The first TREE cohort (TREE1) has been launched in 2000 and draws on a large national (compulsory) school leavers’ sample (N>6,000) tested and surveyed on the occasion of Switzerland’s then first-time participation in PISA. Since then, the sample has been followed up by means of 10 panel waves, the most recent one conducted in 2019/20. Further panel waves are planned at five-years intervals. Today, TREE1 respondents have reached an average age of approximately 35 and been surveyed for a period of over 20 years, spanning from early adolescence up to early middle-age. The study thus has gradually grown into a full-blown life course survey.
Over the years and across a wide range of academic disciplines (e.g. sociology, economics, psychology, educational and health sciences), TREE1 has become an invaluable database for research on pathways and transitions of adolescents and (young) adults. Today, TREE1 is to be found among Switzerland’s most widely used data infrastructures in the social sciences.
The second TREE panel study (TREE2) covers a comparable population of school leavers who left compulsory education in 2016. As its baseline survey, it draws on a national large-scale assessment of mathematics skills. Since then, the TREE2 sample has been re-surveyed at yearly intervals. Further panel waves will be conducted with the objective to replicate, as closely as possible, TREE1’s panel design.
CCS has been running since 2005, and candidate surveys using the CCS wave I questionnaire were conducted in about 30 parliamentary elections. Wave II was fielded between 2013 2019.
Data from the CCS are available on our online system FORSbase. The CCS wave I cumulative dataset (2005 -2013) includes a total of 32 elections from the following countries : Australia ; Austria ; Belgium ; Canada ; Czech Republic ; Denmark ; Estonia ; Finland ; Germany ; Greece ; Hungary ; Iceland ; Ireland ; Italy ; Luxembourg* ; Malta ; Netherlands ; New Zealand ; Norway; Portugal ; Romania ; Sweden ; Switzerland ; and the United Kingdom. The CCS wave II cumulative dataset (2013 – 2019) includes a total of 26 elections from 20 countries: Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Greece, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Chile, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, and Spain.
If you are not already registered with FORSbase, you will need to do so (click here to register). After logging in and arriving at the CCS catalogue page, click on the tab “datasets”, select the dataset and then click on “download data”. After submitting your application, your request will need to be approved first by the CCS data access committee (usually 1-2 business days). Once approved, you will be able to access the data immediately within FORSbase.
Study and dataset description in our FORSbase catalogue.
The survey 2016-17
The ch-x 2016-17 survey addresses geographical mobility with a focus on temporary stays of young Swiss people in another linguistic area of Switzerland or abroad. Such stays can be of short duration (1-3 weeks) or longer (more than three weeks) and may take various forms: educational exchanges, language stays, backpacking trips, internships, or voluntary work experiences, etc. To a lesser extent, questions were also asked about other forms of mobility, such as residential mobility and migration. While some studies (mainly Anglo-Saxon and qualitative) have addressed temporary mobility from the perspective of university students, the ch-x 2016-17 survey represents a unique data source, both in terms of its sample size and population characteristics – more than 40,000 young people from all backgrounds, in education or employment, mobile and non-mobile.
A total of 106 questions were asked to more than 40,000 young men aged 18-19 years as part of the recruitment procedure. A sample of women in the same age range also responded to the questionnaire. After data cleaning, the final database consists of 40,503 young men and 2,126 young women. The questionnaire consists of seven sections: socio-economic characteristics, educational and professional background, mobility experiences, living environment, plans for temporary stays, attitudes and opinions, and finally questions on the respondents’ families.
Access to data and documentation
Full documentation and data are available in FORSbase.
The 2016-17 survey gave rise in September 2019 to a publication for the general public, produced in collaboration with the University of Lausanne: “Entre mobilité temporaire et ancrage local : portrait de la jeunesse suisse”, available here (publication in French with German and Italian summaries). An English summary is available here.
Other articles and publications:
Major Research Aims
COCON investigates from a life course perspective the interplay between the social contexts of growing up and the competence development of children and adolescents.
COCON examines the antecedents and consequences of the coping with early life course transitions, investigating thereby how the interplay of social contexts and young people’s development is affected.
Major areas of the date collection:
- Family: Background, Structure and Interactions
- Educational and Work Trajectories
- Peers and Leisure
- Identity, Personality and Wellbeing
- Social and Productive Competencies
- Morality and Values
Over several years COCON was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, first as part of the National Research Programme 52 “Childhood, Youth and Intergenerational Relationships in a Changing Society”, afterwards as a social science infrastructure project. COCON is also financially supported by the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development at the University of Zurich and is part of the research program of the Jacobs Center.
Cohorts and waves
COCON includes three age cohorts residing in the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. Each of the selected age cohorts represents a prototypal stage in the course of growing up: middle childhood (6 year olds); middle adolescence (15 year olds) and late youth or early adulthood (21 year olds).
