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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
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ALLBUS Cumulation 1980-2014 (Study-No. 4582, German version; Study-No. 4584, English version)

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Variable Report (PDF)
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Data Collection Periods:

  • 1980: January 1980 to February 1980
  • 1982: February 1982 to May 1982
  • 1984: March 1984 to June 1984
  • 1986: March 1986 to May 1986
  • 1988: April 1988 to July 1988
  • 1990: March 1990 to May 1990
  • 1991: May 1991 to July 1991
  • 1992: May 1992 to June 1992
  • 1994: February 1994 to May 1994
  • 1996: March 1996 to June 1996
  • 1998: March 1998 to July 1998
  • 2000: January 2000 to July 2000
  • 2002: February 2002 to August 2002
  • 2004: March 2004 to July 2004
  • 2006: March 2006 to August 2006
  • 2008: March 2008 to August 2008
  • 2010: May 2010 to November 2010
  • 2012: April 2012 to September 2012
  • 2014: March 2014 to September 2014

Data Collection:

  • GETAS, Bremen (1980-84)
  • GFM-GETAS (IPSOS), Hamburg (1988, 1998)
  • INFAS, Bonn (1990, 2002)
  • Infratest, Munich (1986, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000)
  • TNS Infratest, Munich (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)

Data Set:

  • 61,194 respondents
  • 1,936 variables

Scientific Council:

  • Klaus Allerbeck, University of Frankfurt;
  • Jutta Allmendinger, University of Munich;
  • Hans-Jürgen Andreß, University of Cologne;
  • Wilhelm Bürklin, University of Potsdam;
  • Andreas Diekmann, ETH Zurich;
  • Hubert Feger, Free University of Berlin;
  • Detlef Fetchenhauer, University of Cologne;
  • Johannes Huinink, University of Bremen;
  • Marie Luise Kiefer, University of Vienna;
  • Frauke Kreuter, University of Munich;
  • Steffen Kühnel, University of Göttingen;
  • Karin Kurz, University of Göttingen;
  • M. Rainer Lepsius, University of Heidelberg;
  • Stefan Liebig, University of Bielefeld;
  • Karl Ulrich Mayer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin;
  • Heiner Meulemann, University of Cologne;
  • Walter Müller, University of Mannheim;
  • Karl Dieter Opp, University of Leipzig;
  • Franz Urban Pappi, University of Mannheim;
  • Erwin K. Scheuch, University of Cologne;
  • Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, University of Mannheim;
  • Heike Solga, University of Göttingen;
  • Heike Trappe, University of Rostock;
  • Michael Wagner, University of Cologne;
  • Bettina Westle, University of Marburg;
  • Rolf Ziegler, University of Munich


The original surveys have been designed to monitor trends in attitudes, behavior, and societal change in the Federal Republic of Germany. The main topics of this cumulative study are:

Assessment of the present and future economic situation in Germany and in one's own federal state; assessment of present and future personal economic situation.

Satisfaction with federal government, state government, German democracy, and with the performance of the German political system (political support); self-placement on left-right continuum; political interest; party inclination; voting intention (Sonntagsfrage); participation in last federal elections; recall of vote in last federal elections; party-sympathy-scales for the CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP, Republicans (Republikaner), NPD, PDS, DKP as well as the Greens (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen); likelihood of voting for different political parties; political participation; voluntary activities or honorary offices; attitudes towards nuclear energy, the death penalty for terrorists, towards the privatization of publicly owned companies, and towards abortion; democracy scale; perception of individual influence on politics (political efficacy, political alienation); gap between politicians and citizens; self-assuredness with regard to political group work; too much complexity in politics; the politicians' closeness to constituents; personal and average citizen's level of political knowledge; majority capable of working in a political group; participation in the vote as a civic duty; postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions).

Attitude towards the demand for increased willingness to make sacrifices in the West and more patience in the East; unification is advantageous, for East and West respectively; future of the East depends on the willingness of eastern Germans to make an effort; strangeness of citizens in the other part of Germany; performance pressure in the new states; attitude towards dealing with the Stasi-past of individuals; evaluation of socialism as an idea.

Fair share in standard of living; self-assessment of social class and classification on a top-bottom-scale; evaluation of personal occupational success, comparison with father's position and personal occupational expectations for the future; perceived strength of conflicts between social groups; attitudes towards the German economic system and evaluation of policies supporting the welfare state; assessment of access to education; perceived prerequisites for success in society; income differences as incentive to achieve; acceptance of social differences; evaluation of personal social security; attitudes towards expansion or cuts in social services; attitudes towards cuts in the defense budget; perceived stance of the federal government in these matters.

Health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament, local government, German armed forces, churches, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, trade unions, police, political parties, employment offices, retirement insurance, employers' association, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice.

Pride in German institutions and German achievements; pride in being a German.

Attitude towards the influx of eastern European ethnic Germans, asylum seekers, labor from EU or non-EU countries; perceived consequences of presence of foreigners in Germany; treatment of foreigners by the administration; ranking in terms of importance of different citizenship requirements; scale of attitudes towards foreigners and contacts with foreigners (split: guest-workers) within the family, at work, in the neighborhood, or among friends; opinion on dual citizenship and on equal rights for foreigners; perceived strength of conflict between guest workers and German citizens; support for the teaching of Islam in public schools; estimation of proportion of foreigners in East and West Germany and in the neighborhood where respondent lives; perceived differences in lifestyle; indicators for social distance to ethnic minorities and foreigners; items on anti-Semitism; perception and evaluation of discriminatory behavior towards foreigners.

Identification with own municipality, the federal state, the old Federal Republic or the GDR, unified Germany and the EU.

Family as a prerequisite for happiness; marriage in case of steady partnership or if child was born; ideal number of children; attitude towards employment of women and mothers; attitude towards the role of men and women in the family; importance of educational goals; most important educational goals in school; classification of the importance of certain educational aspirations for a child; desired characteristics of children; authoritarianism; importance of the family.

Abortion because of health risks for mother or child; 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.

Knowledge of the disease AIDS; perceived reports in the media; attitudes towards higher health insurance fees for AIDS-infected people; attitudes towards dismissal of AIDS-infected employees and towards entry refusal for AIDS-infected foreigners; attitude towards mandatory registration of HIV-infected individuals; worry about personal AIDS infection; personal protective measures and behavioral changes; AIDS-infected people in one's own circle of friends.

Family and children, occupation and work, free time and recreation, friends and acquaintances, kinship, religion and church, politics and public life, neighborhood; preferred job characteristics (security, income, responsibility, etc.).

Reading books; reading magazines; listening to records, CD's, cassettes; watching videos; 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); listening to music; using the internet; online chats and social networks; playing computer games; making music; doing other artistic activities; visiting museums or exhibitions; attending public festivals or fairs.

Musical preferences: folk music (German or other cultures), German pop music (‘Schlager’), jazz, pop or what is in the charts, rock, heavy metal, electronic music (house, techno etc.), hip hop / soul / reggae, classical music, opera, musicals; frequency of watching television over the week; taste in television programs: shows and quiz shows, 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.

Overall health; physical and psychological shape during the last four weeks; health problems’ impact on everyday life; 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; overall life satisfaction; height and weight; consumption of various foodstuffs and beverages; affectedness by unhealthy working conditions and by mobbing; impact of noise and air pollution on living conditions.

Belief in God, cosmology, and the meaning of life; self-assessment of religiousness and spirituality; frequency of meditation; attitude towards religiousness; religious indifference; thinking about metaphysical questions; experience with and attitude towards different forms of belief, parabelief and superstition; religion vs. science; attitudes towards the role of religion in society and the world; religious tolerance; membership in a church; present and former denominational membership; funeral by church; marriage in church; baptism of children; frequency of church attendance and prayer; interest in Christian programs in the media; attitude towards person with different faiths marrying into the family; belief in a life after death; belief in heaven, hell, and miracles; belief in reincarnation; belief in the devil, angels and spirits; importance of religion in parental home

Perception of general environmental pollution and personally experienced environmental pollution.

Evaluation of administration services and assessment of treatment by the administration.

Interpersonal trust and trust in politicians; social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia); fear of crime; fear of unemployment or loss of business.

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 and the degree to which they deserve prosecution; respect of the law; probability of engaging in various deviant acts in the future; self-reported deviant behavior; assessment of probability of being caught committing various crimes; lowering the crime rate through severer punishment; own victimization.

