Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives



Discover five data sets from our German Service Provider GESIS

The CESSDA Consortium is currently composed of fourteen member countries and one observer. We will be issuing regular news items presenting five data sets hosted by each CESSDA Service Provider. We start in Germany, where GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences holds the following data sets, which are of great interest to researchers both at home and abroad.


The German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) collects up-to-date data on attitudes, behaviour, and social structure in Germany. Every two years since 1980 a representative cross section of the population is surveyed using both constant and variable questions. The ALLBUS is made available to interested parties for research and teaching immediately after processing and documentation.

Fun fact: ALLBUS 2016 data shows that 21.7% of people in Germany do not have contact with foreigners, 19.4% feel like foreigners in their own country. Official figures show that 22.5% of the German population are foreigners in 2017.


The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) is a collaborative research programme among election study teams from around the world. Participating countries include a common module of survey questions in their post-election studies. Additionally, district level data are reported for each respondent, including electoral returns, turnout, and the number of candidates. Finally, a system or "macro" level data report aggregates electoral returns, electoral rules and formulas, and regime characteristics.


The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a continuous programme of cross-national collaboration running annual surveys on topics important for the social sciences. It started in 1984 with four founding members - Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States – and has now grown to about 50 member countries from all over the world. The ISSP surveys are designed to serve as replications. Hence, the ISSP offers two powerful research strategies to study societal processes - by combining a cross-time with a cross-national perspective.

Fun fact: Did you know, that almost 60% of people surveyed in 2015 like the amount of work they have and do not want to change it? About one third would even like to work more and thereby increase their earnings. The figures for Russia for example show that in 2015 60% of people surveyed fell into that category, down from 62% in 2005.

4. European Value Study

The European Values Study (EVS) is the most comprehensive research project on human values in Europe. It is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research programme on how Europeans think about family, work, religion, politics and society. Repeated every nine years in an increasing number of countries, the survey provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values, and opinions of citizens all over Europe since the late 1970s. "Where is Europe heading?" is one of the main questions of the European Values Study (EVS). The last survey was published in 2008 and the next survey is currently underway with new data and insights into the values of the European citizen expected next year.


The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a worldwide study of cognitive and workplace skills by the OECD in 24 countries. The main aim is to be able to assess the skills of literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments, and use the collected information to help countries develop ways to further improve these skills.

Fun fact: In the country of Goethe and Schiller the reading competence of German adults is below average. However, the future is looking up as younger German respondents have higher literacy than their elders. While Japan, Finland and The Netherlands lead the charts when it comes to reading competence, Italy and Spain are lagging behind.

At CESSDA, we are working on building a new and improved Products and Services Catalogue (PaSC), as part of a wide-ranging plan to establish a common infrastructure for CESSDA members. For access to the data, PaSC will direct researchers to the source/service where the data may be obtained or analysed. It is due to go into service early 2018 and will be constantly improved.