The Continuous Household Survey (ECH) is ongoing research that offers information each year regarding the basic demographic characteristics of the population, of the households comprising it and of the dwellings that they inhabit, similar to the information provided by the Population and Housing Censuses. The information is provided, broken down by Autonomous Community and province.
It provides population data by sex, age, marital status, country of birth, nationality, situation in the household. For households, it offers information regarding their size and composition, and for dwellings, it provides information regarding their tenancy regime, usable surface area, rooms, year of construction and type of building.
For the territorial classification, it uses the official administrative division of Autonomous Communities, provinces and municipalities, which may be viewed at:
Regarding countries of birth or nationality, these are classified according to the standard list compiled by the INE, and which may be viewed at:
For the educational level, it uses the same classification as that used in the 2011 Population and Housing Censuses, which is adapted to the National Classification of Education (NCED 2000) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 1997). This classification, and other classifications used (type of household, situation of the person in the household), may be viewed in the Survey Methodology:
The survey includes the population resident in family dwellings, which according to the 2011 Census, accounts for more than 99% of the total population resident in Spain. It does not include the population resident in group dwellings.
Persons, households and family dwellings inside the national territory.
The target population of the Continuous Household Survey is the population and the households, resident in Spain, in each of its Autonomous Communities and in each one of their provinces, as well as the family dwellings located in each of said territories.
The ECH covers the whole of the national territory, all the Autonomous Communities and provinces, including Ceuta and Melilla.
The ECH is an ongoing survey that began in 2013, and which covers all quarters of the year, providing results annually.
2013 for the first publication of data of a year, and 2014 for the publication of 2 years accumulated data
The units of measurement used to disseminate household data are thousands of households, thousands of people for population data and thousands of dwellings for dwelling data.
Data is offered referring to 1 January and 1 July every year.
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2018
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
Dissemination is carried out annually as of 2014. Autonomous Cities and Communities data are obtained with one year data, and provinces data are obtained with 2 years accumulated data. Data are referring to average value of the period.
All of the relevant documents relating to this survey, as well as the results derived from it, are published on the INE website.
All dissemination is carried out online; specific publications are not published.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
The link where users may view the results and documentation relating to this operation is:
The following indicates the results tables that are obtained on a national level. This information, eventually with a lower breakdown level, is also provided on the Autonomous Community and provincial levels. In the publication of one year data results, the greatest level of detail offered is the Autonomous Community; only in the two years accumulated results we offer information on a provincial level.
- Resident population: Results on the resident population are offered, according to the different variables considered in the study, and the main crosses: marital status, cohabitation as a couple, situation in the household... as well as population data with regard to the households in which they reside, according to the type of household, size of the household and nationality of the household. For the resident population born abroad, data is detailed, depending on the country of birth and the year of arrival in Spain, and for second generations (children of parents born abroad), information is offered, depending on the country of birth of the parents.
- Households: Details are provided on the number of households, according to the nationality of their members, type of household and size of the household, as well as variables relating the household with the dwelling (number of rooms in the dwelling, usable surface area and tenancy regime of the dwelling).
- Dwellings: Breakdowns are offers on main dwellings, according to the type of construction, year of construction, tenancy regime, usable surface area and number of rooms.
The public access files with unidentifiable microdata will be available, free of charge, on the INE website as of the 2º quarter of 2015, annually, and with information accumulated over two years.
Two microdata files are available: the microdata from the dwelling and household questionnaire, and the microdata from the persons resident in the dwellings.
There is the option of requesting tailor-made information from the INE Customer Service Area. Limitations to confidentiality or precision are borne in mind at the time of processing said requests. See
For a detailed description of the methods and concepts used, as well as of other general information related to the survey, users may view the website
This Standardised Methodological Report contains all the elements of what is considered a âthe quality report intended for usersâ for this operation
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The ECH is designed to ensure a continuous evaluation of the quality of the data. The survey is collected via a sequential multi-channel system (online CAWI questionnaires, postal print questionnaires, CAT telephone interviews, and CAPI personal interviews with portable devices for those cases not received through the previous channels), which is controlled by applications for management, recording, filtering, validation of questionnaires, transmission of information between channels, integration and mailing to the central server. This procedure entails an implicit intensive use of the most advanced information technologies, which guarantees the greatest quality and efficiency of the entire operation. In particular, the use of electronic questionnaires prevents introducing invalid data, and controls inconsistencies.
Each quarter, the questionnaires are subjected to centralised processing, which includes a second centralised filtering thereof, obtaining summaries of the results that enable introducing improvements in the different processes. Each year, the processing is repeated, and the sample is calibrated, taking the Population Figures as an external source of information. It is also necessary to accumulate two years data and calibrate it, taking the Population Figures as an external source of information.
The main characteristics of this survey is that it uses - as a framework - the complete and revised directory of spaces (whether dwellings or locales) in buildings with any dwelling, obtained from the 2011 Population and Housing Census. In this way, the framework includes not only the dwellings with registered persons, but also the entirety of the dwellings in the territory.
This allows the survey be be used as an infrastructure for extracting sub-samples of main dwellings for other surveys targeting households or as a “omnibus&rdquo survey; through the inclusion of modules to meet emerging demands for information flexibly and efficiently.
moreover, due to the multi-channel collection system, it enables having updated information available at a lower cost, but with better quality, since the number of persons involved in the operation is smaller, which improves the personnel selection and training processes and the control of the work, while lowering the costs associated with the fieldwork./p>
· Ministries and other public bodies.
· Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities, municipal councils, etc.)
· Companies and institutions.
· Researchers and universities.
Each one of these users has different needs, according to the destination and use of the information that they require.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the User Satisfaction Surveys conducted to date, it is possible to view the evaluation of the Population sector in which this statistical operation is centred, which can help direct us with regard to user opinions of it.
The Survey meets all the requirements established for it in the National Statistical Plan. Therefore, the rate of compulsory information available is 100%.
Completeness rate of the data: R1=100%
A problematic area is the low response rate obtained with reaching groups that are hard to find in a stable home. This problem is treated with non-response correction techniques and calibration taking the Population Figures as an external source of information.
Sampling errors are calculated, using the Jackknife method, and they are published for the main characteristics, together with the rest of the survey estimates.
Sampling errors: A1=0.69% (Couple without children living at home)
During the whole statistical process, a control process is carried out of non-sampling errors, with an application to manage the information that includes a control system of the coverage of what is received via the different collection and incidence monitoring channels.
The non-response of the space, which prevents its classification according to the type of dwelling, is approximately 10% of the sample, and the non-response of persons (refusals, absences) in main dwellings, which accounts for 65% of the spaces in the sample, is approximately 15% of the main dwellings.
Over-coverage rate: A2=13.77%
Non response rate per unit: A4= 13.6%
Non response rate by item: A5= 0.05% (relationship with the person number 01)
Imputation rate: A7= 0.35% (relationship)
The predefined tables are published in April each year t, with the reference date of the information being 1 July from year t-1, for data of a year by Autonomous Communities, and 1 January from year t-1, for two years accumulated data by provinces.
The time elapsed from the reference date of the data until the publication thereof is 9 months in the case of data of a year, and 15 months for two years of accumulated data.
Opportunity final results: TP2= 9 months
The data is disseminated in accordance with the dates announced in the publication calendar.
The methodology applied in the information collection, the data processing and the system for filtering and imputation throughout the geographical scope, guarantees the comparabilities of the results among the different Autonomous Communities and provinces. In turn, the methodological adaptation to the European census regulations makes comparability possible with the rest of the European Union countries that disseminate similar information.
The survey began in 2013, with results being published for the first time in 2014.
Each year, starting in 2014, the annual data series will be disseminated on the INE website.
Length of comparable time series: CC2= 6 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
The population-related results of the survey are completely consistent with the Population Figures, on the sex, age and nationality levels, in each province and in each Autonomous Community, as the calibration variables used are the Population Figures at 1 January or at 1 July each year, according to whether they deal with with two years of accumulated data or data of a year.
The figures obtained have complete internal coherence, as they are based on the same set of data and they are calculated using the same estimation methods at all levels.
For the purpose of significantly reducing the response burden of informant units, the information is collected with a multi-channel system (the Internet, paper, telephone, portable devices), which in addition, improves the data treatment processes. The completion of a questionnaire takes between 16 and 26 minutes, depending on the channel.
The estimation of the budgetary credit necessary to finance these statistics, as foreseen in the 2019 Annual Programme, comes to a total of 3,161.82 thousand euros.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
All data is definitive and it is not revised.
All Data is definitive, and not subject to revision.
If errors are detected and the data must be changed, an explanatory note is added, together with the information, for the purpose of notifying users that the data has been changed. Whenever possible, users are notified directly regarding these errors.
The survey uses, as a framework, the complete and revised directory of spaces (postal addresses broken down to the level of the floor and door of a building, regardless of whether they are dwellings or locales) in buildings with any dwellings, provided by the 2011 Building Census. In this way, the framework includes not only the dwellings with registered persons, but also the entirety of the dwellings in the territory (both occupied and empty).
This is a stratified two-stage sampling, in which the first-stage units are the census sections, and the second-stage units are the spaces existing in them. The characteristics of the population are studied in the sample spaces that turn out to be main dwellings.
For further information regarding the design of the survey, users may view the website
An independent sample is designed for each Autonomous Community and province, with the annual size of the sample being 104,000 units (spaces). This sample size comprises approximately 0.4% of the population.
The sample includes 1600 sections, distributed across the four quarters of the year, and 65 spaces per section. Each year, the spaces to study are renewed, previously updating the sections. Each year, half of the sections comprising the sample are renewed.
The data collection is performed quarterly, in an ongoing manner.
The sample is distributed across the four quarters of the year, in such a way that the collection is performed quarterly, in accordance with a pre-established calendar that considers the peculiarities of a sequential multi-channel collection system (mailing of letters to the selected units, so that they can respond online by CAWI, mailing of reminders after a period of time has elapsed without a response, mailing of another reminder with a print questionnaire for return by post in a pre-stamped envelope, CATI telephone interviews for units pending response and for which a telephone is available, mailing of a new letter and CAPI personal interviews with a portable device for pending units that do not have a telephone or that are not contacted).
The quarterly fieldwork includes the updating of the framework of postal addresses for the sections to collect the following quarter. This update implies performing a route of the section, and this is carried out using a portable device.
for the purposes of the collection of this survey, the national territory is divided into 6 zones comprising a set of provinces; in each province, there is an office with permanent staff to conduct the CAPI personal interviews in their province. In each zone, and in the office of the head province of the zone, there is a centre for computer-assisted personal interviews that covers the zone. From the zone head office, the information is managed through an application for the management, recording, filtering, validation of questionnaires, transmission of information between channels, integration and mailing to the central server.
The survey has a single survey, structured into three sections: identification of the possible members of the household, dwelling questionnaire and individual questionnaires. This determines whether there is anyone regularly residing at the address selected, in which case, it is considered a main dwelling, and the data corresponding to the characteristics of the dwelling are filled out, as well as that corresponding to the characteristics of each person resident therein.
The questionnaire is presented in different formats, according to the collection channel. In the CAWI, CATI and CAPI channels, it is an electronic questionnaire that, during the collection itself, incorporates controls for the range, flow, completeness and validity; the print questionnaire must be recorded using the same application that the CATI provides, and it is at that time that the controls are checked. A space may begin completion by one channel and finish it by another channel; thus, a print questionnaire received that does not meet the controls is derived to the CATI or the CAPI, according to whether or not they have a telephone.
The information management application includes a system to control the coverage of that which is received via the different channels, and of the information transfers from one channel to another, until the collection of the sample for each quarter is completed.
With the information received from the zones, corresponding to the sample for each quarter, the centralised processing of the national file is begun, and it consists of several phases:
- quality control, in order to corroborate that the information collected does not present inconsistencies or serious errors in the questionnaire
- separation of valid and invalid questionnaires, performing a manual search process against the municipal register database, which enables converting invalid questionnaires into valid questionnaires when the only invalidity criterion is that the lack some item of register data (date of birth, country of birth or of nationality)
- automatic filtering of the kinship relation matrix of the valid questionnaires, supplemented by a manual search process against the municipal register database for those that do not pass this filter. It is an iterative process, in which those questionnaires that do not pass this filter are separated as invalid. The questionnaires that are eventually considered to be valid, whether complete or not, are reserved for the annual or biannual information processing
- filtering and imputation of data regarding the finally valid questionnaires, which consists of detecting inconsistencies not included in the electronic questionnaire, and of the automatic imputation of the valid - but incomplete - questionnaires, using the DIA methodology. This is indefinite, in the sense that the quarterly files corresponding to the same period (one year or two years, according to whether it is data of a year or two years accumulated data) are not accumulated
- calculation of derived variables and application of elevation factors, in order to obtain a provisional tabulation of results corresponding to a quarter, and obtaining summaries and reports of the process
- linking of quarterly files upon completion of a period, corresponding to those questionnaires that were finally deemed valid and that were reserved, on order to proceed to their filtering and final automatic imputation with DIA and to calculated the derived variables
- calibration of the sample and application of elevation and calibration factors, taking - as an external source of information - the Population figures at 1 January or at 1 July, according to whether it is data of a year or two years accumulated data. The predefined use tables are obtained with this file.
Further adjustments, beyond those described in the point above, are not made.