The Roper Center archive consists of over 20,000 datasets from public opinion surveys dating back to the 1930s. Approximately 60% of these were conducted in the United States. These studies cover a vast variety of topics including elections and politics, social issues, finances and the economy, education, health, international affairs, social movements and change, and historical events. State-level datasets are also available, including large collections from California, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. The Roper Center’s collection provides opportunities for researchers to conduct detailed secondary analysis to discover new insights years after the original survey was released.

The Center’s international holdings consist of nearly 8,000 studies from over 100 countries around the world. Some highlights include:

  • One of the largest Latin American collections in the world, with surveys from 16 different countries, including surveys done for the Office of the President of Mexico from 1989-1994.
  • Studies collected by the United States Information Agency (USIA) from the 1950s through the early 2000s.
  • Cross-national survey collections, including Pew Global Attitudes, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, German Marshall Fund/Compagnia di San Paolo TransAtlantic Trends Surveys, and the Program on International Policy Attitudes.
  • Unique collections from Germany: Demoskopie collection from 1950-1975, Canada: Gallup from 1945-2000, and France: Brule Ville Associates from 1985-1995.

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Featured Collections

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Bureau of Applied Social Research

From 1940 to 1977, the Bureau of Applied Social Research conducted surveys on a wide range of social, professional, and academic issues. BASR was founded by Paul Lazarsfeld in 1937 as the Office of Radio Research.  In 1940, it became part of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Lazarsfeld was a pioneering sociologist whose work on social research methodology revolutionized the field. He has been referred to as the founder of modern empirical sociology.  Lazarsfeld also introduced the two-step flow of communication theory, which describes the flow of ideas from mass media ...
Silhouette of family

KAPS: Family Planning Studies

In the 1960s and 70s, the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices studies surveyed women and men across the world about family planning, birth control, pregnancy, and sex. The majority of the samples are of women under the age of fifty, married women, and women living in cities and metropolitan areas.  The featured countries are Mexico, the United States, Israel, the Philippines, France, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Peru. What is the ideal family size?  What is the impact of the population growth rate, will it cause societal problems?  What methods ...

NORC: The Early Years

The National Opinion Research Center is a non-profit organization associated with the University of Chicago. NORC has been conducting polls since 1941.  There are over 150 NORC polls from the 1940s and 1950s that document the public's opinion about World War II, the Cold War, foreign policies, and a range of other topics. Many of the World War II questions focus on the citizens in Axis countries.  Is it necessary to "hate" the enemies in order to win the war? Should we provide food to people living in the Axis powers?  Who can be ...
Rutger's Work Trends Series

Rutger’s Work Trends Series

The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development is based at Rutgers University. The university-based research and policy center, founded in 1997, is dedicated to raising the effectiveness of the American workplace by strengthening workforce education, placement and training programs and policies ...
Pew Hispanic Trends: National Surveys of Latinos

Pew Hispanic Trends: National Surveys of Latinos

Pew Hispanic Trends Project by Pew Research Center chronicles the diverse and changing lives of the U.S. Latino population and its impact on the nation.  Their yearly National Survey of Latinos covers key topics in social and political trends. Recent datasets available for download include: Pew Hispanic Center 2012 National Survey of Latinos, conducted September 7-October 4, 2012, focused on the 2012 presidential election, attitudes toward immigration law, and media and technology use. Pew Hispanic Center 2011 National Survey of Latinos covered issues including the path to citizenship, priority of immigration reform, and the economic ...
Latin American Databank

Latin American Databank

The Latin American Databank features a collection of roughly 1500 studies from South American, Central American, and Caribbean countries, as well as Mexico and Puerto Rico. Data from these diverse regions has been archived by the LAD since the late 1980s in a joint project with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Connecticut. Surveys from the 1950s to the present day are included in the archive. Each country has its own featured page, highlighting the major topics in the surveys. The studies cover a wide range of subjects ...
Office of Public Opinion Research established by Hadley Cantril

Office of Public Opinion Research Collection

The Office of Public Opinion Research Collection, established by Hadley Cantril, spans the turbulent years of World War II.  The first survey took place less than a year after Germany invaded Poland, the United States having yet to enter the fray.  The final survey was completed after German  surrender, but before Japanese surrender. There are a multitude of questions about America's opinions on the war as it unfolded, offering insight into a population who only twenty years prior endured "the Great War."  Who did they think would win the war, and how did their opinions change over time?  Did they ...
Roper Fortune under the direction of survey pioneer Elmo Roper

Roper Fortune Collection

Under the direction of survey pioneer Elmo Roper, the Roper Organization conducted the landmark Fortune studies:  over seventy survey projects undertaken between 1938 and 1949.  These were formative years for both public opinion research and for America at large.  The success and scope of these polls secured Roper as one of the forefathers of the field. The most prominent feature of this collection is the wide range of questions about World War II.  Read about questions posed less than a year before the outbreak of war, asking Americans how they felt about the "war in Europe" and the leadership ...

