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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS 2018 (Study-No. ZA5270, German version; Study-No. 5272, English version)

Data Set:
German / English

Questionnaire (PDF):
German / English

Variable Report:
(only available in German)

Data Collection Period:

  • April 2018 to September 2018

Data Collection:

  • Kantar Public, Munich

Data Set:

  • 3477 respondents
  • 708 variables

Study Coordination Group ALLBUS:

  • Bettina Westle, University of Marburg (speaker)

  • Andreas Diekmann, ETH Zurich;

  • Andreas Hadjar, University of Luxemburg;

  • Karin Kurz, University of Göttingen;

  • Ulrich Rosar, University of Düsseldorf;

  • Ulrich Wagner, University of Marburg;


Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The main topics in 2018 are:

Assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany, assessment of present and future personal economic situation.

Frequency and overall time of watching television; frequency of watching news programs on public and private channels respectively; frequency of reading a daily newspaper per week; frequency of using the Internet for political information.

Political attitudes: Party inclination, political interest, self-placement on left-right continuum, placement of political parties on a left-right-continuum likelihood of voting for different political parties, postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); attitudes towards refugees, support for demanding more adaptation of immigrants to German customs and practices, for less government interference in the economy, for stricter environmental protection measures, for a ban on same-sex marriages, for the preferential treatment of women with regard to job applications and promotions, for harsher punishment of criminals, for making social security government's top priority, for a redistribution of income in favor of the common people; for the view that immigrants are good for the economy, for access to abortion without legal limitations, for more global free trade, for stopping the influx of refugees;

Political participation: personal participation or willingness to participate in selected forms of protest, norms for political participation (citizens should voice their political discontent, participation in the vote is a civic duty, acceptability of political violence, plebiscites are a necessary part of democracy, everybody should keep up with politics);

Political self-efficacy:  assessment of own capability and that of the majority of people with regard to working in a political group, too much complexity in politics, perception of politicians’ attitude toward the people, personal and average citizen's level of political knowledge;

Confidence in public institutions and organizations: public health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament (Bundestag), city or municipal administration, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, the police, political parties, European Commission, European Parliament;

Populism scale: members of parliament must only be bound to the will of the people, politicians talk too much and do too little, ordinary citizens would make better representatives than professional politicians, political compromise is a betrayal of principles, the people should make the important political decisions, the people agree on what needs to happen politically, politicians only care about the rich and powerful;

Attitudes towards democracy: support for the idea of democracy, political support (satisfaction with democracy in Germany, satisfaction with the performance of the federal government), necessity and role of the political opposition, freedom of expression, necessity and role of political parties, all democratic parties should have the chance of getting into government, social conflicts and the common good, media influence on the formation of political opinion, satisfaction with life in the Federal Republic;

Political knowledge quiz: party affiliation of various politicians, name of the President of the European Commission, who elects the Chancellor of Germany, meaning of the term ‘secrecy of the ballot’, who has ‘Richtlinienkompetenz’ (the power to set policy guidelines), which international organization deals with culture and science, country without permanent seat on the UN Security Council, voting rights of EU citizens in Germany, intended purpose of the solidarity surcharge, who elects the President of the European Commission, number of EU member states, largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag (the federal parliament), purpose of the ‘Dublin Regulation’.

Statements on the legitimacy of social inequality (inequality of income as incentive to achieve, acceptability of differences in status, justness of social differences, assessment of access to education), self-assessment of social class, fair share in standard of living, frequency of discussing politics with friends, acquaintances, strangers, and family; membership status of respondent in various clubs and organizations; frequency of spending time with colleagues from work, club members or with friends, social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia), interpersonal trust, identification with own community, the Federal Republic of Germany and Europe.

Pride in being a German, in German institutions and in various German achievements; patriotism should be expressed more confidently, dictatorship can be the better form of government, national socialism had its good sides, Hitler would be considered differently without the Holocaust, Germany is dangerously swamped by foreigners, foreigners should marry among themselves, Jews have too much influence, Jews do not fit in with our society, attacks on asylum seekers' homes are understandable.

Unification was better for East / West, strangeness of citizens in the other part of Germany, attitudes towards the Stasi-past of individuals, evaluation of socialism as an idea.

Family as a prerequisite for happiness; marriage in case of steady partnership, overall health, type of dwelling, self-description of place of residence, unemployment in respondent’s social environment.

