Dataset: German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) - Cumulation 1980-2018


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:

1.) Economy
2.) Politics
3.) Social inequality
4.) Ethnocentrism and minorities
5.) Family
6.) Lifestyle and personality
7.) Health
8.) Religion and world view
9.) Personal and collective values
10.) Social networks and social capital
11.) Deviant behavior and sanctions
12.) ALLBUS-Demography
13.) Technical data, paradata and data on the interviewer
14.) Geographic data
15.) Added value


1.) Economy: 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.

2.) Politics:
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, placement of political parties on a 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: personal participation or willingness to participate in selected forms of protest and other political activities, norms for political participation; frequency of discussing politics with friends, acquaintances, strangers, and family;

political issues: attitudes towards nuclear energy, the death penalty for terrorists, towards the privatization of publicly owned companies; support for less government interference in the economy, for stricter environmental protection measures, for harsher punishment of criminals, for making social security government's top priority, for a redistribution of income in favor of the common people; for the view that immigrants are good for the economy, for access to abortion without legal limitations, for more global free trade; attitude towards expanding or cutting budgets for social services and defense, perceived position of the federal government in these matters;

democracy scale;

political knowledge questions (party affiliation of top-level politicians, functioning of democratic institutions etc.);

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 and right-wing extremism: pride in German institutions and German achievements, pride in being a German, extremism scale.

3.) Social Inequality: 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.

4.) Ethnocentrism and minorities: 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, attitudes towards refugees, 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.

5.) Family: 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.

6.) Lifestyle and personality: 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 watching the news on tv and of reading a daily newspaper per week, musical preferences).

7.) Health: 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).

8.) Religion and world view: 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.

9.) Personal and collective values: 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.

10.) Social networks and social capital: 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; frequency of spending time with colleagues from work, club members or with friends; interpersonal trust, social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia), reciprocity.

11.) Deviant behavior and sanctions: 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.

12.) ALLBUS-Demography:
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.

13.) Technical data, paradata and data on the interviewer: 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).

14.) Geographical data: 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.

15.) Added value: 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), European Socio-economic Groups (ESeG), 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.

Variable Groups

Document Description

Full Title

German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) - Cumulation 1980-2018

Study Description

Full Title

German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) - Cumulation 1980-2018

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
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 Luxemburg
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 University of 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
Ulrich Wagner University of Marburg
Bettina Westle University of Marburg
Rolf Ziegler University of Munich


Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (archive release data set and DDI documentation), GESIS

Date of Production


Place of Production

Cologne, Germany

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany GESIS


Version 1.0.0 (2020-06-30), doi:10.4232/1.13483

Date: 2020-06-30

Type: GESIS archive edition

Version Responsibility Statement

GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences

Bibliographic Citation

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (2020):
German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) - Cumulation 1980-2018. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA5276 Data file Version 1.0.0, doi:10.4232/1.13483.

Topic Classification

  • Society, Culture
  • Political Attitudes and Behavior
  • Economic Policy, National Economic Situation
  • Social Policy
  • Person, Personality, Role
  • Family
  • Medicine
  • Communication, Public Opinion, Media
  • Religion and Weltanschauung
  • Natural Environment, Nature

Geographic Coverage



Persons living in private households in the Federal Republic of Germany who were 18 years or older at the time of the survey (1980-1992 and 1998) or who were at least 18 years old on 1 January of the year of the suryvey (1994, 1996, from 2000). 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.

Time Method

1980 - 2018

Data Collector

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) Kantar Public, Munich (2018)

Sampling Procedure

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).
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.

Mode 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 (self-completion questionnaires, drop off).


Application of weights:

Analysis of person-related data:
- separate for East and West Germany: wghtpt
- Germany as a whole: wghtptew

Analysis of household-related data:
- separate for East and West Germany: wghtht
- Germany as a whole: wghthtew

Weights Adjusting for the Oversample of Respondents from East Germany

Applying the East-West-weight in wghtpew adjusts for the overrepresentation of respondents from East Germany in the ALLBUS surveys using person samples (1994, 1996, 2000 and following), i.e. it obviates the need to perform separate analyses for the Western and Eastern subsample. Please note that data from samples of households (1980-1992, 1998) is not transformed to person-level data.

Transformation of Household Sample Data to Person-Level Data

From 1980 to 1992 and in 1998, the ALLBUS data was surveyed based on a sample of households. Therefore, analyses of this data involving the characteristics of individuals (attitudes, demographic attributes, etc.) should in principle be weighted using a transformation weight that adjusts for the effect of household size on the probability of election for each respondent. A transformation weight suitable for analyses treating East and West Germany separately is provided in wghtpt.
Person-level analyses of data from household samples that target Germany as a whole must additionally address the oversampling of East German respondents from 1991 onwards. The appropriate weighting factors are calculated as the product of the transformation weight in wghtpt and the person-level East-West-weight in wghtpew. The combined weight is wghtptew. Because the effects of household size on the composition of the sample are often minimized by conditions in the field - the higher selection probability of one-person households, for example, is often offset by the fact that these households are harder to contact - transformation weighting can often be neglected. However, it is always good advice to compare the results of unweighted and weighted analyses to check for any major deviations.

Transformation of Person Sample Data to Household-Level Data

The ALLBUS surveys in 1994 and 1996 and those in 2000 and following years were conducted on the basis of a person sample. These samples show a design bias favouring larger households and must consequently be weighted when performing analyses targeting household-level attributes like household income, etc. For separate analyses of the East and West German subsamples please use wghtht. Household-level analyses of the sample as a whole should be weighted by wghthtew, which also adjusts for the overrepresentation of East German respondents. The weighting factors in wghthtew are calculated as the product of wghtht (transformation weight) and wghthew (household-level East-West-weight).

The household-level East-West-weight wghthew can also be used if only data from samples of households is concerned (ALLBUS 1980 to 1992 and ALLBUS 1998). The weighting factors will adjust for the overrepresentation of East German households so that the data can be treated as representative of total Germany.

See also:

"Weighting ALLBUS Survey Data" in: Horst Baumann (ed.), 2020: German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) Cumulation 1980-2018: Study No. 5276. GESIS-Variable Reports 2020|07. Cologne: GESIS, ii-xx.

Availability Status


Access Authority

Name Affiliation E-mail address Universal Resource Identifier

Related Materials



Codebook Supplement Region

Codebook Supplement Sex




Other References Note

Primary Sampling Units / Sample Points

See survey descriptions of individual ALLBUS surveys.

Response Rate

See survey descriptions of individual ALLBUS surveys.

Data Files Description

File Name


Overall Case Count


Overall Variable Count


Type of File

Nesstar 200801


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