GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences: Go to homepage
Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS 1990 (ZA No. 1800)


Data Collection Period:

  • March 1990 to May 1990

Scientific Council:

  • Klaus Allerbeck, University of Frankfurt;
  • Karl Ulrich Mayer, Max Planck Institute for Educational Research, Berlin;
  • Walter Müller, University of Mannheim;
  • Karl Dieter Opp, University of Hamburg;
  • Franz Urban Pappi, University of Mannheim;
  • Erwin K. Scheuch, University of Cologne;
  • Rolf Ziegler, University of Munich

Data Collector:

  • INFAS, Bonn


Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics in 1990 are:

  1. Attitudes towards the government, government measures, the administration, and social conflicts
  2. Attitudes towards and contacts with foreign guest-workers (Gastarbeiter)
  3. Questions on AIDS (HIV)
  4. Deviant behavior and sanctions
  5. Other topics
  6. ALLBUS-Demography
  7. Data on the interview (paradata)
  8. Role of government II (ISSP 1990)
  9. Added value


  1. Attitudes towards the government, government measures, the administration, and social conflicts: opinion on the behavior of administration towards the citizen; opinion on minor offenses; attitude towards politicians; perceived conflicts of interest between selected groups in the Federal Republic; assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany; assessment of present and future personal economic situation; evaluation of social justice; attitude towards increased social services versus tax cuts, official regulations, and administration; attitude towards the unification of the two German states; attitude towards nuclear energy, towards the death penalty for terrorist acts of violence, and towards more public services under private ownership.
  2. 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; advantages and disadvantages of the presence of foreign guest-workers in the FRG; attitude towards immigrants; immigration restrictions for east Germans and for eastern European ethnic Germans moving to the Federal Republic, asylum seekers and labor from EC or non-EC countries; advantages and disadvantages from the influx of eastern European ethnic Germans and East Germans.
  3. Questions on AIDS (HIV): knowledge about AIDS; attitude towards higher health insurance fees for those infected with AIDS; attitude towards dismissal of infected employees and towards entry refusal for foreigners infected with AIDS; support of a central registration requirement; estimate of personal risk of infection; personal protective measures against infection; personal acquaintance with people infected with AIDS.
  4. Deviant behavior and sanctions: opinion on various deviant acts with reference to their reprehensibility and the degree to which they deserve prosecution (two split versions using different formulations); questions about the legality of deviant activities; readiness to report various offenses; assessment of probability of being caught committing various crimes; own victimization; respect of the law; lowering the crime rate through severer punishment; the most important purpose of sanctions; self-reported deviant behavior; probability of engaging in various deviant acts in the future.
  5. Other topics: importance of life aspects; interpersonal trust and trust in politicians, social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia); friends (ego-centered networks), including information on kinship, occupational position, party preference of and mutual familiarity between friends or acquaintances; attitudes towards abortion; political interest; postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); political participation; self-placement on a left-right continuum; self-assessment of social class; party preference; voting behavior.
  6. ALLBUS-Demography:
    • Details about the respondent: gender; month and year of birth, age; length of residence in the FRG; geographical origin; place of residence (federal state, administrative district, size of municipality, Boustedt-type of municipality); religious denomination, frequency of church attendance; voting intention (Sonntagsfrage); recall of past vote; school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current occupation, industrial sector, affiliation to public service, supervisory functions, working hours per week; date of termination of full- or part-time employment; length of unemployment; principal source of livelihood; details about former occupation; respondent's income; marital status; possession of driver's license.
    • Details about respondent's current spouse: age; school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current and former occupation respectively; date of termination of full- or part-time employment.
    • Details about respondent's former spouse: details about current occupation.
    • Details about respondent's steady partner: common household; month and year of birth, age; school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current and former occupation respectively.
    • Details about respondent's parents: school education and vocational training of father and mother; father's occupation.
    • Description of household: size of household; number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household); household income; type of dwelling, telephone.
    • Details about household members: family relation to respondent; gender; month and year of birth, age; marital status.
    • Respondent's current memberships: Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - DGB (German Confederation of Trade Unions), Deutsche Angestelltengewerkschaft - DAG (German Salaried Employees' Trade Union), Christlicher Gewerkschaftsbund - CGB (Christian Federation of Trade Unions), Union Leitender Angestellter - ULA (Association of Executive Staff), Deutscher Beamtenbund - DBB (German Civil Service Federation), Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers Association), trade association, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie - BDI (Federation of German Industries), association of a liberal profession, other occupational association; choral society, sports club, leisure activity club, local citizens or community club, other social association, association of German expellees or refugees, charitable association, religious/church organization, youth or student 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; intervention of other people in the course of the interview; length of interview; date of interview; gender of interviewer; age of interviewer; identification of interviewer.
  8. Role of government II (ISSP): attitude towards the observance of laws; attitude towards selected forms of protest against the government; attitude towards freedom of speech for revolutionaries and ethnocentrists; attitude towards police intervention in the private sphere to prevent crimes; attitude towards a miscarriage of justice; attitude on revolutionaries, ethnocentrists, and protesters; attitude towards tax fairness and towards income redistribution by the government; views of government intervention in the economy; attitude towards change in government spending for selected political tasks; priority for fighting inflation or creating more jobs; opinion on the power of trade unions, business and industry, and the government; attitude towards trade unions; desired degree of government intervention in selected areas of the economy; opinions on the responsibility of the government regarding various political tasks; equality of opportunity for both sexes in various areas; attitude towards improvement of the position of women by the government.
  9. Added value: Inglehart-Index; family typology, classification of private households (according to Porst and Funk); International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1968); occupational prestige (according to Treiman); magnitude prestige (according to Wegener); occupational metaclassification (according to Pappi and Terwey); class position (according to Goldthorpe); weights.

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)
  • additional self-completion questionnaire (drop off) for ISSP

Primary Sampling Units / Sample-Points:

  • 630 electoral districts (sampling procedure analogous to ADM but using Infas’s own base)

Response Rate:

  • 60.4 %

Data Set:

Number of Respondents: 3,051
Number of Variables: 563


  • Wasmer, Martina, Achim Koch and Michael Wiedenbeck 1991:
    Methodenbericht zur "Allgemeinen Bevölkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften" (ALLBUS) 1990. ZUMA Arbeitsbericht 91/13.
  • 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:

  • Some of the questions from ALLBUS 1990 were only used with half of the respondents ("split procedure"). Different sets of questions were used in the split versions to increase the total number of questions surveyed (compare V3, V4-V31 (split 1), V32-V69 (split 2), V136-V161 (split 1) and V162-V193 (split 2).
  • A second version of this data set (307 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 1990 (ZA No. 3714).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations can be found in the GESIS Data Catalogue.