Details about the respondent: month and year of birth, age, gender, citizenship (nationality), number of citizenships, place of residence (federal state, size of municipality, BIK-type of region), geographical origin, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current or former occupation, affiliation to public service, working hours per week (primary and secondary job), supervisory functions, fear of unemployment, length of unemployment, status of non-employment, date of termination of full-time employment, marital status, respondent's income, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, current or former membership in a trade union, membership in a political party;

Details about respondent's current spouse: month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, affiliation to public service, fear of unemployment, 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, affiliation to public service, fear of unemployment, status of non-employment, common household with respondent;

Details about respondent's parents: country of origin, cohabitation with respondent as adolescent, school education of mother and father, vocational training of mother and father, details about both parents' occupation;

Description of household: size of household, household income, number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household);

Details about household members: family relation to respondent, gender, month and year of birth, age, marital status;

Details about children not living in the household: number of children not living in the household, gender, year of birth, age.

Date of interview, beginning and end of interview, length of interview, perceived attractiveness of respondent, perceived social class of household, presence of other persons during the interview, interference of other persons in the course of the interview, willingness to cooperate and reliability of information from respondent, respondent followed interview on screen, details about respondent's residential building and its neighborhood, reachability of respondent, number of attempts to contact the respondent, participation in ISSP surveys, recruiting questions for GESIS panel, ID of sample point;

Details about the interviewer: identification number, gender, age, school education, length of experience as an interviewer.

Acquaintance with professionals in various fields, attitude towards income disparities and welfare benefits, responsibility for health care and care for old people, participation in activities of clubs, political parties, charities and religious organizations; perceived influence on governmental decisions, person to ask for support in different situations, feeling of loneliness in the last four weeks, interpersonal trust, trust in German courts and private businesses, opinion on obligation to help others, perceived pressure from family and friends, frequency of conflicts with partner or family, frequency of social contacts (in general, with parents, siblings, children, family, friends), proportion of contacts via text messages/internet, overall health, mental health, life satisfaction, assumption of reciprocity.

Assessment of personal happiness, satisfaction with relationship to family members, attitude towards marital infidelity, homosexuality and abortion; assessment of the distribution of roles in a marriage; confidence in institutions such as the Bundestag (federal parliament), commerce, industry, churches, courts, and schools; influence of church leaders on voters, evaluation of science, opinion on religion as source of conflicts, opinion on the power of churches and religious organizations, social acceptance of other religions, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly for religious fanatics, doubt or strong belief in God, development of personal belief in God, belief in a life after death, heaven, hell, miracles, supernatural powers of ancestors; fatalism, the meaning of life, church and its rites unnecessary for contact with God, evaluation of gender equality in own religion, religious orientation of father and mother, personal religious orientation and frequency of church attendance in youth, frequency of church attendance of parents, frequency of prayer and participation in religious activities, frequency of reading in a sacred text, religious artifact in home, frequency of visiting holy places, self-assessment of religiousness, self-description as religious or spiritual person, religion as guide and support in life, role of religion in society, attitude towards members of various religious groups, renewal of religious ties at a turning point in life, superstitious beliefs, interpersonal trust, religion should not determine laws.

Details about the respondent (years of education in school and university, participation in workforce, supervisory function and number of employees supervised, type of employer, employment status), details about spouse or partner (participation in workforce, working hours per week, supervisory function, employment status); self-assessment of social class (top-bottom-scale), ethnic self-identification, number of languages spoken, adequacy of household income, overall health.

Inglehart-Index, 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), European Socio-Economic Groups (ESeG), International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 1997 and 2011, per capita income, equivalised income (OECD-modified scale), classification of private households (according to Porst and Funk), family typology, transformation weight for analyses on household level; east-west design weight.

Total population and Sample:

  • Geographic Coverage: Federal Republic of  Germany
  • Person sample:
    • Universe Sampled: All persons (German and non-German) who resided in private households and were born before 1 January 2000.
    • Selection Method: Two stage disproportionate random sample in western Germany (incl. West Berlin) and eastern Germany (incl. East Berlin). 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, oral 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:

West: 110 Sample Points (in 102 municipalities) 
East: 51 Sample Points (in 46 municipalities)  
Total: 161 Sample points (in 148 municipalities)

Response Rate:


East: 31,7%
Total: 32,4%

Further Notes:

  • Respondents from the area of the new federal states are oversampled.
  • A second version of this data set (514 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 2018 (Study-No. 5271, German version; Study-No. 5273, English version).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations is supplied as part of the data set.