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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS 2021 (Study-No. ZA5280)

Data Set:

Variable Report:

Data Collection Period:

  • June 2021 to August 2021

Data Collection:

  • Kantar Public, Munich

Data Set:

  • 5,342 respondents
  • 542 variables

Study Coordination Group ALLBUS:

  • Bettina Westle, University of Marburg (speaker)

  • Katrin Auspurg, LMU Munich

  • Christoph Bühler, University of Hannover

  • Andreas Hadjar, University of Luxemburg

  • Steffen Hillmert, University of Tübingen

  • 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 2021 are:

Frequency and average total time of watching tv, frequency of watching news programs on public and commercial tv, frequency of reading a daily newspaper per week, frequency of reading books / e-books; internet use: frequency and types of device, frequency of using social media for political information, trustworthiness of different news sources with regard to crime and public safety.

Self-assessment of social class, fair share in standard of living, assessment of access to education, attitudes towards social inequality and the welfare state.

Attitude towards the influx of various groups of immigrants, attitudes towards the foreigners living in Germany, contacts with foreigners, antisemitic stereotypes and prejudices, attitudes towards Islam (Islamophobia), perceived risks and chances with respect to refugees.

Attitudes towards working fathers and mothers, division of labor regarding house and family work, importance of educational goals.

Work orientations, attitudes towards legalizing abortion, materialism / postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions and influence on governmental decisions).

Pride in being a German, confidence in public institutions and organizations (public health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament (Bundestag), city or municipal administration, churches, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, the police, political parties, European Commission, European Parliament); identification with own community, the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU, preference for lower taxes or more social spending, stance on extension or reduction in social services, perceived strength of conflicts between social groups, political interest, self-placement on left-right continuum, satisfaction with democracy in Germany, voting intention (Sonntagsfrage).

Assessment of adequacy of court judgments, development of crime rate, moral assessment of deviant acts, crime-specific desire for sanctions (punitivity), desire to prohibit specific behaviors, attitude towards the death penalty, self-reported deviant behavior (past and future), perceived probability of being caught committing various crimes, own victimisation (theft, any crime), respect of the law (norm), deterring crime through punishment, purpose of punishment, self-control (Grasmick), fear of crime, feeling of safety in living environment.

Self-assessment of overall health, physical and psychological shape during the last four weeks, acceptance of state powers to control epidemics.

Self-assessment of religiousness, denomination, frequency of church attendance / attending a house of God.

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), interpersonal trust, reciprocity, authoritarianism, overall life satisfaction.

Details about the respondent: month and year of birth, age, gender, marital status, citizenship (nationality), number of citizenships, 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, current or former membership in a trade union, membership in a political party, respondent's income.
Place of residence (federal state, size of municipality, BIK-type of region), duration of residence (in Germany and at current place of residence), mobility.

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.

Study number, digital object identifier, release, respondent id, ID of sample point, mode of data collection, number of contacts, percentage of questions completed, date of beginning and end of interview, duration of interview, presence of other persons during the interview, interference of other persons in the course of the interview, pauses during completion of survey.

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, forms of cohabitation and family situation, 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 2003.
  • 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:

ALLBUS/GGSS 2021 was conducted as a mixed-mode survey. The target persons had the choice between the two modes:

  • self-administered questionnaire: paper (MAIL),
  • self-administered questionnaire: web-based (CAWI).

Different survey modes are preferred by different subpopulations, as was the case in ALLBUS/GGSS 2021. To account for this self-selection, it is strongly recommended that the cases from both modes be analyzed together.

Primary Sampling Units:

West: 111 Sample Points (in 105 municipalities) 
East: 51 Sample Points (in 45 municipalities)  
Total: 162 Sample points (in 150 municipalities)

Response Rate:


West East Total
Subsample "concurrent" 30.1% 32.4% 30.5% 30.8%
Subsample "sequential" 24.7% 28.3% 25.3% 25.8%
Total 28.7% 31.4% 29.2% 29.5%

Further Notes:

  • Respondents from the area of the new federal states are oversampled.
  • Due to the Corona pandemic, ALLBUS/GGSS 2021 was conducted for the first time in a self-administered mixed-mode design. Respondents had the choice between filling in a paper questionnaire and mailing it back to the data collector (mode MAIL) or answering an online version of the same questionnaire (Computer-Assisted Web Interview, mode CAWI). Because of the mode change, differences between ALLBUS/GGSS 2021 and the data of previous surveys can be due to either temporal change or the change in survey mode. Therefore, users who use ALLBUS/GGSS 2021 data for time-comparison analyses should frame their statements about time-comparison results carefully.
  • A second version of this data set (395 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 2021 (Study-No. 5281).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations is supplied as part of the data set.