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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS 2012 (Study-No. 4614, German version; Study-No. 4616, English version)

Data Set
German / English

Questionnaire (PDF)
German / Englisch

Methodological Report
(PDF - German only)

Variable Report
(PDF - German only)

Data Collection Period:

  •  April 2012 to September 2012

Data Collector:

  • TNS Infratest, Munich

Data Set:

  • 3480 respondents
  • German data set: 752 variables
  • English data set (incl. ZA4618): 795 variables

Scientific Council:

  • Andreas Diekmann, ETH Zurich;
  • Detlef Fetchenhauer, University of Cologne;
  • Steffen Kühnel, University of Göttingen;
  • Stefan Liebig, University of Bielefeld, chair;
  • Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, University of Mannheim;
  • Heike Trappe, University of Rostock;
  • Michael Wagner, University of Cologne



Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics in 2012 are:

  1. Importance of life aspects
  2. Personal and collective values
  3. Attitudes towards abortion
  4. Political attitudes
  5. Religion and world view
  6. Ethnocentrism and minorities
  7. Other topics
  8. ALLBUS-Demography
  9. Data on the interview (paradata)
  10. Health (ISSP)
  11. Family and changing gender roles IV (ISSP)
  12. Added value



1.) Importance of life aspects: family and children, occupation and work, free time and recreation, friends and acquaintances, kinship, religion and church, politics and public life, neighborhood, volunteer work.

2.) Personal and collective values: basic personal goals (law and order, standard of living, power and influence, fantasy and creativity, security, help marginalized social groups, ability to assert oneself, industry and ambition, tolerance, political engagement, hedonism, faith in God, occupational achievement, self-realization); opinion on various deviant acts with reference to their reprehensibility.

3.) Attitudes towards abortion: abortion because of health risks for mother or child; abortion because married woman does not want more children; abortion after rape, due to financial situation or by single women not wanting to marry; permitting abortion without restriction; until when to allow an abortion if baby will be severely handicapped, if mother does not want more children, if there is a serious health risk for the mother, if there is not enough money, if the mother does not want to raise the child alone, if the father is against an abortion, if children are not part of lifeplan, if the mother does not give a specific reason.

4.) Political attitudes: confidence in public institutions and organizations (public health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament (Bundestag), churches, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, the police, political parties); 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.

5.) Religion and world view: attitudes towards the role of churches in society (promote faith, take political positions, do social welfare work, promote interfaith understanding); trust in churches; belief in God; the meaning of life; self-assessment of religiousness and spirituality; frequency of meditation; attitude towards religiousness; religious indifference; thinking about metaphysical questions; frequency of talking about religion; talking about religion with whom; experience with and attitude towards different forms of belief, parabelief and superstition; religious doctrines; religious tolerance; participation in religious life; religion vs. science; attitudes towards the role of religion in society and the world; frequency of praying; attitude towards funeral by church and marriage in church; denominational membership of parents; importance of religion in parental home.

6.) Ethnocentrism and minorities: scale of attitudes towards foreigners; contacts with foreigners living in Germany within the family, at work, in the neighborhood, or among friends; support for the teaching of Islam in public schools; support for the building of mosques in Germany; attitude towards person with different faiths marrying into the family; items on anti-Semitism; attitudes towards Islam in Germany.

7.) Other topics: Self-assessment of social class; opinion on various deviant acts with reference to their reprehensibility; social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia); authoritarianism; interpersonal trust; attitudes towards the role of women in the family; assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany; assessment of present and future personal economic situation.

8.) ALLBUS-Demography: Details about the respondent: attractiveness, gender, month and year of birth, age, geographical origin and citizenships, number of citizenships and original citizenship, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current and former occupation, affiliation to public service, working hours per week, supervisory functions, fear of losing work, length of unemployment, status of non-employment, date of termination of full- or part-time employment, overall health, marital status, co-habitation with steady partner, lived with parents when child, respondent's income, type of dwelling, self-description of place of residence, membership in a political party or trade union, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, frequency of attending other place of worship, voting intention (Sonntagsfrage), overall life satisfaction, place of residence (federal state, administrative district, size of municipality; BIK-type of region).
Details about respondent's current spouse: month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, status of non-employment.
Details about respondent's steady partner: month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, status of non-employment.
Details about respondent's parents: school education, vocational training, occupational position, religious affiliation.
Description of household: size of household, number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household), household income, type of dwelling.
Details about household members: family relation to respondent, gender, month and year of birth, age, marital status, baptism, religious affiliation.
Details about children not living in the household: number of children not living in the household, gender, year of birth, age, baptism, religious affiliation.

8.) Data on the interview (paradata): date of interview; beginning and end of interview; length 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; respondent followed interview on screen; private Internet use; participation in other surveys over the past year; willingness to participate in follow-up survey; willingness to provide e-mail address; participation in additional ISSP-survey; details about respondent's residential building and assessment of respondent's neighborhood; reachability of respondent; willingness to participate; number of attempts to contact the respondent; release-id.
Data on the interviewer: gender, age, school education, experience as interviewer, identification of interviewer.

