The GSS contains a standard 'core' of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest. Many of the core questions have remain 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 1972-2006 GSS has 5,084 variables, time-trends for 1,643 variables, and 269 trends having 20+ data points. Links to pre-generated trends can be found in NESSTAR. To generate your own trends in the NESSTAR Cross-Tabulation function, add the variable you would like to analyze to “rows” and then add the variable YEAR to “columns".
Since 1982 the GSS has had a Cross-National component. In 1982 and 1984 there were bilateral collaborations between the GSS and the Allgemeinen Bevolkerungsumfragen der Socialwissenschaften (ALLBUS) at the Zentrum fuer Umfragen, Methoden, und Analysen (ZUMA) in Germany. Since 1985 the cross-national module has been developed as part of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) which was organized by Australia, Great Britain, West Germany, and the United States. The ISSP currently has 43 members