The European Values Study (hence forth EVS) is a pan-European survey among citizens across Europe with an explicit focus on mapping trends in human values. The survey covers broad topics within the social sciences such as e.g. religion and religiosity, working life and spare time, gender issues, political participation and political attitudes. EVS has previously been carried out in four waves (1981, 1990, 1999, 2008) and the fifth wave of data collection started in the autumn of 2017. Given that the survey spans over a 35 year time period for core countries such as Sweden, it is possible to detect even slow processes of value change such as secularization, and to compare different cohorts and generations over time, both within and between countries.
To date Sweden has taken part in all of the previous waves and the data set constitutes to be an important infrastructure and a rich source for studies on human values and value change in a European context. An increasing number of countries have joined the EVS. In the last wave of 2008/2009, about 70 000 citizens from 47 countries, ranging from Iceland in the West to Azerbaijan in the East participated in the survey. The EVS covers seven broad fields of values: Europe and identifying as a European versus national and regional identities; family values such as e.g. gender equality at home and female participation in work life; work and work ethic, and the balance between work and leisure; religion including e.g. religious beliefs and views on the role of religion in society; politics such as e.g. political participation outside elections, views on democracy and what is the duty of the state versus the duty of citizens; views on different phenomena in society including views on immigration, solidarity and views on the environment; and items on subjective wellbeing such as life satisfaction.
The fifth round of the EVS will create the infrastructure for further studies on e.g. whether values connected to family life, work, gender equality, or political participation are significantly affected by the changes that Europe has gone through and whether there are significant differences between generations. It will also have a specific focus on social cohesion and integration. The broad focus of the EVS makes it a rich data infrastructure for scholars within different subfields within the social sciences and humanities.