General Social Survey, 1994

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > General Social Surveys > Summary


The General Social Surveys (GSS) have been conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) annually since 1972, except for the years 1979, 1981, and 1992 (a supplement was added in 1992), and biennially beginning in 1994. The GSS are designed to be part of a program of social indicator research, replicating questionnaire items and wording in order to facilitate time-trend studies. The 1994 GSS featured special modules on family mobility and multiculturalism. Items on religion cover denominational affiliation, church attendance, religious upbringing, personal beliefs, and religious experiences.

Data File
Cases: 2,992
Variables: 852
Weight Variable: 849 (FORMWT), 852 (OVERSAMP)
FORMWT - Problems with form randomization procedures on the 1978, 1980, 1982-1985 surveys necessitate the use of FORMWT when variables appearing on only one form are analyzed. A complete list of form-related variables appears in Appendix P.

OVERSAMP - As described in the previous section, the 1982 survey included an oversample of blacks. To make the 1982 survey a representative cross-section, the user can either exclude the black oversample cases by excluding codes 4 and 5 on SAMPLE or weight the file by OVERSAMP. To make the 1987 survey a representative cross-section the user can either exclude the black oversample by excluding code 7 on SAMPLE or weight the file by OVERSAMP. Users should adopt one of these procedures in all cases, except when analyzing only blacks from the 1982 and/or 1987 cross-sections and oversamples.
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1994
Funded By
National Science Foundation
Collection Procedures
In-person interview of approximately 90 minutes
Sampling Procedures
The survey is an independently drawn sample of English-speaking persons eighteen years of age or over, living in noninstitutional arrangements within the United States. Full probability sampling was employed.

"The national sample uses a variation of the stratified probability proportional to size (PPS) method. First, the nation is divided into clusters, called primary sampling units (PSUs). PSUs are based on counties; the total number of households in each county, as reported by the most recent census….Each metropolitan county is regarded as a PSU, as are many nonmetropolitan counties. Sparsely populated rural counties are merged into adjacent county units to obtain a minimum of 2,000 housing units.

"Since NORC samples are based on one hundred PSUs, the total number of housing units for a year is divided by 100 to yield a sampling interval (some PSUs have total numbers of housing units exceeding the sampling interval, making it impossible for them not to be included in a sample, see Tourangeau, Johnson, Qian, and Shin, 1993 for further discussion on how these PSUs are treated). Each PSU is assigned a number range based on its total number of housing units. Then a random number is selected, and the first PSU selected is the one within whose range the random number falls. Additional PSUs were selected by adding the sample interval to the initial random number on a cumulative basis. Once the hundred PSUs are selected, block segments consisting of linked groups of one or more geographically contiguous census blocs are also selected. Segment selections were made using PPS methods on the basis of the total number of housing units in the PPS relative to the national total." (Taken from, Stark and Roberts, 1998 Contemporary Research Social Research Methods. Bellevue, WA: MicroCase Corporation.)
Principal Investigators
James A. Davis
Tom W. Smith
Peter V. Marsden
Citing the GSS
Davis, James Allan and Smith, Tom W. General social surveys, 1972-2008 [machine-readable data file]. Principal Investigator, James A. Davis; Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Tom W. Smith; Co-Principal Investigator, Peter V. Marsden; Sponsored by National Science Foundation. --NORC ed.-- Chicago: National Opinion Research Center [producer]; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor], 2007. Retrieved on [Date Retrieved] from www.thearda.com
Note 1: Occupation and Industry Codes
The following link provides a detailed description of the occupation and industry codes utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset:

http://publicdata.norc.org/GSS/DOCUMENTS/BOOK/GSS_Codebook_AppendixF.pdf
Note 2: Occupational Prestige Scores
The following link provides a detailed description of the occupational prestige codes utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset, specifically page 40 in the pdf browser, or Table 6 in the document:

http://publicdata.norc.org/GSS/DOCUMENTS/BOOK/GSS_Codebook_AppendixG.pdf
Note 3: NORC Size of Place and SRC belt
The following link provides a detailed description of the codes utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset:

http://publicdata.norc.org:41000/gss/DOCUMENTS/REPORTS/Methodological_Reports/MR004.pdf
Note 4: Unemployment Codes
Codes for use with the variable UNEMP5:

0 Not unemployed
1 Unemployed during four years before last year and not main earner
2 Unemployed during four years before last year and main earner
3 Unemployed last year and not main earner
4 Unemployed last year and during four previous years and not main earner
5 Unemployed last year and not main earner and unemployed during previous four years and main earner
6 Unemployed last year and main earner
7 Unemployed last year and main earner and unemployed previous four years and not main earner
8 Unemployed last year and previous four years and main earner both periods
9 No answer
Note 5: Number of Deaths in the Past Five Years
Codes for use with the variable DEATH5:

0 No deaths
1 No deaths last year, one death during previous four years
2 No deaths last year, two or more deaths during previous four years
3 One death last year, none during previous four years
4 One death last year, one during previous four years
5 One death last year, two or more during previous four years
6 Two or more deaths last year, none during previous four years
7 Two or more deaths last year, one during previous four years
8 Two or more deaths last year, two or more during previous four years
9 No answer
Note 6: Protestant Denominations
The following link provides a detailed description of the Protestant denomination codes utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset, specifically page 23 in the pdf browser or appendix 2 in the document:

http://publicdata.norc.org:41000/gss/DOCUMENTS/REPORTS/Methodological_Reports/MR043.pdf
Note 7: International Occupation Codes and 1988 Census Codes
The following link provides a detailed description of the International occupation codes, as well as the 1988 census codes, utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset:

http://publicdata.norc.org/GSS/DOCUMENTS/BOOK/GSS_Codebook_AppendixI.pdf
Note 8: The Socioeconomic Index of Occupations
The Socioeconomic Index was constructed from the 1989 Occupational Prestige Scores. The following link provides a detailed description of the index codes utilized in the 1994 GSS dataset, specifically page 25 in the pdf browser, or appendix A in the document:

http://publicdata.norc.org:41000/gss/DOCUMENTS/REPORTS/Methodological_Reports/MR074.pdf