The General Social Survey (GSS) conducts basic scientific research on the structure and development of American society with a data-collection program designed to both monitor societal change within the United States and to compare the United States to other nations.



At or around December 14, 2015, this site will be replaced with a new website. The new site will continue to host the most up-to-date data sets, documentation, and reports. You can also browse GSS variables, analyze data, and create custom extracts at


As always, you will be able to reach the GSS homepage at, but after December 14, you will find that the format and content will have changed and you will need to update bookmarked links to other pages on the site.  If you are concerned about this, please let us know at  


GSS Update

The GSS 1972-2014 file is updated to Release 4. New occupational prestige & SEI scores are added.


The cross-section and the panel data are merged in the GSS 2014 merged data file. It is updated to Relase 3 which includes new occupational prestige & SEI scores.


The cross-section and the panel data are merged in the GSS 2012 merged data file. It is updated to Release 6 which includes new occupational prestige & SEI scores.


The GSS panel data originally sampled in 2010 are now available with all three waves.


Access, analyze, and extract GSS data at our new GSS Data Explorer site, featuring the entire 1972-2014 dataset and current documentation. GSS Data Explorer


The GSS 1972-2014 cumulative data file is updated to R2. Please go to the Download page.


The GSS 2012 merged file is updated to Release 5. Please go to the Download page


The GSS 2006-sample panel data file is updated to Release 3.


Call for proposals to add questions to GSS 2016


The first two waves of the GSS panel data for the 2010-sample are now linked in single file.


The complete three waves of the GSS panel data for the 2008-sample are now linked in single file.


The Codebook for the GSS 1972-2012 is now available.  


Design variables are now attached to GSS data files. Please refer to the documentation for more information.


The GSS panel data files (2006-sample and 2008-sample) are updated to Release 2.


For those who have funds to support paid supplements to the GSS, see "Guidelines for Paid Supplements to the GSS".



GSS 1978-2002 has been linked to the National Death Index. The data file and documentation are packaged in single zip file.


GSS Panel (2006 sample) Wave 3 is available here. For online analysis, please visit SDA.



Icon for GSS News

GSS News, 2015 Issue











The GSS contains a standard 'core' of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest. Many of the core questions have remained unchanged since 1972 to facilitate time-trend studies as well as replication of earlier findings. The GSS takes the pulse of America, and is a unique and valuable resource. It has tracked the opinions of Americans over the last four decades.






The GSS is widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends. The 1972-2014 GSS has 5,597 variables, time-trends for 2,479 variables, and 363 trends having 20+ data points. You can find links to pre-generated trends or create your own tables in and SDA (1972-2014) and GSS Data Explorer (1972-2014). To generate time-trends in SDA or Data Explorer using its cross-tabulation program, specify the variable you would like to analyze as a "column" variable, and then specify the variable YEAR as the "row" variable, and request percentaging by rows (instead of columns).

Cross-National Data

Cross-national data are collected as part of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP). ISSP was established in 1984 by NORC and other social science institutes in the United States, Australia, Great Britain, and West Germany. The ISSP collaboration has now grown to include 58 nations (the founding four plus Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea (South), Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela). The ISSP is the largest program of cross-national research in the social sciences. For more information on the ISSP, visit its Web site:

The National Data Program for the Sciences  NORC