Public Opinion and Survey Data Resources


  • 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. The Electronic Data Center has most of the Afrobarometers available here.
  • American National Election Studies (ANES)--The ANES series is one of the premier sources for data on voting behavior and political attitudes in the post-WWII United States. Upon registering (which is free), users can download data and SAS/SPSS/Stata program files and documentation for any of the various ANES studies. The SDA Archive at UC-Berkeley also allows users to access recent versions of the ANES and extract particular variables from them for those who have specific questions in which they are interested.
  • Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)--The ARDA is an excellent site for numerous surveys on issues of religion. There are many downloadable datasets and codebooks. Researchers should go to the "Data Archive" for a directory of the different studies available.
  • "Bowling Alone: Data"--This site hosts data used by Professor Robert Putnam in his Bowling Alone study of "social capital" in the United States. The data cover topics such as civic engagement, trust in others and in social institutions, etc. Additional relevant data for the study of social capital are available via the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America and via the Roper Center.
  • CPANDA Data Archive--The Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) at Princeton University allows users to download studies in its collection of data on matters pertaining to cultural policy and the arts.
  • 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. 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. The Data Center has an extensive collection of Eurobarometers, including studies conducted in Central and Eastern European countries.
  • 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) annual perspective on American attitudes toward government, life, race, religion, 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 2010.
  • International Index of Public Opinion--A consortium of polling agencies compiles this yearbook every year. It contains questions on a large number of topics from opinion polls and surveys across a large number of countries. Unfortunately, this reference is not available online. However, it is available in Woodruff Reference (HM261. I5532).
  • 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. The Electronic Data Center has most of the ISSP datasets and codebooks available here.
  • JARS (U.S. Officials Job Approval Ratings)--The U.S. Officials Job Approval Ratings page is 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.
  • 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. The Data Center has microdata files for this survey from 1995 onwards.
  • "Metro Voices, Metro Choices" Data and Documentation--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.
  • National Election Pool (NEP) 2004 Exit Polls--National Election Pool exit polls are available through the ICPSR, the Roper Center, and Emory's Electronic Data Center. The link above provides access to the (even more controversial) election results provided by the NEP for the 2004 election.
  • Odum Institute Data Archive--The Odum Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill has a large catalog of holdings for polling, including surveys from Louis Harris & Associates. Their Public Opinion Poll Question Database allows users to search through the texts of questions for more refined queries.
  • 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 (both at home and abroad) 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.
  • Polling the Nations--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.
  • The Roper Center--The Roper Center is one of premier polling-data archives in the country. Its holdings cover a wide range of topics. The iPOLL search page may be of particular use because it allows users to search at the question level. Roper is also accessible via Databases at Emory.
  • Voter News Service (VNS) 2000 Exit Polls--Voter News Service exit polls are available through the ICPSR, the Roper Center, and Emory's Electronic Data Center. The link above provides access to the (highly controversial) election results provided by the VNS for the 2000 election.
  • 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. The EDC has data from four "waves" of the WVS available here.