University of Gothenburg
Respondent fyller i en SOM-undersökning
Photo: Ellika Henrikson

About the SOM surveys

The SOM surveys have been conducted annually since 1986 with the main purpose of following Swedish public opinion over time. Results from the SOM surveys aim to represent the views, opinions and habits of the adult Swedish population.

Survey method

The SOM surveys are conducted by means of postal questionnaires sent to a large number of people between 16 and 90 years old living all over Sweden. These questionnaires has since 1986 been sent out in September each year.

The questionnaire length vary between 8-16 pages containing questions regarding attitudes, habits, news consumption, trust in government and institutions, politics and life in Sweden in general. Most people choose to fill out the physical questionnaires but since 2012 the SOM surveys can also be answered online, using personal logins included in the postal reminders.

Since a great deal of the collected data aim to be comparable over time, many survey questions need to stay exactly the same for several years. Yet, the surrounding society is constantly changing, meaning that the SOM Institute regularly needs review the survey questions and improve the research methodology.

Randomly selected representative samples

The respondents are randomly selected from the Swedish tax agency register of all people residing in the country between the ages of 16-90. The random selection is crucial for the validity of the study and the representativity of the results. For this reason, it is vital that only the individuals that are chosen take part in the survey, and that they are given a proper chance to reply.

The size of the samples have grown over time. In recent years the SOM surveys have been sent out to more than 30 000 people in total.

Have you been randomly selected and asked to participate in a SOM survey?

Consider if you are able to reply to the survey questions in Swedish. If you are not, we would very much appreciate if you could let us know that you are not able to take part. Send us an e-mail at

The different SOM surveys

Each year we conduct several parallel SOM surveys. Our oldest and most notable SOM survey is the national SOM survey, which aims to describe all of Sweden. It is conducted in several editions allowing us to collect data focusing on many different areas and sciences. Since 2021 the national SOM survey has included seven different editions each going out to a sample of 3750 people.

Graphic of the three different surveys from the year 2023
The 2023 SOM surveys

The national SOM survey is mainly financed by means of collaboration. Researchers from all across the country, as well as public organizations and Swedish authorities, collaborate with research questions in addition to our own. This serves to optimize the data collection process without burdening the Swedish population with many different surveys.

Apart from the national SOM survey, we conduct a regional SOM survey in western Sweden (each year since 1991) as well as several local and specific SOM surveys. Our Swedish language webpage has a complete description of our different SOM surveys.


Additional resources

For more information about the look and feel of our SOM surveys, check out our questionnaires and code books (only in Swedish).

The SOM-surveys generate huge amounts of data, reports, analyses and other publications each year. Most of which is in Swedish language as they cover a Swedish context. Find out below what is available in English.