Bank of Spain Survey of Household Finances

The Survey of Household Finances, sponsored by Spain's central bank, collects data on the investment and financial decisions of Spanish households. It is the sole source of disaggregated data of its kind in Spain and forms an important source of data for research and public policy. Based in part on the success of this project, all European Union member states are now mandated by the European Central Bank to conduct a similar nationwide survey in their home countries.

The survey, known by its Spanish name and acronym, la Encuesta Financiera de las Familias (EFF), consists of a computer-assisted personal interview of more than 6,000 households. The questionnaire collects information on income, assets, debts, wealth, and employment from a nationally representative sample throughout peninsular Spain and the island provinces.  The sample is nationally representative, is comprised of a panel sample as well as “refreshment”sample and includes an oversampling of wealthy households. The panel, or longitudinal, portion of the sample permits analysis of changes in wealth and financial behavior over time, while the addition of new households in each round of the survey allows a rebalancing of the sample to ensure nationally representativeness .

NORC is carrying out the current round of this triennial survey with the assistance of a Spanish data collection subcontractor. Employing a local subcontractor requires careful collaboration to ensure correct functioning of the fused questionnaire and sampling systems but increases respondent cooperation and confidence through the use of culturally and linguistically compatible interviewers for this sensitive questionnaire. The current 2017 wave is NORC's fourth consecutive round conducting the survey, which has taken place every three years since 2002.

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