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*NEW* - Methodological Report #134. This preliminary report provides information for data users on an assignment error identified in historical data. Click HERE to access the methodological report.

​​​​​​​​​ SPSS

*** Notice ***
Starting with the 2020 GSS (panel and cross sectional data), the GSS team no longer provides updates to the SPSS version of the GSS data file. The SPSS format has a limitation in missing value assignments that makes difficult to implement consistent missing values. In other popular software, such as Stata and SAS, it is easy to use the same missing codes (.d, .n, .i) across all variables. Moreover, we have added new missing codes resulting from adaptation implemented to the 2020 GSS: the skip on the web mode (.s), and the unavailability in given years (.y) or current release of the data (.x). This makes the total number of missing values in the GSS data exceed the maximum of three missing values allowed in SPSS. Users can still use the GSS data in SPSS by importing the Stata and SAS files; however, SPSS users should be aware that all missing values (DK, NA, IAP, and the new missing values added in 2020) will be automatically recoded to SYSMIS (.) in SPSS after importing.


Individual Year Data Sets (cross-section only)​

​* Only year-specific variables are included in the yearly data files.

1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978

1980 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1993 1994 1996 1998

2000 2002 2004 2006 2008

2010 2012 2014 20162018


General Social Survey (1978-2010) was linked to death records from the National Death Index (NDI). The indicator of possible vital status as of 2014 (variable name: DEATH) is now part of the GSS data you can download from the links above. However, because of the potential for deductive disclosure, in order to obtain more specific information, researchers need to complete a formal application to work with the GSS "sensitive" or restrictive data. Please refer to “Obtaining GSS Sensitive Data Files”.



The SPSS student version, which can handle up to 50 variables and 1500 cases, cannot open the GSS data files.

Please note that there are three missing values in the data:

  • IAP: Inapplicable. Respondents who are not asked to answer a specific question are assigned to IAP.
  • DK: Don't know
  • NA: No answer​​