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Allgemeine Bevölkerungs­umfrage
der Sozial­wissenschaften

ALLBUS Cumulation 1980-2016 (Study-No. 4586, German version; Study-No. 4588, English version)

Data Set:
German / English

Variable Report (PDF):
German / English

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
  • 2016: April 2016 to September 2016

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, 2016)

Data Set:

  • 64.684 respondents
  • 1.489 variables

Scientific Council:

  • Klaus Allerbeck, University of Frankfurt;
  • Jutta Allmendinger, University of Munich;
  • Hans-Jürgen Andreß, University of Cologne;
  • Stefan Bauernschuster, University of Passau;
  • Wilhelm Bürklin, University of Potsdam;
  • Andreas Diekmann, ETH Zurich;
  • Hubert Feger, Free University of Berlin;
  • Detlef Fetchenhauer, University of Cologne;
  • Andreas Hadjar, University of Luxembourg;
  • 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;
  • Ulrich Rosar, Universität Düsseldorf;
  • 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 the federal and state government, with German democracy and with the performance of the German political system (political support);

basic political attitudes: 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, likelihood of voting for different political parties;

political participation;

political issues: attitudes towards nuclear energy, the death penalty for terrorists, towards the privatization of publicly owned companies; attitudes towards abortion, attitude towards expanding or cutting budgets for social services and defense, perceived position of the federal government in these matters;

democracy scale;

political efficacy: perception of individual influence on politics, gap between politicians and citizens, self-assuredness with regard to political group work, too much complexity in politics, perception of politicians' closeness to constituents, participation in the vote as a civic duty;

perceived strength of conflicts between social groups;

confidence in public institutions and organizations;

identification with various political entities: identification with own municipality, the federal state, the old Federal Republic or the GDR, unified Germany and the EU;

attitudes relating to the process of German unification: 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;

evaluation of administration services and assessment of treatment by the administration;

national pride: pride in German institutions and German achievements, pride in being a German. 

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, 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.

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, 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, living in neighborhoods with high percentage of foreigners, perceived differences in lifestyle, indicators for social distance to ethnic minorities and foreigners, attitudes towards Islam (Islamophobia), items on anti-Semitism, perception and evaluation of discriminatory behavior towards foreigners.

Attitude towards marriage and having a family, ideal number of children, attitude towards employment of women and mothers, attitude towards the role of men and women in the family, division of labor regarding house and family work, 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 life aspects, preferred job characteristics (security, income, responsibility, etc.), free time activities, use of media (frequency of watching television over the week, taste in television programs, frequency of reading a daily newspaper per week, musical preferences).

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, perception of general environmental pollution and personally experienced environmental pollution, questions on AIDS (knowledge of the disease AIDS, attitudes towards AIDS-infected people, worry about personal AIDS infection, personal protective measures and behavioral changes, AIDS-infected people in one's own circle of friends).

Present and former religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, frequency of attending other place of worship, importance of religion in parental home, frequency of prayer, participation in religious activities, frequency of meditation, interest in Christian programs in the media, self-assessment of religiousness and spirituality, religious cosmology and belief in God, religious beliefs, meaning of life, religious indifference, thinking about metaphysical questions, experience with and attitude towards different forms of belief, parabelief and superstition, religion vs. science, funeral by church, marriage in church, baptism of children, attitude towards person with different faiths marrying into the family.

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

ego-centered networks (number of contacts in network, information on: gender, age, kinship or type of relationship, employment status, occupational position, voting behavior, citizenship, mutual familiarity between contacts), membership in trade unions, trade associations, clubs, political parties or other organizations, interpersonal trust, social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia), reciprocity.

Fear of crime, personal victimization, opinion on various deviant acts with reference to their reprehensibility and the degree to which they deserve prosecution, self-reported deviant behavior, assessment of probability of being caught committing various crimes, respect of the law, lowering the crime rate through severer punishment.

Details about the respondent: gender, age, citizenship(s) (nationality), number of citizenships, present and former religious affiliation, currently at school or university, school education, vocational training, employment status, secondary job, details about current and former occupation respectively, details about first occupation, date of termination of full- or part-time employment, fear of unemployment or loss of business, industrial sector, affiliation to public service, fixed-term or permanent employment contract, length of commute, driver’s license, supervisory functions, length of employment, size of workplace, working hours per week (primary and secondary job), length of unemployment, gaps in occupational biography, desire for work, marital status, marital biography.

Details about personal and household income: respondent’s personal income, principal source of livelihood, capital income, household income, per capita income, equivalized income (OECD-modified scale), types of income in household, number of sources of income in household, principal source of income.

Details about respondent’s current spouse: cohabitation before marriage, age, citizenship(s), number of citizenships, original citizenship, religious affiliation, 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 affiliation, school education, vocational training, details about current and former occupation respectively.

Details about respondent’s steady partner: length of relationship, common household, age, citizenship(s), number of citizenships, original citizenship, 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: cohabitation with respondent as adolescent, age of respondent when leaving parental home, religious affiliation, school education, vocational training, university education, details about parents’ occupation.

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

Details about household members: family relation to respondent, gender, age, marital status, income; for children of respondent or partner also: school education, university degree.

Details about children: number of children, deceased children, desire to have children.

Details about children not living in the household: number of children not living in the household, gender, age, school education, university degree, baptism, religious affiliation.

Migration, residential biography and living environment: original citizenship of respondent, country of origin, country of origin of parents and of grandparents, migration between East and West Germany, distance to last place of residence, length of residence, self-description of place of residence, type of dwelling, size of dwelling, telephone in household, cat or dog in the household, environmental nuisances in area of residence.


Number of attempts to contact the respondent, date of interview, beginning and end of interview, length of interview, willingness to participate, taken part in how many interviews, participation in other surveys over the past year, reachability of respondent, presence of respondent at home during the last few weekdays, presence of other persons during interview (spouse, partner or children during, other relatives), 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 online survey, willingness to participate in other survey, details about respondent’s residential building and its neighborhood, perceived attractiveness of respondent, details about the interviewer (identification number, gender, age, school education, length of experience as an interviewer).

Region of interview (East / West Germany), federal state, size of municipality, Boustedt-type of municipality, BIK-type of municipality, percentage of non-German residents at county level.

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), International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 1997 and 2011, class position (according to Goldthorpe), per capita income, equivalized income (OECD-modified scale), percentage of non-German residents at county level, transformation weight for analyses on household level or on individual level, east-west design weight.

Method of Data Collection:

  • Personal interview with standardized questionnaire (PAPI – Paper and Pencil Interviewing; since 2000: CAPI – Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)
  • Supplementary data from 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 (1020 variables) with a shortened demography module is additionally available as ALLBUS/GGSScompact Cumulation 1980-2016 (Study No. 4587, German version, Study No. 4589, English version).
  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for use in data citations is supplied as part of the data set.