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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS 2004 (Study-No. 3762, German version; Study-No. 3764, English version)

Data Set
German / English

Questionnaire (PDF)
German / Englisch

Methodological Report
(PDF - German only)

Variable Report
(PDF - German only)

Data Collection Period:

  •  March 2004 to July 2004

Data Collector:

  • TNS Infratest Sozialforschung, Munich

Data Set:

  • 2946 respondents
  • 899 variables

Scientific Council:

  • Hans-Jürgen Andreß, University of Cologne, chair;
  • Andreas Diekmann, ETH Zurich;
  • Hubert Feger, Free University of Berlin;
  • Johannes Huinink, University of Bremen;
  • Heiner Meulemann, University of Cologne;
  • Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, University of Duisburg;
  • Heike Solga, University of Göttingen



Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics in 2004 are:

  1. Free time activities and media use
  2. Social inequality and the welfare state
  3. Political attitudes
  4. Technical progress and computers (Digital Divide)
  5. Health
  6. Other topics
  7. ALLBUS-Demography
  8. Data on the interview (paradata)
  9. National Identity (ISSP)
  10. Citizenship (ISSP)
  11. Added value


  1. Free time activities and media use: reading books; reading magazines; listening to records, CD's, cassettes; watching videos, DVDs; using the computer; surfing the Internet; private further education; relaxing, being lazy; walking or hiking; yoga, meditation; going to restaurants; visiting friends; visiting relatives; playing games; taking short trips; participating in politics; voluntary activities or honorary offices; attending church or religious events; indulging in art and music; do it yourself; active sport; attending sports events; going to the cinema, to pop concerts, jazz or dance events; classic culture (i.e. opera, classical concerts, theater, exhibitions); mobile phone use; number of television sets in the household; frequency and overall time of watching television; taste in television programs: shows or quiz programs, sports, movies, news broadcasts, political magazines, art and culture programs, traditional German "Heimat"-films, detective films, action films, sitcom or entertainment series; frequency of reading a daily newspaper per week.
  2. Social inequality and the welfare state: self-assessment of social class; fair share in standard of living; attitudes towards the welfare state and social inequality; realization of personal ideas of success; assessment of access to education; perceived prerequisites for success in society; attitudes towards social differences and conditions for success; opinions on personal social security; stance on extension or reduction in social services.
  3. Political attitudes: political interest; postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); self-placement on a left-right continuum.
  4. Technical progress and computers (Digital Divide): attitudes towards modern technology, computers, and the Internet; time and place of first computer use; number of computers in the household; purpose of computer use; time spent using the computer; special computer skills; reasons for not using computers; Internet use; time and place of first Internet use; reasons for not using the Internet; Internet access at home; purpose of Internet use; time spent using the Internet; number of friends using the Internet; frequency of computer use at the workplace; Internet access at the workplace; Internet use at the workplace for job and for private purposes.
  5. Health: overall health; physical and psychological shape during the last four weeks; chronic illnesses; been sick in the last four weeks; reason for and frequency of seeing a doctor in the last three months; time spent in hospital during the last 12 months; officially recognized disability level; smoking habits; height and weight; consumption of various foodstuffs and beverages; perceived influences on personal health and speed of recovery from illness; affectedness by unhealthy working conditions; mobbing; number of times respondent was on sick leave during the last 12 months.
  6. Other topics: assessment of the present and future economic situation in Germany; assessment of present and future personal economic situation; social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia); attitudes towards the role of women in the family; fear of unemployment or loss of own business.
  7. ALLBUS-Demography:
    • Details about the respondent: gender, month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, affiliation to public service, supervisory functions, working hours per week, length of unemployment, additional job to main occupation, status of non-employment, details about former occupation, date of termination of full- or part-time employment, details about first occupation, marital status, citizenship (nationality); geographical origin and personal mobility, length of residence, respondent's income; religious denomination, frequency of church attendance; membership in a political party or trade union; voting intention (Sonntagsfrage), recall of vote in last federal election (as part of ISSP), place of residence (federal state, administrative district, size of municipality, BIK-type of region).
    • Details about respondent's current spouse: age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, status of non-employment.
    • Details about respondent's steady partner: common household, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, status of non-employment.
    • Details about respondent's parents: school education, vocational training, details about parents' occupation.
    • Description of household: size of household, number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household), household income, types of income in household, principal source of income, type of dwelling, size of dwelling place, impact of noise and air pollution on living conditions, cat or dog in the household.
    • Details about household members: relation to respondent, gender, age, marital status; type of school currently attended by children, children's school education, children's university degree.
    • Details about children not living in the household: gender, age, type of school currently attended, school education, university degree.
  8. Data on the interview (paradata): length of interview; date of interview; presence of other persons during interview (presence of spouse, partner, children, members of the family, other persons); interference of other persons in the course of the interview; willingness of respondent to cooperate; reliability of information from respondent; reachability and willingness to participate; details about respondent's residential building and its neighborhood; willingness to participate in panel; participation in additional ISSP-survey.
    Data on the interviewer: gender, age, school education, identification of interviewer, experience as interviewer.
  9. National Identity (ISSP): identification with own place of residence, the federal state, Germany and Europe; sources of personal identity; criteria for being German; attitudes toward Germany; national pride; reasons for being proud of Germany; relative importance of national interest and international cooperation; assessment of international organizations; Internet as source of information; assimilation or multicultural society; pros and cons of migration; national roots; German citizenship and civil rights for migrants.
    Self-assessment of character traits (abridged Big Five Inventory measuring extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness to experience); self-classification on a top-bottom-scale; self-description of place of residence; electoral participation; recall of vote in last federal election.
  10. Citizenship (ISSP): qualities of a good citizen; freedom of assembly for religious fanatics, revolutionaries and ethnocentrists; social and political participation; memberships; relative importance of various civil rights; political alienation; level of political awareness; subjective assessment of political influence (political efficacy); political interest; interpersonal trust and trust in politicians; political work in everyday life; national sovereignty and international organizations; political parties and participation of citizens in political life; assessment of the electoral process; commitment to serve the people, ability to self-reform, and corruption in public service; working of democracy at the moment, 10 years ago, in 10 years; attitude towards the limitation of civil rights.
    Self-assessment of character traits (abridged Big Five Inventory measuring extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness to experience); self-classification on a top-bottom-scale; self-description of place of residence; electoral participation; recall of vote in last federal election.
  11. Added value:Inglehart-index; family typology, classification of households (according to Porst and Funk); International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1968, 1988); occupational prestige (according to Treiman); SIOPS (according to Ganzeboom); ISEI (according to Ganzeboom); magnitude prestige (according to Wegener); occupational classification (according to Terwey); class position (according to Goldthorpe); Body Mass Index; weights.