American Soldiers Studies of WWII

On the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Research Branch of the Information and Education Division of the War Department conducted the first in a series of large-scale surveys of personnel in the United States armed forces. In the words of project staff director Samuel A. Stouffer, the purpose of the project was "to provide the army command quickly and accurately with facts about the attitudes of soldiers which...might be helpful in policy formation." ...
Virginia Slims women's opinion polls

Virginia Slims American Women’s Opinion Polls 1970-2000

Members:  Available using RoperExpress (see links provided below) Non-Members:  See Fees for Other dataset downloads In 1970 with the Women’s Movement well underway, Virginia Slims began commissioning surveys about the role of American women in society. As those roles continued to change through the late 20th century, Philip Morris USA, makers of Virginia Slims, continued to collect data on the topic. The poll was conducted in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Many of the questions remained the same, while others explored the specific topics of the period. Thus, this collection has become not ...
NSF - National Science Foundation

Public Understanding of Science and Technology, NSF 1979-2006

This set of surveys is sponsored by The National Science Foundation—Science Resources Statistics. The principal investigator from 1979-1999 was Jon D. Miller, Northwestern University, ORC Macro (2001) and NORC (2006). The creator of the 1979-2006 core data file is Susan Carol Losh, Florida State University ...
UBS Index of Investor Optimism

UBS Index of Investor Optimism, 1996-2007

Introduction Survey Methodology Download Documentation Data Files Indices Defined Related Links The Roper Center archives the entire collection of the UBS Index of Investor Optimism studies. A joint effort of UBS and the Gallup Organization, the UBS Index of Investor Optimism is the only ongoing survey of investor outlook in the United States and Europe. Introduced in 1996 as a quarterly survey, which became monthly in 1999, the Index profiles individual investors to ensure that their attitudes, perceptions and concerns are represented in the national dialogue ...
September 11, 2001 New York City clouded in smoke

September 11, 2001 surveys from days following the attack

These polls, taken in the days immediately following the September 11th attacks, reveal the public’s personal reactions to the events, their fears about the future, and their views about what actions government should take in response. The datasets and codebooks for these valuable studies are made available free of charge as a service to our users ...
Bowling Alone - social capital

Roper Social and Political Trends

Roper Social and Political Trends Data, 1973-1994, from RoperASW serves as one of three primary datasets used extensively in the research reported in Bowling Alone: Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam, Harvard University. In an effort to explore the current state of social capital in the United States, Putnam has tapped the rich collection of time-series data gathered by RoperASW (now know as gfkamerica) from the fall of 1973 through 1994. This unique resource has now been contributed to the Roper Center at Cornell University in an effort to further the ...
2006 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey

2006 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey

The 2006 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey is comprised of a national adult sample of 2,741 respondents and twenty-two communities sample (11 of which were from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey) totaling 9,359 community respondents.  The overall sample size is 12,100. Field Period The survey was conducted during two waves. Wave 1: Wave 1 ran from mid-January to late April, 2006 and covered the following 14 communities: Sample Size SAMP variable value Arkansas (Siloam Springs, Pine Bluff, Van Buren, and Little Rock) 400 58 Baton Rouge, LA 400 3 Duluth, MN/Superior, WI 500 ...
2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey

2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey

The 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey was sponsored by three-dozen community foundations and others and was designed by the Saguaro Seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. The survey is the largest ever on the civic engagement of Americans. "At a time when President Bush began his presidency by asking us to be 'citizens, not spectators' and to serve our nation 'beginning with your neighbor,' the Survey shows that we have opportunities to work towards those goals ..." --Robert Putnam The Survey comprises both a national sample of some ...
GSS logo

General Social Survey

GSS 1972-2012 Cumulative Data File via RoperExpress The 1972-2012 GSS cumulative data file for the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Surveys (GSS) is available from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research via RoperExpress immediate download or on CD-ROM. These data have been processed by The Roper Center and differ in several ways from the original version supplied by NORC. During the archival process, systematic changes have been made to the data files for completeness. These changes include: Additions and corrections to response labeling Inclusion of “Don’t know” responses as valid Since a ...
Faith Matters cloud tag

Faith Matters Survey 2006

The Faith Matters Survey was conducted on behalf of Harvard University by International Communications Research in the summer of 2006.   The survey was generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The national survey interviewed roughly 3100 Americans in an hour-long phone survey both about their religion (beliefs, belonging and behavior) and their social and political engagement.  The data provided precise measurements of religious belief and behavior to help scholars determine their relative stability among different sub-populations and as compared to non-religious beliefs and behaviors. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, by Robert ...