The International Social Survey Program (ISSP)

The ISSP is an international work group for social studies. Its members represent research institutes from different countries that cooperate in annual public opinion surveys to improve and contribute to comparative research among them. The program started in 1985 with collaboration among Germany, Great Britain, the United States and Australia; currently it has 45 countries.

In 1989 Israel joined the program, and has served as its secretariat since 2008. The principles guiding the ISSP are these: to conduct population surveys as a basis for comparative research; to choose topics of wide social significance; to involve all the countries in the preparation of the questionnaire; to preserve high standards and methodological uniformity; to include a comprehensive array of background variables in the questionnaires. Data are collected through personal interviews with a representative sample of the adult population in each country (in Israel the data are collected in both the Jewish and the Arab sector, and interviews are held in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic).

ISSP surveys are conducted on topics of social significance, determined by the project's coordinating council. They include attitudes to work, family and gender roles, national identity, the individual and the state, the environment, social inequality, religion, social networks, and leisure and sports. Findings are arranged in files for each country separately, and in a composite file for all countries. They are published in the journal Public Opinions (issues 2,4,7,8,10,13,14).

The ISSP data are available to researchers and students interested in social surveys in Israel, and also to those engaged in international comparative research.

The data files and the survey questionnaires in English can be ordered at the database in Jerusalem at

Additional information can be found at    

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