The child cohort includes children of 6 years of age old in 2006. The aim is to survey these children up to the age of 21. The youth cohort consists of 15-year-old adolescents in 2006. The great majority was about to finish obligatory schooling and shortly before transitioning to upper-secondary education, either vocational and educational training (VET) or general-education schools. The adult cohort includes around 600 21-yearold young adults, surveyed once in 2006.
In Switzerland, it was a school-based epidemiological survey carried out in 2009-10, with almost 7’000 youth between 15-17 years of age. The survey collected lifetime and previous-year prevalence of sexual victimization experiences for a nationally representative sample, as well as information on other types of maltreatment, risk factors, protective factors, and consequences of victimization. Click here for more information about the Swiss dataset.
The Chinese study included a household survey of 3’321 children age 15-17 and 8’945 parents of children age 0-17, as well as a school-based survey of 18’341 students age 15-17. Click here for more information about the Chinese datasets.
In South Africa, the study was conducted with a sample of more than 9’000 youth between 15-17 years of age. Click here for more information about the South African dataset.
Access to the Swiss, Chinese, and South African data is possible by way of our online system FORSbase. If you are not already registered with FORSbase, you will need to do so. After logging in and arriving at the Optimus Study catalogue page (Swiss data, Chinese data, South African data), click on the tab “dataset”, select the dataset that you want to acquire, and then click on “download data”. After submitting your application, your request will need to be approved first by the Optimus Study data access committee (usually 1-2 business days). Once approved, you will be able to access the data immediately within FORSbase.
You can learn more about the Optimus Study at www.optimusstudy.org.
Switzerland chose the option of studying the population of students in the 9th year of education (national sample) as well as 15 year old students (international sample). The sample of 9th year students allows comparisons within the country between linguistic regions and, thanks to supplementary cantonal samples, between the cantons.
The three tested domains are reading, mathematics, and the sciences, with one of these the focus for each cycle. In 2000, main subject was reading, in 2003 it was mathematics, and in 2006 the sciences. The main subject was again reading in 2009 and mathematics in 2012. For PISA 2003, an additional theme was developed, that of problem solving ability.
The Swiss PISA data (9th grade) for 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 as well as the corresponding documentation are available in FORSbase for interested researchers. To access the data, please click on the years.
The international PISA data (15 year olds) are available on the PISA pages of the OECD.
In 2009, a similar survey entitled “Our World. Views from the Field” was undertaken in 8 countries that were experiencing or had experienced armed conflict or other situations of armed violence. The aims were to develop a better understanding of people’s needs and expectations, to gather views and opinions, and to give a voice to those who had been adversely affected by armed conflict and violence.
The initial survey “People on War” was repeated in 2016 in 11 countries affected by armed conflict, as well as with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Switzerland. Many of the questions were asked as part of the first survey and so allow comparison after a 20-year interval.
People on War UK survey 2007
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross repeated in the United Kingdom the 1999 People on War survey conducted in 17 countries. Key questions from the 1999 survey were asked to a representative sample of 1,000 people, to observe changes in British public opinion.
From 1977 to 2016, VOX surveys are conducted with representative samples of eligible voters and take place during the two or three weeks following a vote. The principal points covered during telephone interviews include: general political opinions and habits, political and associative affinities, degree of knowledge of the items put to vote, the various aspects relating to the decision on how to vote on these items, how the individual’s opinion is formed and, finally, the individual’s evaluation of the importance of what is at stake with each item.
The data of the VOX surveys are archived at FORS and are available via our portal FORSbase. Available VOX surveys start with the vote of 14 June 1981 and end with the vote of 5 June 2016. Because the VOX have not yet been systematically assessed, FORS disclaims any liability for errors that could be present in this material.
The VOTO project analyses, after each federal popular vote, the reasons why Swiss voters participated, and explains their decisions. In order to ensure continuity, the essential questions asked in the VOX survey were included in the VOTO surveys. Since the vote of September 25, 2016, the publications presenting the main results of the analyses are freely accessible on the project site. The data are available in FORSbase.
Standardized VoxIt surveys
The Voxlt data combine information from several sources into one file. First, the data integrate and harmonise the most significant variables in the post-vote surveys (VOX). A second type of variable includes specific characteristics such as the date of the vote, the results of each item, participation rates, slogans of the federal government and the principal political parties. Finally, the standardized surveys include a third type of variable, created specifically to synthesize certain data and/or to allow comparisons from across the whole range of the available surveys.
These surveys cover various themes, such as economics, education, mobility, and health, and aim for understanding the evolution of society in its entirety.
With the goal of promoting the use of public statistical data, the FORS data service: