Generations and Gender Survey Estonia Wave 1

Alternate Title

GGS Estonia Wave 1


Estonian Institute for Population Studies (EIPS)


The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) provides micro-level data with the aim of significantly improving the knowledge base for social science and policymaking in Europe and developed countries elsewhere. In Europe 2020, the European Union develops a strategy "to help us come out stronger from the crisis and turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion". The economic crisis affects not only day-to-day decisions, but also fundamental choices at all stages of people's lives: marriage and childbearing, the combination of employment and caring responsibilities for the young and the old, retirement, housing, and ageing well. The GGS has been developed to provide scientists with high-quality data to contribute scientifically grounded answers to these key policy questions. Survey content focuses on intergenerational and gender relations between people, expressed in care arrangements and the organization of paid and unpaid work. Key feature of the survey are:

  • Cross-national comparability. In each country data is collected on the basis of a common international questionnaire and guidelines about the methodology. Data processing includes central harmonization of national datasets.
  • A broad age range. It includes respondents between the ages of 18 and 80.
  • A longitudinal design. It has a panel design, collecting information on the same persons at three-year intervals.
  • A large sample size. It has an average of 9,000 respondents per country at Wave 1.
  • A theory-driven and multidisciplinary questionnaire. It provides data for policy relevant research by demographers, economists, sociologists, social policy researchers, social psychologists and epidemiologists. The questionnaire is inspired by the theory of planned behavior.
  • Possibility to combine the survey data with macro data provided by the GGP Contextual Database. This combination enables analyses of individuals and families in their cultural, economic, political, social and policy contexts.
The GGS core questionnaire was adapted to the Estonian context. Due to funding constraints the plans for panel waves were not feasible and part of the GGS items were not implemented. The added questions, not included in the harmonized data file, are country-specific and serve for the comparability with previous national surveys, incl. the FFS.The added questions deal with topics ike abortion history, migration history as well as education and work histories. An additional module containing attitudinal questions was also developed.

Related Materials



Related References

Estonian country presentations at the GGP International Working Group Meetings



Transition to adulthood
Work-family balance
Gender relations
Intergenerational exchanges
Informal and formal care
Well-being and health
Economic activity
Geographical Coverage Description

Whole territory of Estonia.




Kinds of Data
Survey data
Analysis Unit

Data Collection

Collection Organization
Data Collection Date
Mode of Data Collection

Method: Face-to-Face (personal interview) was the main method. In addition, a drop-off-mail-back questionnaire was used to collect data mainly on attitudinal questions. Return rate of the drop-off questionnaire was 80.3% of the respondents. Technique: Paper and Pencil (PAPI).

Actions to Minimize Losses
  1. Dealing with nonresponse 1.1 Screening: No. 1.2 Refusal conversion: Usual techniques of refusal conversion, i.e., insisting on the importance of the survey, its international dimension, addressing specific concerns of the respondent, etc. 1.3 Incentives: No.

  2. Tracking of sampled units 2.1 Respondent contact information: The addresses of the respondents were recorded. 2.2 Other contact information: Since the funding was available for a single wave, other contact information was not recorded. Respondents can be followed up by means of the population register. 2.3 Cards: No. 2.4 Additional surveys: No. 2.5 Administrative records: No.

Collection Situation
  1. Interviewers 1.1 Total number of interviewers: 130. 1.2 Number of interviewers in the field: The number varies according to the stage of fieldwork. Some interviewers quitted at an early stage of the work. At the later stages of the fieldwork the number of active interviewers decreased as more and more interviewers completed their task. 1.3 Network organization: Centralized coordination. 1.4 Working arrangement of interviewers: The network was project-based and consisted of both full- and part-time interviewers. Most of the interviewers were working or had previously worked as interviewers for Statistical Office or polling firms. They were hired by the institute on fixed term basis. 1.5 Payment of interviewers: Per interview + travel expenses.

