World Values Survey, Aggregate Data

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Cross-National > Summary


This file provides summary or aggregated measures for the 82 societies participating in the first four waves of the World Value Surveys. Thus, the society, rather than the individuals surveyed, are the unit of analysis.

"The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities all around world.

Interviews have been carried out with nationally representative samples of the publics of more than 80 societies on all six inhabited continents. A total of four waves have been carried out since 1981 making it possible to carry out reliable global cross-cultural analyses and analysis of changes over time. The World Values Survey has produced evidence of gradual but pervasive changes in what people want out of life. Moreover, the survey shows that the basic direction of these changes is, to some extent, predictable.

This project is being carried out by an international network of social scientists, with local funding for each survey (though in some cases, it has been possible to raise supplementary funds from outside sources). In exchange for providing the data from interviews with a representative national sample of at least 1,000 people in their own society, each participating group gets immediate access to the data from all of the other participating societies. Thus, they are able to compare the basic values and beliefs of the people of their own society with those of more than 60 other societies. In addition, they are invited to international meetings at which they can compare findings and interpretations with other members of the WVS network." (Source: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs/articles/folder_published/article_base_46)

Data File
Cases: 82
Variables: 623
Weight Variable:
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1982, 1990, 1995, 2000
Funded By
"The World Values Survey Association is a non-profit organization funded by various scientific foundations.


Each national team is responsible for their own expenses and most surveys are financed by local scientific foundations. However, central funding has been obtained in cases where local funding is not possible.

The WVS Executive Committee provides leadership and strategic planning for the WVSA. It is responsible for the recruitment of new members, the organization of meetings and workshops, the promotion of publications and dissemination of results. The WVS Executive Committee also raises funds for central functions and assist member groups in their fund-raising.

Presently, the activities of the WVS Secretariat and WVS Executive Committee is funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentennary Foundation." (Source: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs/articles/folder_published/article_base_47)
Collection Procedures
"The mode of data collection for WVS surveys is face-to-face interviewing. Other modes (e.g., telephone, mail, internet) are not acceptable except under very exceptional circumstances and only on an experimental basis. In any case, EC approval in writing is necessary for modes of data collection other than face-to-face interviewing." (Source: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/SebTest/wvs/articles/folder_published/survey_2005/files/WVS-rules_for_PIs_wave5.pdf)
Sampling Procedures
"WVS requires a complete explanation of proposed sampling procedures BEFORE the start of the fieldwork. The sampling plan must be approved by the EC in writing.

A. METHOD OF SAMPLING
The preferred method of sampling for WVS surveys is the full probability sample. However, recognizing that the very high cost -in terms of finances, manpower and time- of full probability samples may prove to be prohibitive in some cases, WVS allows quota sampling provided that the following principles are strictly adhered to:
1. Selection of PSUs must be probabilistic (and preferably PPS).
2. Selection of first stage clusters within PSUs must be probabilistic (and preferably PPS).
3. Quota sampling should be used only within reasonably small sized clusters that have been selected probabilistically.

Whether the sampling method is full probability or a combination of probability and quota, the minimum number of PSUs is 30. A design with less than 30 PSUs is not permissible.

B. SAMPLE SIZE
The minimum sample size (i.e., the number of completed interviews) is 1,000. However, given the fact that in most designs the “effective sample size” (sample size net of design effects) is lower than the actual sample size, larger sample sizes are strongly recommended if at all possible.

C. NON-RESPONSE
Non-response is an issue of increasing concern in sample surveys. Investigators are expected to make every reasonable effort to minimize non-response. More specifically,
1. In countries using a full probability design, no replacements are allowed. Pis should plan on as many call-backs as the funding will allow.
2. In countries using some form of quota sampling, every effort should be made to interview the first contact.
In any case, and as indicated below, a full report on non-responses is required.

D. COVERAGE
WVS surveys are required to cover all residents (not only citizens) between the ages of 18 and 85, inclusive. PI’s can lower the minimum age limit as long as the minimum required sample size for the 18+ population is achieved."

(Source: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/SebTest/wvs/articles/folder_published/survey_2005/files/WVS-rules_for_PIs_wave5.pdf)
Principal Investigators
World Values Survey Association (WVSA)
Related Publications
A Human Development View on Value Change
http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs/articles/folder_published/article_base_83

Development, Freedom, and Rising Happiness
http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs/articles/folder_published/article_base_107