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Political Science: Public Opinion & Statistics

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This page lists public opinion and statistics information sources of use in the study of politics.

Public Opinion & Statistics


American Association for Public Opinion Research.
- The leading association of public opinion and survey research professionals.

American National Election Studies. (ANES) 
- A highly regarded source of data on the American electorate, ANES conducts surveys on voting, public opinion, and political participation, including pre-election and post-election surveys, time series studies, pilot studies (to test survey methodology) and panel studies of select respondents.

American Public Opinion and US Foreign Policy Series
- Quadrennial studies was designed to investigate the opinions and attitudes of the general public and opinion leaders on matters relating to United States foreign policy, from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

Cooperative Congressional Election Study. (CCES)
- The CCES is a 50,000+ person national stratified sample survey administered by YouGov – a global public opinion and data company. Half of the questionnaire consists of Common Content asked of all respondents, and half of the questionnaire consists of Team Content designed by each individual participating team and asked of a subset of 1,000 people. In addition, several teams may pool their resources to create Group Content.
- The survey consists of two waves in election years. In the pre-election wave, respondents answer two-thirds of the questionnaire. This segment of the survey asks about general political attitudes, various demographic factors, assessment of roll call voting choices, political information, and vote intentions. The pre-election wave is in the field from late September to late October. In the post-election wave, respondents answer the other third of the questionnaire, mostly consisting of items related to the election that just occurred. The post-election wave is administered in November.
- In non-election years, the survey consists of a single wave conducted in the fall.

Democracy Fund. VOTER (Views of the Electorate Research) Survey.
UCLA Nationscape.
- Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape provides access to data from one of the largest ongoing public opinion surveys — interviewing people in nearly every county, congressional district, and mid-sized U.S. city, and measuring political attitudes, values, and affinities, as well as voter turnout and voter choices.

General Social Survey. (GSS)
- From the National Data Program for the Social Sciences (University of Chicago), GSS "contains a standard 'core' of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest," showing a "pulse" of nation data plus opportunities for time-trend studies.

Huffpost. Pollster.
- Known as before the Huffington Post bought it, the Huffpost Pollster aggregates and analyzes data from major polls.

Marist Poll
- From the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, a survey center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, the Marist Poll regularly measures public opinion at the local, state, and national level, covering a wide range of topics including politics, money, family, spirituality, entertainment, etc.

National Annenberg Election Survey. (NAES)
The NAES Survey examined a wide range of political attitudes about candidates, issues and the traits Americans want in a president during the presidential election years 2000, 2004, and 2008. It had a particular emphasis on the effects of media exposure through campaign commercials and news from radio, television and newspapers. Additionally, the National Annenberg Election Survey measured the effects of other kinds of political communication, from conversations at home and on the job to various efforts by campaigns to influence potential voters. Data is available to scholars upon request.

Odum Institute Archive Dataverse
- The Archive contains social science data curated and archived by the Odum Institute Data Archive at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Some key collections include the primary holdings of the Louis Harris Data Center, the National Network of State Polls, and other Southern-focused public opinion data.
- Some datasets in this collection are restricted to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill affiliates. 

Pew Research Center.  
- As a nonpartisan "fact tank" that collects and disseminates information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world, the Pew Research Center supports seven research areas:

  • U.S. Politics & Policy.
    - Opinion research about American attitudes on politics and major policy issues and study the changing U.S. electorate by measuring long-term trends in political values and public policy priorities, as well as polling on the issues of the day.
  • Journalism & Media.
    - Assessing the state of news and information in a changing society, including how news is consumed, who is reporting it and how technology is shaping the information landscape. 
  • Internet & Technology.
    - Analysis of the social impact of digital technologies, and scientific research and innovation, with a focus on how science and technology changes affect families, communities, education, health care and medicine, civic and political life, and workers’ activities.
  • Religion & Public Life.
    - To promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs in the U.S. and around the world, Pew's Religion & Public Life public opinion surveys, demographic studies and other social science research look at the religious composition of countries, the influence of religion on politics, and the extent of government and social restrictions on religion, and views on abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research and many other topics. 
  • Hispanic Trends.
    - Research aimed at chronicling the diverse and changing lives of the U.S. Latino population and its impact on the nation, analyzing Latino attitudes and opinions on a range of social matters and public policy issues.
  • Global Attitudes & Trends.
    - International research on an array of subjects, ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their attitudes about the current state of the world.
  • Social & Demographic Trends.
    - Analysis of the behaviors and attitudes of Americans in key realms of daily life, combining original public opinion research with economic and demographic analysis. In addition to surveying the general public, Pew conducts surveys of special populations, such as the Millennials, LGBT Americans, Asian Americans and veterans.
- "An independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion," includes results from surveys on American politics and policy, business and economy, national security, etc.

RAND. American Life Panel. (ALP)
- The ALP is a nationally representative panel of over 6000 members ages 18 and older, that covers such diverse topics as financial decision making, the effect of political events on self-reported well-being, inflation expectations, joint retirement decisions, retirement preferences, health decision making, Social Security knowledge and expectations, measurement of health utility, and numeracy.
- All data are available for free to researchers.

The American Panel Survey. (TAPS)
- TAPS is a monthly survey adults in the United States, with a focus on key public policy issues at the intersection of business and government. Includes approval measures, economic evaluations, ideology and party identification, candidate evaluations, and questions on major issues, such as immigration and the Supreme Court.

American attitudes : what Americans think about the issues that shape their lives.
[online resource; UCSB IP addresses only]
Ithaca, NY: New Strategist Publications, 2005.
- Also available in print at Ref HN90.P8 A527 2005

American public opinion data, 1981-2000.
Louisville, KY: Opinion Research Service, 1981-
- Sources for polls listed in American Public Opinion Index (next entry).
- Microfiche Area HM261 .A43

American public opinion index, 1981-2000.
Louisville, KY: Opinion Research Service, 1981-2000.
- Use this index with American Public Opinion Data (above). Both are partially superseded by Polling the Nations (entry on this page).
- Ref HM261 .A463, v.1-2

The Gallup poll. (monthly)
New York: Random House, 1935-
Library holds: 1935/1971-1978/1979,1981/1982-1983,1989,1999,2012.
- Ref HN90.P8 G35

The Gallup poll cumulative index: public opinion, 1935-1997.
Wilmington, DE : Scholarly Resources, 1999.
- Ref HN90.P8 G29 1999

The Gallup poll public opinion, 1935-1997. (CD-ROM)
Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2000.
- Contains the 25 volumes of the Gallup poll public opinion series and a cumulative index, searchable by topic heading and year.
- Main Library HN90.P8 G352 2000

Berkeley IGS Poll
This poll, from the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies, is a periodic survey of California public opinion on important matters of politics, public policy, and public issues.

California Polls.
- The Field Poll, also known as the California Poll, was established in 1947 and operated continuously as an independent, non-partisan, media-sponsored public opinion news service, covering public opinion in the State of California. Data from the Field Poll is available from 1956-2016.  The polls covered a wide range of political and social topics, including: approval of important national and statewide political figures; reactions to significant political events and hot button issues; opinions on California ballot propositions; voter awareness; understanding and predispositions of major campaign issues; party affiliation; and demographics. The Field Poll / California Poll was followed by Berkeley IGS Poll (see above), from 2017 onwards.

National Network of State Polls. (NNSP)  
The NNSP Dataverse contains over 700 datasets contributed by 44 NNSP member organizations representing 25 states. NNSP is a confederation of organizations that conduct state-level surveys. From 1991 to 2000, the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, served as the national headquarters for the NNSP and actively encouraged members to archive their state poll data at the Odum Institute. The NNSP Dataverse is one of the largest available collections of state-level polling data.

Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC Statewide Survey
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. The PPIC Statewide Survey provides a voice for the public and likely voters on key policy issues facing the state.

USC Dornslife / Los Angeles Times Poll
The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll project is a series of statewide public opinion polls in California, designed to survey voter attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues.

- A comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets and civil society in Africa.

- A comparative survey of Asia countries that focuses on the daily lives of ordinary people and their relationships to family, neighborhood, workplace, social and political institutions and the market place.

British Election Study. (BES) 
- A study conducted at every British General Election since 1964, its goal is to describe and to explain why people vote, why they vote as they do, what affects the election outcome, and what are the consequences of elections for democracy in Britain. The British Election Study 2015 is managed by a consortium of The University of Manchester, The University of Oxford and The University of Nottingham. 

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. (CSES) 
- A common set of survey questions focused on the effects of electoral institutions on citizens' attitudes and behavior, the presence and nature of social and political cleavages, and the evaluation of democratic institutions across different political regimes.

- Surveys and studies from the Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission that address major topics of European citizenship, such as EU enlargement, society, health, culture, information technology, environment, the Euro, defense, etc.

European Election Studies. (EES)
- A series of studies that focus on electoral participation and voting behavior in European Parliament elections, plus the public view of the performance of the EU political community and of the evolution of a European public sphere.

European Social Survey. (ESS)
- A biennial study series designed to measure changes in public attitudes and behavior patterns, both over time and across nations, regarding Europe's changing political and social institutions, and the attitudes, beliefs and behavior patterns of its diverse populations.

