German General Social Survey - ALLBUS 2018

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Publication Date
  • Diekmann, Andreas (ETH Zürich) (Researcher)
  • Hadjar, Andreas (Université du Luxembourg) (Researcher)
  • Kurz, Karin (Universität Göttingen) (Researcher)
  • Rosar, Ulrich (Universität Düsseldorf) (Researcher)
  • Wagner, Ulrich (Universität Marburg) (Researcher)
  • Westle, Bettina (Universität Marburg) (Researcher)
  • Kantar Public, Munich (Data Collector)
  • Abstract

    ALLBUS (GGSS - the German General Social Survey) is a biennial trend survey based on random samples of the German population. Established in 1980, its mission is to monitor attitudes, behavior, and social change in Germany. Each ALLBUS cross-sectional survey consists of one or two main question modules covering changing topics, a range of supplementary questions and a core module providing detailed demographic information. Additionally, data on the interview and the interviewers are provided as well. Key topics generally follow a 10-year replication cycle, many individual indicators and item batteries are replicated at shorter intervals. Since the mid-1980ies ALLBUS also regularly hosts one or two modules of the ISSP (International Social Survey Programme). The main question module of ALLBUS/GGSS 2018 covers political attitudes and political participation (including trust, populism, political knowledge, attitudes towards democracy). Other topics include use of media, social inequality and social capital, national pride and right-wing-extremism, and attitudes relating to the process of German unification. Additionally included are the ISSP modules “Social networks II” and “Religion IV”. Topics: 1.) Economy: assessments of the present and future economic situation in Germany, assessment of present and future personal economic situation. 2.) Use of media: frequency and overall time of watching television; frequency of watching news programs on public and private channels respectively; frequency of reading a daily newspaper per week; frequency of using the Internet for political information. 3.) Politics: Political attitudes: Party inclination, political interest, self-placement on left-right continuum, placement of political parties on a left-right-continuum likelihood of voting for different political parties, postmaterialism (importance of law and order, fighting rising prices, free expression of opinions, and influence on governmental decisions); attitudes towards refugees, support for demanding more adaptation of immigrants to German customs and practices, for less government interference in the economy, for stricter environmental protection measures, for a ban on same-sex marriages, for the preferential treatment of women with regard to job applications and promotions, 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, for stopping the influx of refugees; Political participation: personal participation or willingness to participate in selected forms of protest, norms for political participation (citizens should voice their political discontent, participation in the vote is a civic duty, acceptability of political violence, plebiscites are a necessary part of democracy, everybody should keep up with politics); Political self-efficacy: assessment of own capability and that of the majority of people with regard to working in apolitical group, too much complexity in politics, perception of politicians’ attitude toward the people, personal and average citizen´s level of political knowledge; Confidence in public institutions and organizations: public health service, federal constitutional court, federal parliament (Bundestag), city or municipal administration, judiciary, television, newspapers, universities, federal government, the police, political parties, European Commission, European Parliament; Populism scale: members of parliament must only be bound to the will of the people, politicians talk too much and do too little, ordinary citizens would make better representatives than professional politicians, political compromise is a betrayal of principles, the people should make the important political decisions, the people agree on what needs to happen politically, politicians only care about the rich and powerful; Attitudes towards democracy: support for the idea of democracy, political support (satisfaction with democracy in Germany, satisfaction with the performance of the federal government), necessity and role of the political opposition, freedom of expression, necessity and role of political parties, all democratic parties should have the chance of getting into government, social conflicts and the common good, media influence on the formation of political opinion, satisfaction with life in the Federal Republic; Political knowledge quiz: party affiliation of various politicians, name of the President of the European Commission, who elects the Chancellor of Germany, meaning of the term ‘secrecy of the ballot’, who has ‘Richtlinienkompetenz’ (the power to issue policy guidelines), which international organization deals with culture and science, country without permanent seat on the UN Security Council, voting rights of EU citizens in Germany, intended purpose of the solidarity surcharge, who elects the President of the European Commission, number of EU member states, largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag (the federal parliament), purpose of the ‘Dublin Regulation’. 4.) Social inequality and social capital: statements on the legitimacy of social inequality (inequality of income as incentive to achieve, acceptability of differences in status, justness of social differences, assessment of access to education), self-assessment of social class, fair share in standard of living, frequency of discussing politics with friends, acquaintances, strangers, and family; membership status of respondent in various clubs and organizations; frequency of spending time with colleagues from work, club members or with friends, social pessimism and orientation towards the future (anomia), interpersonal trust, identification with own community, the Federal Republic of Germany and Europe. 5.) National pride and right-wing extremism: pride in being a German, in German institutions and in various German achievements; patriotism should be expressed more confidently, dictatorship can be the better form of government, national socialism had its good sides, Hitler would be considered differently without the Holocaust, Germany is dangerously swamped by foreigners, foreigners should marry among themselves, Jews have too much influence, Jews do not fit in with our society, attacks on asylum seekers´ homes are understandable. 6.) Attitudes relating to the process of German unification: unification was better for East / West, strangeness of citizens in the other part of Germany, attitudes towards the Stasi-past of individuals, evaluation of socialism as an idea. 7.) Other topics: family as a prerequisite for happiness; marriage in case of steady partnership, overall health, type of dwelling, self-description of place of residence, unemployment in respondent’s social environment. 