Crowd of people walking street

General Social Survey 2008-12

Since 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has been monitoring societal change and studying the growing complexity of American society.

General Social Survey 2008-12

The GSS gathers data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviours, and attributes. Hundreds of trends have been tracked since 1972. In addition, since the GSS adopted questions from earlier surveys, trends can be followed for up to 80 years.

The GSS contains a standard core of demographic, behavioural, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest. 

Among the topics covered are civil liberties, crime and violence, intergroup tolerance, morality, national spending priorities, psychological well-being, social mobility, and stress and traumatic events.

Between 2008 and 2012 GSS fielded the Schwartz Human Values scale included in the ESS and some items from the ESS rotating module on Personal and Social Well-Being.

Data along with documentation can be downloaded from the General Social Survey website.