General Social Survey, 2018 - Instructional Dataset

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

Smith, T. W. (2020, August 6). General Social Survey, 2018 - Instructional Dataset.
This file contains all of the cases and variables that are in the original 2018 General Social Survey, but is prepared for easier use in the classroom. Changes have been made in two areas. First, to avoid confusion when constructing tables or interpreting basic analysis, all missing data codes have been set to system missing. Second, many of the continuous variables have been categorized into fewer categories, and added as additional variables to the file. 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. To download syntax files for the GSS that reproduce well-known religious group recodes, including RELTRAD, please visit the ARDA's Syntax Repository.
Data File
Cases: 2,348
Variables: 1,073
Data Collection
Date Collected: 2018
Original Survey (Instrument)
General Social Survey 2018
Funded By
National Science Foundation
Collection Procedures
In-person interview of approximately 90 minutes
Sampling Procedures
NORC has introduced an innovative approach to demographic sampling frame construction and sample design for NORC's program of face-to-face surveys from 2004 onward. The important changes from previous GSS designs are: (i) the construction of a new list-assisted sampling frame for 72 percent of the population; (ii) an increase in the size of the certainty stratum (the proportion of the population covered by certainty area selections); (iii) designation of new primary sampling units (PSUs) for the certainty stratum; (iv) designation of new secondary sampling units (SSUs) for the remaining "urban" areas; and, (v) designation of larger SSUs for the remaining areas.

In 2012, a new sample frame based on the 2010 census was implemented. Starting in 2006, the GSS sampled Spanish speakers in addition to English speakers.
Principal Investigators
Tom W. Smith
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