European Values Study
- A large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values that provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens all over Europe with regard to life, family, work, religion, politics and society.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. (ICPSR) 
- An international consortium of about 700 academic institutions and research organizations that maintains a huge social science data archive, including specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.

International Social Survey Programme. (ISSP)
- A cross-national survey series covering such social science research topics as national identity, citizenship and the role of government; social relations and social support systems; family and gender role issues; work and leisure; health and the environment.

Latin American Public Opinion Project surveys. (LAPOP) 
- A subscription service from Vanderbilt University, the Americas Barometer is a biennial cross-national survey (begun in 2004) of democratic values and behaviors in the Americas. See especially LAPOP's extensive, book-length country studies and its Insights Series that provides brief analyses of key, policy-relevant data gathered by the Americas Barometer. LAPOP survey data can be queried at no cost to the user.

Latinobarometro data. 
- An annual public opinion survey conducted in 18 Latin American countries that looks at the development of democracy, economies and societies, using indicators of opinion, attitudes, behavior and values.

Pew Research Center.  
- As a nonpartisan "fact tank" that collects and disseminates information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world, the Pew Research Center supports seven research areas:

  • Global Attitudes & Trends.
    - International research on an array of subjects, ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their attitudes about the current state of the world.
  • Hispanic Trends.
    - Research aimed at chronicling the diverse and changing lives of the U.S. Latino population and its impact on the nation, analyzing Latino attitudes and opinions on a range of social matters and public policy issues.

Polling the Nations
- An online database of public opinion polls containing the full text of 600,000+ questions and responses, from 18,000+ surveys and 1,700+ polling organizations, conducted from 1986 through the present in the U.S. and more than 100 other countries around the world.

World Public Opinion
- An international collaborative project that collects and analyses public opinion data on international policy issues from around the world. Many datasets available in the Digital Repository of the University of Maryland.

Almanac of the 50 States, 1985-2010.
- Biennial source that provided comparable statistics for each of the states (plus Washington, DC), indluding information on demography, health, eduation, housing, the economy, etc.
- Latest (2010) in Ref; other volumes in Main Library HA 203 .A5

U.S. Census Bureau.
- is the new platform to access data and digital content from the U.S. Census Bureau, aimed at improving the customer experience by making data available from one centralized place, ensuring that data users spend less time searching for data content.
- An interagency Federal initiative, hosted by the General Services Administration, that aims to increase public access to datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Includes tools to find, download and use datasets.
- A portal to regional socioeconomic data from federal, state and non-government sources.

UC Berkeley Library. U.S. Data & Statistics Sources.
- An extensive guide, with links.

University of Texas at Austin. Comparative Agendas Project
- Collects and organizes data from various archived sources to trace changes in the national policy agenda and public policy outcomes since the Second World War.

USAFacts is a "non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative" from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Lynchburg College and other partners that uses publicly available government data sources to provide "a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society."

See also the UCSB Library Social Sciences Data and Statistics research guide, as well as links to U.S. government statistics sources found under the "American Government & Politics" tab - "Executive Departments & Agencies" sub-tab on this Political Science research guide.

California cities, towns & counties, 1993-2009
- Annual with profiles of every incorporated municipality and every county in the state.
- Main Library HA261 .C295

County and city extra: annual metro, city, and county data book.
- Compiles information from many sources to provide key demographic and economic data for every state, county, metropolitan area, congressional district, and for all cities in the United States with a 2010 population of 25,000 or more. 
- Latest at Ref Desk HA203 .C68; past editions in Main Library

California Statistical Abstract.
- Annual publication the State of California, Department of Finance, Economic Research Unit, compiling data on social, economic, and physical aspects of the State, through 2008 (published 2009). 
- Main Library HA261 .C3; pdfs of 1999-2003 editions of the California Statistical Abstract can be found HERE.

RAND State Statistics.
[online resource; UCSB IP addresses only] 
- Data at the national, state, county, and city level on business and economics, community, education, energy and environment, government finance, health and socioeconomic, and population and demographic topics.

United States. Census Bureau. Guide to State Statistical Abstracts.
- Links to the most recent statistical abstracts for states published since 2000.

UC Berkeley Library. California Statistics.
- A guide, with links.

AFRISTAT: Observatoire Economique et Statistique d'Afrique Subsaharienne
- AFRISTAT est une organisation internationale créée par un traité signé le 21 septembre 1993 à Abidjan par les 14 pays africains membres de la Zone Franc suivants: Bénin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Centrafrique, Comores, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinée Equatoriale, Mali, Niger, Sénégal, Tchad et Togo. A ce jour, l'organisation compte 22 Etats membres.

