Irish Health Survey, 2019 

Study number (SN): 0082-02


Central Statistics Office (CSO).  (2023). Irish Health Survey, 2019 [dataset]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive SN: 0082-02



Purpose of Survey

The Irish Health Survey (IHS) was collected under Regulation (EC) No 1338/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work1. This survey fulfils the need for public health policies to obtain reliable data on health status, health care usage and health determinants.

The Central Statistics Office wishes to thank the participating households for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the survey, and for facilitating the collection of the relevant data. 


The Irish Health Survey was designed in line with the third wave of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS)2.  The collection of the data under the aforementioned European Regulation implies that harmonised data can be obtained across the European continent.

The Irish Health Survey can be divided into three fundamental components.  These are the European Health Status Module (EHSM), the European Health Care Module (EHCM), and the European Health Determinants Module (EHDM).

The European Health Status Module:

The module on health status is a central element of the survey. It allows measurement of the health status of the population in general, and not only in relation to specific health problems. It covers different aspects and dimensions of health: physical and mental health, chronic and temporary problems and specific conditions. It covers the general impact on the functional status and the limitations in activities of daily living of the respondents.  The first three general questions on self-perceived health, long standing illnesses or health problems, and activity limitations constitute the Minimum European Health Module (MEHM).

The European Health Care Module:

The ECHM module collects data on the use of health care services and the unmet needs for health care. Information on health care consumption is an essential part of the health information system in order to assign necessary resources to the population. This allows analysis of the relationships between health consumption and several determinants such as health status, lifestyles or socio-demographic characteristics as well as the relationships between different types of health care use.

The European Health Determinants Module: 

The general focus of this module is to measure aspects in lifestyles or health-related behaviours. These may have a positive or negative impact on an individual’s health status.

Along with the above data, additional variables collected included were; NUTS3 region, sex, age, nationality, and level of deprivation.

Please note that the modes were different between 2015 and 2019 which results in comparability issues. See note below - 

Note on methodology and 2019 & 2015 Irish Health Survey results:  

The 2019 survey data was collected via an interviewer administered interview where respondents were asked questions on their health status and health experiences. There is a risk when asking sensitive questions that some form of “social desirability bias” may be present, where the respondent may not feel entirely comfortable in giving an ‘accurate’ picture of their experiences. Additionally, it is important to note that respondents are being asked detailed health and other questions which may have led to some comprehension or recall issues, despite the best efforts of our field staff in assisting with the completion of the survey. It is the respondent’s own account of their health and other experiences which are being reported in this publication. It may be the case that some of this understanding could differ to what their medical professional would record. Accordingly, users are asked to exercise judgement in the analysis of the data in this publication and to be aware of the underlying methodology of the survey. The 2015 Irish Health Survey was administered via a self-completion questionnaire. Given this fundamental difference in how the data was collected in 2015 & 2019, any direct comparison between the 2019 results in this publication and the 2015 results available on the CSO website would need careful consideration.

In addition, the naming conventions for the variables are different between 2015 and 2019 due to the different collection modes.



  • Health




The target population of the Irish Health Survey is all individuals aged 15 years and older living in private households in the Irish state.

Observation units 

  • Individual

Temporal coverage 

From 07/2019 to 07/2020

Time dimension  

Repeated cross-sectional study

Repeated every 5 years, increased to 6 years for the next iteration (2025)

Geographical coverage 

Country: Ireland

Region: NUTS3


Methods of data collection 

  • CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interviewing)


Sampling procedures 

The sample was derived for Irish Health Survey. It is a multi-stage cluster sample resulting in all households in Ireland having an equal probability of selection. The sample is stratified using administrative county and the Pobal HP (Haase and Pratschke) Deprivation Index (quintile).

A two-stage sample design is used. Firstly, 1,200 blocks are selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling. All occupied households on Census night 2016 within each block were eligible for selection in the Social Statistics Sample.

Secondly, households within blocks were selected using simple random sampling (SRS) without replacement for inclusion in the survey sample. This ensures each household in the sample frame has an equal probability of selection.

The sample size is based on a simple random sampling approach and before design effects are factored in, this was determined by Eurostat as 5,125 for Ireland. Adjusting this figure for the design effect (to account for how the sampling is actually conducted in practice) means that a higher achieved sample is required – thus the approximately 7,600 responses actually collected by this survey


The IHS grossing procedure aligns the distribution of persons covered in the sample with independently determined population estimates at the level of sex, five-year age group and region. The grossed population aged 15 years or older is 3,925,556 persons.

To provide national population results, the survey results were weighted to represent the entire population (15+). The survey results were weighted to agree with population estimates broken down by age group, sex, ISCED11 and region.

Household weights were calculated for all households in the initial sample. The design weights are computed as the inverse of the selection probability of the unit. The purpose of design weights is to eliminate the bias induced by unequal selection probabilities.

These design weights were then adjusted for non-response. This eliminated the bias introduced by discrepancies caused by non-response, particularly critical when the non-responding households are different from the responding ones in respect to some survey variables as this may create substantial bias in the estimates. Design weights are adjusted for non-response by dividing the design weights of each responding unit in the final/achieved sample by the (weighted) response probability of the corresponding group or strata.

To obtain the final household weights for the results, after the previous steps were carried out, the distribution of households by deprivation, NUTS3 region, sex and age was calibrated to the population of households in Quarter 1 2018 (as derived from the LFS Survey). The CALMAR2-macro, developed by INSEE, was used for this purpose. 




Data (available through ISSDA application process) 

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

0082-02_irish_health_survey_2019 SPSS Survey data including 7,621 observations and 205 variables


Documentation (available for download) 

File name

File format/s

(preferably PDF)

Contents of file

0082-02_Irish_Health_Survey_2019_Codebook PDF Codebook
0082-02_Irish_Health_Survey_2019_questionnaire PDF 2019 survey questionnaire



Publication Website:



Accessing the data 

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

Please note that any reference to signature and date in this document can be read as meaning the typed name and date where such an application is forwarded electronically. 


The copyright for the Irish Health Survey 2019 is the property of the Central Statistics Office.


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Irish Health Survey, 2019" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement 

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation 

Central Statistics Office (CSO).  (2023). Irish Health Survey, 2019 [dataset]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive SN: 0082-02


The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.