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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
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ALLBUS 1984 (ZA No. 1340)


Data Collection Period

  • March 1984 to June 1984

Primary Investigators:

  • Walter Müller, University of Mannheim;
  • Franz Urban Pappi, University of Kiel;
  • Erwin K. Scheuch, University of Cologne;
  • Rolf Ziegler, University of Munich;
  • ZUMA, Mannheim

Data Collector:

  • GETAS, Bremen


Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics in 1984 are:

  1. Social inequality and the welfare state
  2. Attitudes towards marriage, family, and partnership
  3. Attitudes towards and contacts with foreign guest-workers (Gastarbeiter)
  4. Perception of environmental pollution
  5. Questions on politics and confidence in public institutions
  6. ALLBUS-Demography
  7. Data on the interview (paradata)
  8. Added value


  1. Social inequality and the welfare state: assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany; assessment of present and future personal economic situation; self-assessment of social class; attitude towards the economic system in the FRG and evaluation of state provision; satisfaction with attainment of personal goals in life; desired social status for children; assessment of access to education; most important criteria for upward social mobility; privileged and underprivileged social groups in the FRG; views on social differences in the FRG; estimation of personal social security in old age; attitudes towards increased social security provided by the state; attitude towards a cut in social benefits.
  2. Attitudes towards marriage, family, and partnership: family as prerequisite for happiness; marriage in case of steady partnership; estimation of children's future social status.
  3. Attitudes towards and contacts with foreign guest-workers (Gastarbeiter): scale of attitudes towards foreigners; contacts with foreign guest-workers within the family, at work, in the neighborhood, or among friends.
  4. Perception of environmental pollution: estimation of personal and overall hazard through lead content of petrol, industrial sewage, industrial fumes, nuclear power plants, traffic noise, and exhaust fumes.
  5. Questions on politics and confidence in public institutions: political interest; postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); evaluation of public spending on defense as well as cuts in social benefits, and estimation of the present federal government's position; confidence in public institutions and organizations: public health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament (Bundestag), city or municipal administration, armed forces, churches, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, trade unions, police, employment offices, retirement insurance, employers' association; party-sympathy-scales for the CDU, SPD, CSU, FDP, The Greens (Die Grünen), NPD, and DKP; electoral participation; recall of past vote.
  6. ALLBUS-Demography:
    • Details about the respondent: gender; month and year of birth, age; place of residence (federal state, size of municipality, Boustedt-type of municipality, administrative district); religious denomination, frequency of church attendance; voting intention (Sonntagsfrage); currently at school or university, school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current occupation, length of employment, industrial sector, supervisory functions, working hours per week, size of workplace; date of termination of full- or part-time employment; details about former occupation; details about first occupation; length of unemployment; principal source of livelihood; respondent's income; marital status; marital biography.
    • Details about respondent's current spouse: school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current and former occupation respectively; length of unemployment; date of termination of full- or part-time employment; religious denomination.
    • Details about respondent's former spouse: school education, vocational training; details about current and former occupation respectively; religious denomination.
    • Details about respondent's parents: school education and vocational training of father and mother; father's occupation.
    • Description of household: number of children; type of dwelling, telephone.
    • Details about household members: family relation to respondent; gender; age; marital status; income.
    • Respondent's current memberships (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - DGB (German Confederation of Trade Unions), Deutsche Angestelltengewerkschaft - DAG (German Salaried Employees' Trade Union), Deutscher Beamtenbund - DBB (German Civil Service Federation), Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers Association), trade association, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie - BDI (Federation of German Industries), other occupational association; sports club, religious/church organization, political party, citizens' initiative, other club or association).
  7. Data on the interview (paradata): presence of other people during the interview and their relationship to the respondent; interference of other people in the course of the interview; willingness of respondent to cooperate; evaluation of respondent's reliability; identification of interviewer; gender of interviewer; length of interview; date of interview.
  8. Added value: International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1968); occupational prestige (according to Treiman).

Total Population and Sample

  • Universe sampled: Federal Republic of Germany (including West Berlin)
  • Household sample: Multi-stage random sample (ADM-Mastersample) of private households addressing all individuals with German citizenship who were at least 18 years of age by the day of the interview.

Method of Data Collection:

  • Personal interview with standardized questionnaire (PAPI - Paper and Pencil Interviewing)

Primary Sampling Units / Sample-Points:

  • 630 electoral districts (3 sample nets of 210 electoral districts each taken from the ADM-Mastersample)

Response Rate:

  • 69.9 %

Data Set:

Number of Respondents: 3,004
Number of Variables: 402


  • Porst, Rolf, Peter Prüfer, Michael Wiedenbeck and Klaus Zeifang 1985:
    Methodenbericht zum "ALLBUS 1984". ZUMA Arbeitsbericht 85/03.
  • Terwey, Michael 2013:
    Oversamples, Units of Analysis, and the Topic of Data Transformation, in: Michael Terwey and Horst Baumann: Variable Report ALLBUS / German General Social Survey Cumulation 1980-2010. Study-No. 4576. Cologne: GESIS, GESIS - Variable Reports; No. 2013/2: x – xvii.

The known literature using ALLBUS-Data is documented in the ALLBUS-Bibliography. This bibliography can be searched online at the GESIS web presence.

Further Notes:

  • Generally, it is recommended to use the cumulated data file 1980-86 (ZA No. 1335) for analyses of ALLBUS 1984. This cumulated data file contains virtually all of the data from 1984. In addition, the data has been updated in numerous details for the cumulation and has been augmented by new, derived variables.
  • In the Supplementary Study 1984 (Test Retest Study), some respondents were interviewed several times with a subset of variables from ALLBUS 1984 (Panel Study). Main topics of the survey: assessment of the economic situation; attitude towards social inequality, towards the welfare state, and towards the family; political attitudes; attitudes towards and contacts with foreign workers; demographic information. This survey is archived under ZA No. 1601.
  • A second version of this data set (157 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 1984 (ZA No. 3708).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations can be found in the GESIS Data Catalogue.