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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
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ALLBUS Baseline Survey 1991 (ZA No. 1990)


Data Collection Period:

  • May 1991 to July 1991

Primary Investigators:

  • Peter Ph. Mohler, ZUMA, Mannheim;
  • Michael Braun, ZUMA, Mannheim;
  • Michael Häder, ZUMA, Mannheim;
  • Erwin K. Scheuch, University of Cologne

Data Collector:

  • Infratest, Munich


Social monitoring of trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics in 1991 are:

  1. Attitudes towards politics and economy
  2. National pride
  3. Attitudes relating to the process of German unification
  4. Work and occupation
  5. Attitudes towards social inequality
  6. Attitudes towards marriage, family, and partnership
  7. Other topics
  8. ALLBUS-Demography
  9. Data on the interview (paradata)
  10. Religion I (ISSP 1991)
  11. Added value 


  1. Attitudes towards politics and economy: satisfaction with democracy in the Federal Republic; opinion on the performance of the German political system (political support); satisfaction with the performance of the Federal Government and the state government; eligibility to vote and electoral participation; recall of past vote; voting intention (Sonntagsfrage); political interest; postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); political participation; preference for tax cuts or for increased social services; attitude towards the influx of eastern European ethnic Germans, asylum seekers, labor from EC and non-EC countries; self-placement on a left-right continuum; assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany and in one's own federal state; assessment of present and future personal economic situation; assessment of economic development in the old and new federal states.
  2. National pride: pride in German institutions and German achievements; pride in being a German.
  3. Attitudes relating to the process of German unification: unification is advantageous, for East and West respectively; the future in the East depends on the willingness of eastern Germans to make an effort; strangeness of citizens in the other part of Germany; pressures to work harder in the East; the most important points of criticism of the former GDR; attitudes towards the Stasi-past of individuals; evaluation of socialism as an idea.
  4. Work and occupation: work orientation and most important characteristics of job; interest in becoming self-employed in the future; personal experience of being self-employed in the past.
  5. Attitudes towards social inequality: fair share in standard of living; perceived prerequisites for success in society; attitude towards the welfare state and towards social differences.
  6. Attitudes towards marriage, family, and partnership: marriage in case of steady partnership or if child was born; attitude towards employment of women; baptism of children; educational goals; regional origin of partner or spouse.
  7. Other topics: interpersonal trust; social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia); identification with own community and federal state, the old Federal Republic or the GDR, the unified Germany or the EC; importance of life aspects.
  8. ALLBUS-Demography:
    • Details about the respondent: gender; date of birth, age; place of residence (federal state, administrative district, size of municipality, Boustedt-type of municipality) and length of residence; geographical origin and citizenship; migration to East or West Germany, interest in migrating to East or West Germany; religious denomination, frequency of church attendance; school education, vocational training; employment status; details about current occupation, length of employment, industrial sector, affiliation to public service, supervisory functions, working hours per week; length of commute; details about first occupation; date of termination of full- or part-time employment; details about former occupation; length of unemployment; respondent's income; marital status; possession of driver's license; age when leaving parental home; marital biography.
    • Details about respondent's current spouse: cohabitation before marriage; 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: age; details about current occupation.
    • Details about respondent's steady partner: length of relationship; 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; number of children; 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), retail or 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 (plus former membership), citizens' initiative, other club or association).
  9. Data on the interview (paradata): beginning and end of interview; length of interview; size class of municipality; presence of respondent in the last four days prior to personal interview.
  10. Religion I (ISSP): assessment of personal happiness; opinions on social responsibility of the government regarding creating jobs and income leveling; harsher punishment and death penalty as measures for fighting crime; attitude towards pre-marital sexual intercourse and marital infidelity; attitudes towards homosexuality and abortion; assessment of the distribution of roles in a marriage and attitude towards working women; tax payer honesty and attitude towards the honesty of citizens with the federal government; confidence in institutions such as the Federal Parliament, commerce, industry, the administration, churches, courts, and schools; attitude towards atheist politicians and officials; influence of church leaders on voters and on the government; opinion on the power of churches and religious organizations; doubt or strong belief in God; perceived closeness to God; development of personal belief in God; belief in a life after death; belief in the devil, heaven, hell, and miracles; conviction towards the Bible; fatalism; cosmology, the meaning of life and Christian interpretation of life; ties with the dead; renewal of religious ties at a turning point in life; religious orientation of father and mother; personal religious orientation; frequency of church attendance of father, mother, and partner; personal religious orientation and frequency of church attendance in youth; frequency of prayer and participation in religious activities; self-assessment of religiousness; attitude towards school prayer; personal conscience, social rules or laws of God as the basis for decisions; attitude towards prohibition of religious criticism in literature and films; tasks of the church; superstition; belief in good luck charms, fortune tellers, faith healers, signs of the zodiac, horoscopes.
  11. Added value: Inglehart-Index; family typology, classification of private households (according to Porst and Funk); International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1968, 1988); occupational prestige (according to Treiman); magnitude prestige (according to Wegener); class position (according to Goldthorpe); occupational metaclassification (according to Pappi and Terwey); weights.

Total Population and Sample:

  • Universe sampled: Federal Republic of Germany
  • Household sample: Multi-stage random sample (ADM-Mastersample) of private households in the new and old states addressing all individuals (German and non-German) who were at least 18 years of age by the day of the interview. The basis for selection in western Germany was the ADM design as modified by Infratest and in eastern Germany the Infratest Mastersample East, each with subsequent random route. The disproportionate sampling approach was set up such that the number of usable interviews was approximately 3000, eastern Germany and western Germany each contributing approximately 1500 interviews.
    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 (PAPI - Paper and Pencil Interviewing)
  • additional self-completion questionnaire (drop off) for ISSP

Primary Sampling Units / Sample-Points:

West: 314 electoral districts (multi-stage random sample based on the 3500 electoral districts from the ADM-Mastersample available to Infratest)
East: 408 Sample-Points (from the Infratest mastersample of municipalities)

Response Rate:

West: 52.7%
East: 59.9%

Data Set:

Number of Respondents: 3,058
Number of Variables: 522


  • Bandilla, Wolfgang, Siegfried Gabler and Michael Wiedenbeck 1992:
    Methodenbericht zum DFG-Projekt ALLBUS Baseline-Studie. ZUMA Arbeitsbericht 92/04.
  • 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:

  • For part of the questions from the standard ALLBUS-Demography, the response categories were adapted to the individual peculiarities in eastern and western Germany. The question on points of criticism of the former GDR was only asked in eastern Germany.
  • A second version of this data set (231 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact 1991 (ZA No. 3715).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations can be found in the GESIS Data Catalogue.