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Data Resources and Support: Public Opinion and Surveys

Support for locating and working with datasets, statistical information, and geographic data.

Public Opinion and Surveys

Afrobarometers - The Afrobarometers are an ongoing series of surveys conducted amongst countries in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on topics such as civil society, government, and state-society relations. Data from the Afrobarometers are available from the project site and also via the ICPSR.

Arab Barometer - The Arab Barometers are a series of surveys conducted in MENA countries to measure social attitudes on topics such as religiosity, national identity, trust in political institutions, and the Arab Spring. Data from the waves of the Arab Barometer are available via the ICPSR and via the Arab Barometer project site. The project site also has an interface for basic analysis of the data.

AsiaBarometer - The AsiaBarometer surveys are conducted in Central Asian, East Asian, and South Asian countries and cover topics such as values and social norms, democratic government, religiosity, regionalism, and globalization. Data from the surveys are available via the AsiaBarometer site. The ICPSR also has data from the 2003 and 2004 waves of the survey.

Asian Barometer - The Asian Barometer surveys are conducted in countries in South Asia and East Asia at various points since the early 2000's and have a general focus on political values, attitudes, and behavior. The specific topics covered include trust in various social and political institutions, social capital, economic perceptions, political participation, and notions of regime legitimacy. Data from the surveys are available upon application.

Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) - The ARDA contains many datasets pertaining to religion, such as surveys on topics such as the public's religious attitudes and practices, surveys of church leaders, and studies on the provision of social services by individual congregations. ARDA also provides geographic profiles of congregations and demographic profiles of denominations. Researchers should go to the Data Archive for a directory of the different studies available.

Caucasus Barometer - The Caucasus Barometer surveys are conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center and collect attitudinal data on social and political issues, personal values, and personal status and well-being. Users can download survey datasets or interact with the data via a web-based analysis tool.

Eurobarometers - The European Union has been conducting Eurobarometers surveys with the European public since the early 1970's. The surveys measure attitudes toward economic, political, and social issues within EU member-states, with a focus on matters related to European integration. The Central Archive for Empirical Social Research is the primary archive for Eurobarometer survey data and also has a search engine for Eurobarometer codebooks and questionnaires that is very useful for identifying the topical contents of individual studies.

European Social Survey (ESS) - To quote the website, the ESS is "designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations." The data are available for both on-line analysis and direct download into SAS, SPSS, or Stata.

General Social Survey (GSS) - The GSS measures public opinion in the United States on a wide variety of topics of interest to social scientists. The survey, which began in the early 1970's, provides a (nearly) biennial perspective on American attitudes toward government, race, religion, sexuality, and other social issues. The link here is to the GSS homepage within the National Opinion Research Center. Sites where researchers can extract and download specific variables of interest are listed here. The SDA Archive at Berkeley also holds GSS data from 1972 to 2014 in an interface that allows for basic on-line data analysis and the creation of subsets of GSS data.

Global Barometer - The Global Barometer "represents the largest, most careful and systematic comparative survey of attitudes and values toward politics, power, reform, democracy and citizens' political actions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arabic region. It is based on a common module of questions contained in regional barometer surveys."

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) - The ISSP is an ongoing series of cross-national surveys focusing on social attitudes towards issues such as gender roles, national identity, and the role of government. The GESIS Data Archive is the primary data archive for ISSP data, including a search engine for ISSP codebooks and questionnaires.

U.S. Officials Job Approval Ratings (JARS) - The U.S. Officials Job Approval Ratings page was run by Thad Beyle at UNC-Chapel Hill and contains a wealth of time-series data on job approval ratings for U.S. presidents, senators, and state governors. The copy of the site linked to here is courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Latinobarómetro Data - The Latinobarómetro is an annual survey conducted amongst 18 countries in Latin America. The survey, which has been conducted since 1995, asks respondents about topics such as globalization, democratic governance and political institutions, "social capital," the environment, and gender issues.

"Metro Voices, Metro Choices" - The "Metro Voices, Metro Choices" initiative sponsored a survey of the general public and of various community figures/leaders in the Metro Atlanta area in the spring of 2005 and asked them about various quality of life issues within the city.

Mood and Policy Agendas - The Policy Mood data, which have been assembled by James A. Stimson and K. Elizabeth Coggins at UNC-Chapel Hill, " is a time series measure of public support for government programs on the liberal-conservative continuum." The data cover the years 1952 onwards. An issue-specific variant of the Policy Mood data is available via the Policy Agendas Project.

Odum Institute Data Archive - The Odum Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill has a large catalog of holdings from polling surveys, including surveys from Louis Harris & Associates, data from the National Network of State Polls, Dataverses of individual scholars and centers, and data from the Carolina Population Center.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press - The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press is a major center for the study of public opinion and regularly conducts polls about various social and political topics and contemporary issues. They make many of their studies available for download here. Many of the more recent datafiles are in SPSS format. Users are required to register before downloading a dataset, but registration is free. Users should also check out the resources available via the Pew Research Center homepage for other collections of public opinion data, such as Hispanic Trends, the Global Attitudes Project, and Religion and Public Life.

Polling the Nations (PTN) - This website allows you to search a large database of surveys and opinion polls primarily in the United States, but also in European Union countries as well as in several other countries. PTN does not provide access to survey datasets, but it is very helpful for getting summaries and breakdowns of survey results.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research--The Roper Center is one of the country's premier centers for polling data, with holdings dating back to 1935. While the bulk of the Center's data are for national polls, it also includes many state-level polls as well. The iPOLL interface may be of particular use because it allows users to search through surveys at the question level. Roper also has a large compilation of Presidential approval ratings. The Roper Center is also available via Databases at Emory.

World Value Survey (WVS) - The WVS is a widely-cited series of international surveys conducted in a wide range of countries on a number of social, political, and economic attitudes.

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