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 1972-2012 GSS has 5,545 variables, time-trends for 2,072 variables, and 268 trends having 20+ data points. You can find links to pre-generated trends or create your own tables in and SDA (1972-2012) and NESSTAR (1972-2006). To generate time-trends in SDA (1972-2012) 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 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 57 nations (the founding four plus Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, 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: www.issp.org