Details about the respondent: month and year of birth, age, gender, citizenship(s) (nationality), number of citizenships; original citizenship, place of residence (federal state, size of municipality, BIK-type of municipality, Boustedt-type of municipality) and length of residence; geographical origin; religious denomination, frequency of church attendance, frequency of attending other place of worship; currently at school or university, school education, vocational training, possession of driver's license, employment status, details about current and former occupation respectively, details about first occupation, fixed-term or permanent employment contract, industrial sector, fear of unemployment or loss of business, affiliation to public service, length of commute, supervisory functions, date of termination of full- or part-time employment,  working hours per week (primary and secondary job), size of workplace, length of unemployment, gaps in occupational biography, desire for work, principal source of livelihood, respondent's income, age when leaving parental home, migration to East or West Germany, interest in migrating to East or West Germany or to another EC country, length of residence (in the FRG, in this federal state, current place of residence), country respondent lived in when young, type of dwelling, self-description of place of residence, telephone, height and weight, marital status, marital biography, desire to have children.
Details about respondent's current spouse: citizenship(s), number of citizenships, original citizenship, age, religious denomination, school education, vocational training, university degree, employment status, details about current and former occupation respectively, affiliation to public service, date of termination of full- or part-time employment, length of unemployment, fear of unemployment or loss of business.                
Details about respondent's former spouse: age, religious denomination, school education, vocational training, details about current and former occupation respectively.      
Details about respondent's steady partner: citizenship(s), number of citizenships, original citizenship, age, common household, distribution of household chores, school education, vocational training, university degree, employment status, details about current and former occupation respectively, affiliation to public service, fear of unemployment or loss of business, date of termination of full- or part-time employment.               
Details about respondent's parents and grandparents: country of origin, school education of father and mother, university education of father and mother, vocational training of father and mother, details about parents' occupation, religious affiliation.              
Description of household: size of household, household income, types of income in household, principal source of income, number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household), number of children size of dwelling place, cat or dog in the household.           
Details about household members: family relation to respondent, gender, month and year of birth, age, marital status, income, German citizenship, baptism, religious affiliation, type of school currently attended by children, children's school education, children's university degree.  
Details about children not living in the household: number of children not living in the household, sex, age, baptism, religious affiliation, school education, university degree.              
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>, 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 club or community club, other social association, association of German expellees or refugees, charitable association, religious/church organization, youth or student organization, political party, citizens' initiative, other club or association); membership status of respondent in various clubs and organizations; membership in informal groups; previous membership in a trade union.               
Friends and acquaintances (ego-centered networks), including information on: gender, age, kinship or type of relationship, school education, employment, occupational position, occupational group, voting behavior, current citizenship and country of origin, spatial distance between alter and ego, comparative economic situation; quality and quantity of contacts, mutual familiarity between friends or acquaintances.

Date of interview; beginning and end of interview; length of interview; perceived attractiveness of respondent at beginning and end of interview; taken part in how many interviews; willingness to join panel; reachability of respondent; presence of respondent at home during the last few weekdays; willingness to participate; presence of other persons during interview; presence of spouse, partner or children during interview; presence of other relatives during 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; frequency of private Internet use; willingness to participate in an on-line survey; number of attempts to contact the respondent; details about respondent's residential building and assessment of respondent's neighborhood.
Details about the interviewer: gender, age, school education of interviewer; identification number, length of experience as an interviewer.

Body-Mass-Index; Inglehart-Index; family typology, classification of private households (according to Porst and Funk); International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1968, 1988 and 2008); occupational prestige (according to Treiman); Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS, according to Ganzeboom), International Socio-economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI, according to Ganzeboom); magnitude prestige (according to Wegener); occupational metaclassification (according to Pappi and Terwey); International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 1997 and 2011; class position (according to Goldthorpe); per capita income; equivalised income (OECD-modified scale); weights.

Method of Data Collection:

  • Personal interview with standardized questionnaire (PAPI – Paper and Pencil Interviewing; since 2000: CAPI – Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)
  • Accompanying ISSP surveys as self-completion questionnaires (drop off)

Total Population and Sample:

  • Universe sampled: Federal Republic of Germany (until 1990: West Germany including West Berlin).
  • Household samples: From 1980 to 1992 and in 1998, a multi-stage random sample of private households was conducted addressing all persons who were at least 18 years of age (ADM Sample Design).
  • Person Samples: In 1994, 1996, and from 2000 a two-stage, disproportionate random sample was conducted in West Germany (including West Berlin) and East Germany (including East Berlin), comprising all persons living in private households who were at least 18 years old on 1 January of the year of the survey. 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.
  • As of 1991 the ALLBUS sample also includes foreigners living in Germany. Targeted individuals who did not have adequate knowledge of German to conduct the interview were treated as systematic unit non-responses.

Further Notes:

  • This cumulative data set of 20 ALLBUS surveys contains all ALLBUS time series (i.e. all questions that have been surveyed at least two times). Notes on the special relation between the CAPI- and PAPI-surveys in 2000 can be found in the respective codebooks and in the methodological reports for ALLBUS 2000.
  • A second version of this data set (1161 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUScompact Kumulation 1980-2014 (Study No. 4583).
  • The cumulated data set is also available in an English language version as Study No. 4584 (ALLBUS/GGSS Cumulation 1980-2014) and Study No. 4585 (ALLBUS/GGSScompact 1980-2014).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations is supplied as part of the data set.