German General Social Survey (ALLBUS)

Alternative Title: 
ALLBUS Die allgemeine Bevölkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften

The German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) is a biennial survey that has been conducted since 1980 on the attitudes, behaviour, and social structure of persons resident in Germany. A representative cross-section of the population is questioned using face-to-face interviews. As a service to social scientific research and teaching, ALLBUS data are disseminated to all interested persons and institutions as soon as the data and documentation have been prepared.ALLBUS is a substantively rich and methodologically sophisticated database which can be used for a variety of analytical purposes:

  • to describe and analyse attitudes, behaviour and social structure of Germans with up-to-date cross-sectional data,
  • for longitudinal analysis of German society (ALLBUS time series, replicated questions from other survey studies),
  • for international comparative analysis (ALLBUS includes questions also asked in the American General Social Survey (GSS) and in the ISSP),
  • to examine methodical issues (eg. checking for context effects, question effects, nonresponse).

The survey programme of each ALLBUS survey focuses on one or two main topics  (e.g. "deviant behaviour", "religious affiliations", "attitudes to social inequality", "political participation"). In addition individual indicators and  smaller item batteries on other issues (e.g. "national pride", "attitudes to foreigners", "awareness of environmental damage") are included. To analyze social trends and changes, the main topics are generally replicated every ten years; individual indicators and item batteries are repeated every two to four years. Every ALLBUS survey includes detailed demographic questions about the respondent and his or her partner or spouse. Since 1986 (with one exception), the German section of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) has been administered together with ALLBUS.

Data Creator: 
Time Period: 

1980 to present


Available on the web under individual study profiles.


Data can be downloaded in SPSS and Stata formats.

Data Access: 

Download via the web - registration required.