  2. Interviewer training: 2.1 General interviewing: The majority of the interviewers (nearly 90%) had previous training in interviewing either in Statistical Office or polling firms (interviewing techniques, appointments, conversion of refusals, etc.). 2.2 Survey specific: Before the fieldwork started, a series of GGS-specific training seminars was organized in several locations in Estonia. The training was focused on the GGS survey instrument (questionnaire) and procedures of the fieldwork. 2.3 Length: General training varied depending on survey organization (typically 2-3 days). The GGS-specific training was 1.5 day. 2.4 Control of performance: The quality was monitored by checking the filled-in questionnaires. The interviewers received personal feedback from the coordinator. A letter describing typical problems that were detected was circulated to all interviewers at the early stage of the fieldwork. 2.5 Interviewer survey: Yes. A brief questionnaire was distributed among the interviewers once the fieldwork was completed. It collected background information about interviewer, the contacting procedures, and experiences with respondents, comments on questionnaire modules, etc. Altogether 106 interviewers responded.

  3. Contact protocols 3.1 Advance letter: All respondents received an advance letter introducing the survey and informing about the coming of the interviewer. The letter explained the purpose, subject of the survey, the institutions involved. The letter requested respondent's cooperation. 3.2 Cold contacts: Mixed practice. Usually the interviewers tried to make a telephone contact and schedule an appointment for the face-to-face interview. But this was not always feasible and part of the interviewers preferred to start with face-to-face contact. 3.3 Scheduling / scattering: Yes. To get a higher response rate, contact attempts were scattered over different days of week and parts of the day. 3.4 Contact history: Yes. The interviewer documented attempts to contact the respondent on a special form. For each case of non-response, the form was checked by the coordinator. 3.5 Min number of contacts: Number was set for the attempts of face-to-face contacts (5 for respondents in urban areas, 3 in rural areas). 2.6 Max number of contacts: No.

  4. Questionnaire localization 4.1 Validation: Retranslation of the questionnaires. 4.2 Pre-test: A pilot was carried out in June 2003 (120 respondents). The pilot study confirmed the possibility to increase the number of event histories and to also expand the target population to include the population groups of foreign origin using a Russian language questionnaire. 4.3 Length of interview: Respondents who agreed for the interview were generally cooperative. Average length of interview was 99 minutes but it varied according to the complexity of life history and household composition of the respondent. The presence of another person was reported at 24% of the interviews. Difficulties were reported at 4% of the interviews (in most cases recall difficulties).



Time Method


Sampling Procedure

1.1 Type of frame: Individual records (name list of persons) of the 31.03.2000 population and housing census, updated by means of population register for deaths, emigrations and changes of address that occurred between the census date and survey. 1.2 Frame coverage: Estimated coverage of the target population by the frame is 99.8%. Under-coverage constitutes of new immigrants in 2000-2004 (2,915 persons or 0.2% of the census population). Over-coverage of deceased persons and out-migrants was removed through updating the frame by means of population register. 1.3 Frame size: 1,031,556 individuals (born in 1924-1983). 1.4 Level of units available: Individuals.

  1. Sampling method 2.1 Sampling method type: Simple Random Sampling (SRS). 2.2 Sampling stage definition
    • PSU: Individual.
    • SSU: NA.
    • TSU: NA. 2.3 Sampling stage size
    • PSU: NA (primary sampling unit was individual; respondents were sampled directly from the frame).
    • SSU: NA
    • TSU: NA 2.4 Unit selection: Random number generator. 2.5 Final stage unit selection: Simple Random Sampling (one-stage sampling, individuals were sampled directly from the frame). 2.6 Within Household unit selection: NA (primary sampling unit was individual, respondents were sampled directly from the frame). 2.7 Stratification: Explicit (different sampling probabilities for men and women, lower for men). 2.8 Sample size:
    • Starting size sample: 11,192.
    • Aimed total size at Wave 1: 8,000.
    • Aimed total size at Wave 3: None. 2.9 Estimated Non-response
    • Initial non-response: 29.8%.
    • Yearly attrition:
    • Non response measures: Substitutes (sampled and matched by gender, 5-year birth cohort and county).
    • Within household non-responses measures: None (if the designated respondent did not answer, the household was marked as non-response).

Data Processing

Processing Events


Archive Information

Appears Within




View Full History
Revision Date Responsibility Rationale
8 5/15/2023 4:47:05 PM
6 4/13/2023 3:05:47 PM
5 2/2/2023 3:03:12 PM
4 1/27/2023 1:59:38 PM
3 11/15/2022 4:20:21 PM
2 11/8/2022 3:58:57 PM
1 10/15/2021 2:29:26 PM

© Generations and Gender Programme - 2023
Powered by Colectica.