Family Expenditure Survey

Also found in: Financial, Acronyms.

Family Expenditure Survey (FES)

a UK government SOCIAL SURVEY which gathers information on spending patterns. It was initiated in January 1957 and is the longest-standing multipurpose survey in the UK. Responsibility for it is shared between the Department of Employment and the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Originally, its purpose was to provide information for the Retail Price Index, but its scope has widened and it is now a major source of data on the charac teristics and circumstances of households. Apart from changes taking account of new services and commodities, the type of information collected has remained unaltered. For the first ten years it was based on a sample of 5000 addresses. From 1967 the sample has been approximately 11,000 addresses with about 7000 households cooperating. The scope is very comprehensive and respondents are asked to keep a record of all expenditure within a given period, including housing costs, telephone bills, insurance payments and certain types of credit. See also OFFICIAL STATISTICS, CENSUS, |GENERAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY.