SLÁN – Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any queries on the SLAN please read through these frequently asked questions (FAQs) which cover the most common queries received. If your query is not answered here, please contact us on



Q. I have been using the Slan 2007 dataset for research purposes.  The codebook mentions an age variable, yet in the version of Slan which I received from the ISSDA variable a2, age, was not included (age categories were but not actual age)

A. This level of detail was removed from the dataset for anonymisation reasons and so is not available.



Q. I am specifically interested in looking individual’s levels of alcohol consumption and their earnings. When I look at the reports on previous Slán surveys, there does not appear to be anything mentioned on earnings, however when I look at the questionnaires (2002) there is a specific question asking people for details on their weekly net pay?

A. There is a question (G21) in the 2002 SLÁN survey asking respondents for details on their weekly net pay. The Household Budget Survey (available through the ISSDA) may also be of use to you.



Q. I would like to know the spatial scale at which this data is provided - for instance is it a summary by ED? or for some other spatial scale?

A. The 1998 and 2002 data are coded to county level while the 2007 data is at NUTS 3 level (Regions). The latter is coded to the following areas:

1.00   Border

2.00   Dublin

3.00   Mid-East

4.00   Midlands

5.00   Mid-West

6.00   South East

7.00   South West

8.00   West

It is not possible to get a more detailed geographic breakdown as this was part of the anonymisation process for making the data available.



Q. We have a query regarding the SLAN dataset relating to whether or not the height variable was measured or self-reported. We have checked the documentation which suggests self-reported. However our enquirer has been told that some variables were measured - so can you clarify if any were measured (and which)?

A. The answer is both in a way! Everyone self-reported their height and weight but a sub-sample had height and weight assessed at time of interview and another subset during the physical assessment. You should be able to see which is which fairly clearly – the self-report questions are in section A and the measured for the main sample is towards the end (J or K).



Q: SLAN 2007: In relation to H7b What is your occupation in this job? (What do you mainly do in your job?) Are the answers to this question in a  narrative/qualitative form?

A: Occupation of the respondent is available as a one-digit SOC code (soc-1) with the following categories:

1 Managers and administrators

2 Professionals

3 Associate professional/technical

4 Clerical and secretarial

5 Craft

6 Personal/protective services

7 Sales

8 Operatives

9 Other (unskilled) occupations


-8 Not at work currently

There is also a household social class variable using the European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC, Rose and Harrison, 2006, see  The categories for this variable (esechh) are:

1 Large employers, higher mgrs/professionals

2 Lower mgrs/professionals, higher supervisory/technicians

3 Intermediate occupations

4 Small employers and self-employed (non-agriculture)

5 Small employers and self-employed (agriculture)

6 Lower supervisors and technicians

7 Lower sales and service

8 Lower technical

9 Routine

10 Unknown/unclassified (incl. never worked)



Q. SLAN 2002: I am stuck with the variables “soclass1”, “soclass2” and “soclass” which were derived from the job title (variables: g11 and g12). I did not manage to find which classification of occupation has been used.  “Soclass1”, “soclass2” and “soclass” have 7 categories (categories: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9). Which label do they correspond to?

A. We have examined our own SLAN files and the answer to your specific query on SLAN 2002  is as follows:

Soclass 1 = social class of respondent

soclass 2 = social class of respondent spouse

soclass = social class of household (higher of soclass 1 and 2).


0 = professional

1 = managerial/technical

2 = skilled non-manual

3 = skilled manual

4 = partly skilled

5 =unskilled

7 =armed forces

9 = unknown.

These are based on the Irish Social classification system.



Q. Is it possible to access the Researcher Microdata Files (RMF) for the SLAN?

A. There is not an RMF for the SLAN.  



Q. Are there any SLAN updates?

A. The successor to SLAN is the Healthy Ireland Survey. This study will be available from ISSDA in early 2016.