CIA World Fact Book
- Information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Cross-National Time Series, 1815-1973
- A longitudinal national data series for 167 nations covering demographic, social, political, and economic topics, from ICPSR.

- Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union, tasked with providing statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions. Eurostat processes, consolidates and publishes comparable statistical collected by the statistical authorities of Member states. 
- See especially the Eurostat Yearbook (found under "Publications" on the Eurostat web site). For the 1995 - 2008 editions of the Yearbook, go to Main Library HA1107 .E89.

International Statistical Agencies
- See the list of links of statistical agencies of other nations, from the U.S. Census Bureau.

OECD iLibrary
- Contains publications and datasets released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Energy Agency (IEA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and International Transport Forum (ITF) since 1998.Look especially for datasets, indicators and statistical books series listed under the Statistics tab on the OECD iLibrary home page.

Penn World Tables
- The Penn World Tables provide annual time-series data on purchasing power parity and national income converted to international prices, for 189 countries and territories, for some or all of the years 1950-2014.  Access to the most recent version of this data is maintained at the University of Groningen, Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC).

World Almanac and Book of Facts
- Latest edition in print at Ref Desk AY67.N5 W92; earlier editions in Main Library.

World Bank. World Development Indicators.
- Over 2,000 indicators from World Bank data sets on development in countries around the globe, capturing data on agriculture & rural development, energy & mining, the environment, infrastructure and more, with economic time series going back to 1960.

The United Nations Charter established the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations to advance sustainable development with respect to international economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related matters. ECOSOC in turn established five regional commissions to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation. Each of these commissions supports statistical work covering its member states. The five regional commissions are:

  • United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
    - ECA's African Centre for Statistics provides access to the annual African Statistical Yearbook of economic, demographic and social statistics; find it under the "Publications" link at the bottom of the Centre's home page. See also the Centre's ECA Databank statistical database.  
  • United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). 
    - ESCAP's Data Centre and, more generally, its Statistics Division provide access to the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific and other statistical information about this region.
  • United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
    - See especially the ECE Statistical Division's UNECE Countries in Figures which presents a profile of social and economic indicators for each of the 56 UNECE member countries.
  • United Nations. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) 
    (In Spanish, the Commission is known as CEPAL: La Comisión Económica para América Latina.)
    - ECLAC provides access to the Anuario Estadístico de América Latina y El Caribe | Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean via its Statistics pages.
  • United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
    - See especially ESCWA's Statistics Division periodic Statistical Abstract of the Arab Region

In addition, ECOSOC established the United Nations Statistical Commission to serve as the highest body of the global statistical system. The Statistical Commission oversees the work of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) which compiles and disseminates global data and statistical information on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment and demographic and social statistics. See especially UNSD's UNData service which provides access to a variety of UN statistical databases through a single entry point.  The Division also regularly publishes such useful sources of statistical information as the Statistical Yearbook and World Statistics Pocketbook

Older editions of the Statistical Yearbook in print can be found at Main Library HA12.5 .U5.

Among other United Nations organs that provide access to statistical information, consider:

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Institute for Statistics. (UIS)  
- Source for cross-nationally comparable statistics on education, science and technology, culture, and communication for more than 200 countries and territories. See especially the Institute's UIS.Stat data resource, with over 1,000 types of indicators and raw data on education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication.

UC Berkeley Library. International Government Data & Statistics: Key Sources.
- From UC Berkeley, another extensive guide, with links.

Historical Statistics of the United States
[online resource; UCSB IP addresses only]
- Also available at Ref Desk HA202 .H57 2006, v.1-5

International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania, 1750-2000
- Ref HA4675 .M552 2003

International Historical Statistics: The Americas, 1750-2000.  
- Ref HA175 .M55 2003

International Historical Statistics: Europe, 1750-2000.  
- Ref HA1107 .M5 2003

The National Historical Geographic Information System. (NHGIS)
- Provides population, housing, agricultural, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for geographic units in the United States from 1790 to the present.

U.S. Census Bureau. Census of Population and Housing.  
- Digitized copies of the decennial print volumes, 1790 - 2010.

U.S. Census Bureau. Historical, Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: The United States, 1790-1970
- Detailed county and state-level U.S. Decennial Census data for the United States, 1790 to 1970, accessible via ICPSR. 

Statistical Abstract of the United States.
prepared by the chief of the Bureau of Statistics, Treasury Department. Washington, 1879-
- Source: Hathi Trust (1878-2018)

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