8.) ALLBUS-Demography: Details about the respondent: month and year of birth, age, gender, citizenship (nationality), number of citizenships, place of residence (federal state, size of municipality, BIK-type of region), geographical origin, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current or former occupation, affiliation to public service, working hours per week (primary and secondary job), supervisory functions, fear of unemployment, length of unemployment, status of non-employment, date of termination of full-time employment, marital status, respondent´s income, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, current or former membership in a trade union, membership in a political party; Details about respondent´s current spouse: month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, affiliation to public service, fear of unemployment, status of non-employment; Details about respondent´s steady partner: month and year of birth, age, school education, vocational training, employment status, details about current occupation, affiliation to public service, fear of unemployment, status of non-employment, common household with respondent; Details about respondent´s parents: country of origin, cohabitation with respondent as adolescent, school education of mother and father, vocational training of mother and father, details about both parents´ occupation; Description of household: size of household, household income, number of persons older than 17 in household (reduced size of household); Details about household members: family relation to respondent, gender, month and year of birth, age, marital status; Details about children not living in the household: number of children not living in the household, gender, year of birth, age. 9.) Data on the interview (paradata): date of interview, beginning and end of interview, length of interview, perceived attractiveness of respondent, perceived social class of household, presence of other persons during the 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, details about respondent´s residential building and its neighborhood, reachability of respondent, number of attempts to contact the respondent, participation in ISSP surveys, recruiting questions for GESIS panel, ID of sample point; Details about the interviewer: identification number, gender, age, school education, length of experience as an interviewer. 10.) Social networks II (ISSP): acquaintance with professionals in various fields, attitude towards income disparities and welfare benefits, responsibility for health care and care for old people, participation in activities of clubs, political parties, charities and religious organizations; perceived influence on governmental decisions, person to ask for support in different situations, feeling of loneliness in the last four weeks, interpersonal trust, trust in German courts and private businesses, opinion on obligation to help others, perceived pressure from family and friends, frequency of conflicts with partner or family, frequency of social contacts (in general, with parents, siblings, children, family, friends), proportion of contacts via text messages/internet, overall health, mental health, life satisfaction, assumption of reciprocity. 11.) Religion IV (ISSP): assessment of personal happiness, satisfaction with relationship to family members, attitude towards marital infidelity, homosexuality and abortion; assessment of the distribution of roles in a marriage; confidence in institutions such as the Bundestag (federal parliament), commerce, industry, churches, courts, and schools; influence of church leaders on voters, evaluation of science, opinion on religion as source of conflicts, opinion on the power of churches and religious organizations, social acceptance of other religions, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly for religious fanatics, doubt or strong belief in God, development of personal belief in God, belief in a life after death, heaven, hell, miracles, supernatural powers of ancestors; fatalism, the meaning of life, church and its rites unnecessary for contact with God, evaluation of gender equality in own religion, religious orientation of father and mother, personal religious orientation and frequency of church attendance in youth, frequency of church attendance of parents, frequency of prayer and participation in religious activities, frequency of reading in a sacred text, religious artifact in home, frequency of visiting holy places, self-assessment of religiousness, self-description as religious or spiritual person, religion as guide and support in life, role of religion in society, attitude towards members of various religious groups, renewal of religious ties at a turning point in life, superstitious beliefs, interpersonal trust, religion should not determine laws. 12.) ISSP-Demography: details about the respondent (years of education in school and university, participation in workforce, supervisory function and number of employees supervised, type of employer, employment status), details about spouse or partner (participation in workforce, working hours per week, supervisory function, employment status); self-assessment of social class (top-bottom-scale), ethnic self-identification, number of languages spoken, adequacy of household income, overall health. 13.) Added value: Inglehart-Index, International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) 1988 and 2008; Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS, according to Ganzeboom), International Socio-economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI, according to Ganzeboom), European Socio-Economic Groups (ESeG), International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 1997 and 2011, per capita income, equivalised income (OECD-modified scale), classification of private households (according to Porst and Funk), family typology, transformation weight for analyses on household level; east-west design weight.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2018-04 / 2018-09
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
All residents (German and non-German) living in private households in the Federal Republic of Germany who were born before 1 January 2000.
Probability: Stratified: Disproportional; Probability: Multistage; Sampling Procedure Comment: Two stage disproportionate random sample in western Germany (incl. West Berlin) and eastern Germany (incl. East Berlin). 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. Targeted individuals who did not have adequate knowledge of German to conduct the interview were treated as systematic unit non-responses.
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Face-to-face interview: CAPI/CAMI
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Computer-assisted (CASI)
  • Personal, oral interview with standardized questionnaire (CAPI – Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and two additional self-completion questionnaires (CASI – Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing) for ISSP (split questionnaire design).
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 708
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA5272 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • ALLBUS (Type: FDZ)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-20 | Issue Number: 16 | Registration Date: 2019-08-14