence of one true religion; importance of God in one´s life (10-point-scale); experience of comfort and strength from religion and belief; moments of prayer and meditation; frequency of prayers; belief in lucky charms or a talisman (10-point-scale); attitude towards the separation of church and state. 4. Family and marriage: most important criteria for a successful marriage (scale); attitude towards childcare (a child needs a home with father and mother, a woman has to have children to be fulfilled, marriage is an out-dated institution, woman as a single-parent); attitude towards marriage, children, and traditional family structure (scale); attitude towards traditional understanding of one´s role of man and woman in occupation and family (scale); attitude towards: respect and love for parents, parent´s responsibilities for their children and the responsibility of adult children for their parents when they are in need of long-term care; importance of educational goals; attitude towards abortion. 5. Politics and society: political interest; political participation; preference for individual freedom or social equality; self-assessment on a left-right continuum (10-point-scale); self-responsibility or governmental provision; free decision of job-taking of the unemployed or no permission to refuse a job; advantage or harmfulness of competition; liberty of firms or governmental control; equal incomes or incentives for individual efforts; attitude concerning capitalism versus government ownership; postmaterialism (scale); expectation of future development (less emphasis on money and material possessions, greater respect for authority); trust in institutions; satisfaction with democracy; assessment of the political system of the country as good or bad (10-point-scale); preferred type of political system (strong leader, expert decisions, army should rule the country, or democracy); attitude towards democracy (scale). 6. Moral attitudes (scale: claiming state benefits without entitlement, cheating on taxes, joyriding, taking soft drugs, lying, adultery, bribe money, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, suicide, corruption, paying cash, casual sex, avoiding fare on public transport, prostitution, experiments with human embryos, genetic manipulation of food, insemination or in-vitro fertilization and death penalty). 7. National identity: geographical group the respondent feels belonging to (town, region of country, country, Europe, the world); citizenship; national pride; fears associated with the European Union (the loss of social security and national identity, growing expenditure of the own country, the loss of power in the world for one´s own country and the loss of jobs); attitude towards the enlargement of the European Union (10-point-scale); voting intensions in the next election and party preference; party that appeals most; preferred immigrant policy; opinion on terrorism; attitude towards immigrants and their customs and traditions (take jobs away, undermine a country´s cultural life, make crime problems worse, strain on country´s welfare system, threat to society, maintain distinct customs and traditions); feeling like a stranger in one´s own country; too many immigrants; important aspects of national identity (being born in the country, to respect country´s political institutions and laws, to have country´s ancestry, to speak the national language, to have lived for a long time in the country); interest in politics in the media; give authorities information to help justice versus stick to own affaires; closeness to family, neighbourhood, the people in the region, countrymen, Europeans and mankind; concerned about the living conditions of elderly people, unemployed, immigrants and sick or disabled people. 8. Environment: attitude towards the environment (scale: readiness to give part of own income for the environment, overpopulation, disastrous consequences from human interference with nature, human ingenuity remains earth fit to live in, the balance of nature is strong enough to cope with the impacts of modern industrial nations, humans were meant to rule over the rest of nature, an ecological catastrophe is inevitable). Demography: sex; age (year of birth); born in the country of interview; country of birth; year of immigration into the country; father and mother born in the country; country of birth of father and mother; current legal marital status; living together with the partner before marriage or before the registration of partnership; living together with a partner and living with a partner before; steady relationship; married to previous partner; living together with previous partner before marriage; end of relationship; number of children; year of birth of the first child; size and composition of household; experienced events: the death of a child, of father or mother, the divorce of a child, of the parents or of another relative; age of respondent when these events took place; age at completion of education; highest educational level attained; employment status; employed or self-employed in the last job; profession (ISCO-88) and occupational position; supervising function and span of control; size of company. Social origin and partner: respondent´s partner or spouse: partner was born in the country and partner´s country of birth; highest educational level; employment status of the partner; employment or self-employment of the partner in his/her last job; partner´s profession (ISCO-88) and occupational position; supervising function of the partner and span of control; unemployment and dependence on social-security of the respondent and his partner longer then three months in the last five years; scale of household income; living together with parents when the respondent was 14 years old; highest educational level of father/mother; employment status of father/mother when the respondent was 14 years old; profession of father/mother (ISCO-88) and kind of work; number of employees (size of business); supervising function and span of control of father and mother; characterization of the parents when respondent was 14 years old (scale: liked to read books, discussed politics at home with their child, liked to follow the news, had problems making ends meet, had problems replacing broken things); region the respondent lived at the age of 14, present place of residence (postal code); size of town; region. Interviewer rating: respondent´s interest in the interview. Additionally encoded: interviewer number; date of the interview; total length of the interview; time of the interview (start hour and start minute, end hour and end minute); language in which the interview was conducted. Additional country specific variables are included in this national dataset.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2009-04-30 / 2009-08-02
Geographic Coverage
  • Belgium (BE)
Sampled Universe
Persons 18 years or older who are resident within private households, regardless of nationality and citizenship or language.
Sampling Procedure Comment: A representative multi-stage or stratified random sample was used in EVS member countries. Country-specific information about the sampling procedure is available in the method reports provided for all participating countries (see section “Data & Documents/Other Documents”).
Collection Mode
  • Face-to-face interview with standardized questionnaire – CAPI (Computer assisted) Fieldwork was conducted on the basis of detailed and uniform instructions prepared by the EVS advisory groups. The English basic questionnaire was translated into other languages by means of the questionnaire translation system WebTrans, a web-based translation platform designed by Gallup Europe. The whole translation process was closely monitored and quasi-automated documented.
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 1509
    Number of Variables: 442
Marc Swyngedouw was responsible for Flanders, Lilianne Voyé for Wallonia. The dataset at hand is an outdated version of an EVS 2008 national dataset. An updated version of all national datasets of EVS wave 2008 is available as EVS 2008 Integrated data file. Additional country-specific variables included in the field questionnaire of some countries are not available in the integrated data file. The national datasets are only provided for replication purposes and the analysis of additional country-specific variables included in some of the datasets. Please contact the Data Archive staff if you need access. The EVS 2008 Integrated data file is offered in two different versions: ZA4800: Scientific Use File This dataset contains de facto anonymised data, i.e. detailed information is aggregated into coarse categories providing less detailed information on respondent’s residence and occupation. It is provided for direct download through the GESIS data catalogue free of charge after registration. ZA4799: Restricted Use File This version contains complete information, i.e. also data that could not be included in the EVS 2008 ZA4800 because of data protection concerns. Due to the sensitive nature of the data, its usage is subject to specific contractual regulations. The contract allowing for off-site access can be downloaded in section ‘Data and Documentation’ of the study description. Differences between these versions are only related to variables ´region of interview´, ´size of town´, and ´occupation´. For all other variables, the level of detail of information is the same in both versions. You can find a complete description of the differences in the Variable Report (pp. 12-13).
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA4759 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Internationale Umfrageprogramme (Type: FDZ)
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.4232/1.10035
  • Publications using EVS data can be found in the EVS Repository. The repository is an easy way to find relevant publications in the field of value studies. Moreover, it contains enhanced publications with direct links to the dataset, variables, and syntax codes of the concepts used. The EVS Repository can be found at
  • Atlas of European Values: Trends and Traditions at the turn of the Century. Loek Halman, Inge Sieben, and Marga van Zundert, Tilburg University. Leiden, Tilburg: Brill 2012. See EVS webpage: here

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 239 | Registration Date: 2010-12-16

EVS (2010): European Values Study 2008: Belgium (EVS 2008). Version: 1.1.0. GESIS Data Archive. Dataset.