9.) Health (ISSP): assessment of personal happiness; trust in the educational system and health care; assessment of health care system; attitude towards funding of different health care options; attitude towards health care benefits for non-citizens or people with at-risk lifestyles; assessment of number of people without access to health care; reasons why people get sick; priorities in allocation of heart surgery; attitude to alternative medicine; trust in medical doctors; assessment of own health in the past 4 weeks; medical treatment in the past year; reasons for foregoing treatment during last year; probability of getting best therapy available and of choosing doctor freely; satisfaction with health care system and treatments received; consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, fruit and vegetables; frequency of exercising; overall health; height and weight; type of health insurance; satisfaction with health insurance; health problems put strain on private life; length of school education; supervisory functions at work; number of employees supervised; work situation; work situation of partner or spouse; self-classification on a top-bottom-scale; participation in last federal elections, recall of past vote, self-assessment of attractiveness.

10.) Family and changing gender roles IV (ISSP): attitude towards employment of mothers and married women; role distribution of man and woman in occupation and household; preferred extent of employment for women during different stages of child raising; attitudes towards marriage, single-parenting, cohabitation before marriage, and divorce; attitude towards homosexual partners as parents; ideal number of children; views on the significance of children in life; views on paid paternal leave; compatibility of family and work; who takes care of children and old people; management of income in marriage or partnership; allocation of duties and responsibilities in the household and in family matters; principal earner; stress caused by family, work, household duties; assessment of personal happiness; satisfaction with employment situation and family life; overall health; employment of mother during childhood of respondent; respondent, spouse or partner working in various phases of child raising; who takes parenting decisions; length of relationship; length of school education; supervisory functions at work; number of employees supervised; work situation; work situation of partner or spouse; self-classification on a top-bottom-scale; participation in last federal elections, recall of past vote.

11.) Added value: Inglehart-Index; Body-Mass-Index; occupational metaclassification (according to Terwey); classification of households (according to Porst and Funk); family typology; migration between East and West Germany; transformation weight for analyses at househehold-level; East-West-weight.
Additionally available in ZA4618 or in the English language dataset ALLBUS/GGSS 2012 (ZA4616): International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) 1988 and 2008; Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS, according to Ganzeboom), International Socio-economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI, according to Ganzeboom).


Total Population and Sample:

  • Universe sampled: Federal Republic of Germany
  • Person sample: Two stage disproportionate random sample in western Germany (incl. West Berlin) and eastern Germany (incl. East Berlin) from all persons (German and non-German) who resided in private households and were born before 1 January 1994. 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)
  • two additional self-completion questionnaires (CASI – Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing) for ISSP (split questionnaire design)


 Primary Sampling Units / Sample-Points:



Sample-Points (in 103 municipalities)



Sample-Points (in 45 municipalities)


Response Rate:









(weighted 37.6%)



  • Bens, Arno 2006:
    Zur Auswertung haushaltsbezogener Merkmale mit dem ALLBUS 2004, in: ZA-Information 59: 143 - 156.
  • Blohm, Michael 2006:
    Datenqualität durch Stichprobenverfahren bei der Allgemeinen Bevölkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften - ALLBUS, in: Frank Faulbaum und Christof Wolf (eds.), Stichprobenqualität in Bevölkerungsumfragen, Bonn: Informationszentrum Sozialwissenschaften 2006: 37 - 54.
  • Koch, Achim and Martina Wasmer 2004:
    Der ALLBUS als Instrument zur Untersuchung sozialen Wandels: Eine Zwischenbilanz nach 20 Jahren, in: Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Martina Wasmer and Achim Koch (ed.), Sozialer und politischer Wandel in Deutschland. Analysen mit ALLBUS-Daten aus zwei Jahrzehnten, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften: 13 - 42.
  • 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.
  • Terwey, Michael 2012:
    Wachsender religiöser Pluralismus in der Gegenwart? Seriöse Umfrageergebnisse als Prüfstand, in: Detlef Pollack, Ingrid Tucci und Hans-Georg Ziebertz (eds.), Religiöser Pluralismus im Fokus quantitativer Religionsforschung, Wiesbaden: Springer: 107 - 134.

The known literature using ALLBUS-Data is documented in the ALLBUS-Bibliography. This bibliography can be searched online on the ALLBUS microsite.


Further Notes:

  • Respondents from the area of the new federal states are oversampled.
  • Due to a delay in processing, occupational classifications and prestige scores for ALLBUS 2012 could not be included in the regular data set (Study-No. 4614). These variables were published in a supplementary data set (Study-No. 4618) that can be merged with the regular data set. For the English data set, the data from ZA4618 could be included into the regular scientific use file. Thus, there is no need to merge the occupational data.
  • A second version of this data set with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 2012 (Study-No. 4615, German version (412 variables); ZA4617: English version inclunding ZA4618 (441 variables)).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations is supplied as part of the data set.