Total Population and Sample:

  • Universe sampled: Federal Republic of Germany
  • Sample of individuals: Two stage disproportionate random sample in western Germany (incl. West Berlin) and eastern Germany (incl. East Berlin) of all persons (German and non-German) who resided in private households and were born before 1 January 1986. In the first sample stage municipalities (Gemeinden) in western Germany and municipalities in eastern Germany were selected with a probability proportional to their number of adult residents; in the second sample stage individual persons were selected at random from the municipal registers of residents.
    Targeted individuals who did not have adequate knowledge of German to conduct the interview were treated as systematic unit non-responses.

Method of Data Collection:

  • Personal interview with standardized questionnaire (CAPI - Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)
  • additional self-completion questionnaire (drop off) for ISSP (two split-versions).

Primary Sampling Units / Sample-Points:

West:111Sample-Points (in 104 municipalities)
East:51Sample-Points (in 46 municipalities)

Response Rate:



  • Bens, Arno 2006:
    Zur Auswertung haushaltsbezogener Merkmale mit dem ALLBUS 2004, in: ZA-Information 59: 143 - 156.
  • Haarmann, Alexander, Evi Scholz, Martina Wasmer and Michael Blohm 2006:
    Konzeption und Durchführung der "Allgemeinen Bevölkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften" (ALLBUS) 2004. ZUMA Methodenbericht 06/06.
  • Terwey, Michael 2000:
    ALLBUS: A German General Social Survey, in: Schmollers Jahrbuch 120: 151 - 158.
  • 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:

  • Respondents from the area of the new federal states are oversampled.
  • A second version of this data set (457 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 2004 (Study-No. 3763).
  • GESIS-ZA also provides an English language version of ALLBUS 2004 (ALLBUS/GGSS 2004, Study-No. 3764; ALLBUS/GGSScompact 2004, Study-No. 3765 (457 variables)).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations can be found in the GESIS Data Catalogue.