Tag Archives: European Social Survey

Little function to download ESS data on the go


Yes, there is a recently published brand new R package ess for downloading European social survey data, I tried it, although at this point it is quite limited.
What are the good sides of ess package?

  • it downloads data, sometimes several data at a time

What’s not so good?

  • when it downloads several rounds, you get a list of data instead of integrated dataset;
  • it can only download one country data at a time;
  • it tuned up for use in Stata, but not in R, for example, I couldn’t see most of the value labels.

So, I thought it would be useful to have a customizable function (instead of package) to do the same thing, but better. For example, you can keep labels to use, for example, with my label_book.


Don’t put more than one country or more than one round – it won’t work. For countries, use iso2c codes, or “all”. This function will expire when ESS updates its data versions, but it happens about twice a year, and can be fixed manually.


#1. Source the function
eval(parse(text =getURL("https://raw.githubusercontent.com/MaksimRudnev/LittleHelpers/master/download_ess/download_ess.R")))
#2. Enjoy it
ESS2 <- download_ess(round=2, country="all", "mymail@gmail.com") #Add your registered on ESS website mail here
ESS6.Russia <- download_ess(round=6, country="RU", "mymail@gmail.com")

Function itself

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