New Tool Gives Researchers Faster, Easier Access To Public Opinion Data

NORC at the University of Chicago’s Data Explorer 2.0 makes accessing and analyzing General Social Survey data quicker and more user-friendly

CHICAGO, February 2, 2022 – NORC at the University of Chicago has launched the new Data Explorer 2.0 for the General Social Survey (GSS), one of the nation’s largest data sets about societal change and American opinion. The new GSS Data Explorer offers users free access to GSS data to create reports identifying trends and other findings from the survey. The Data Explorer 2.0 launched on January 26 and is now ready for public use.

 The Data Explorer 2.0 is an upgrade of a previous version of the Explorer. Among other features, the 2.0 version includes a simplified user interface and a streamlined sign-in process to improve user experience when accessing GSS data.

“The General Social Survey is one of the most important data sets those researchers, teachers, students, journalists, and others have to understand changes in attitudes, opinions, and social norms in the U.S. over time. The Survey measures how people in the United States think and how that thinking has changed,” said René Bautista, director of the GSS and principal research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago. “The Data Explorer 2.0 will make diving into the vast ocean of General Social Survey data easier and more efficient.”

The GSS is one of the most influential studies in the social sciences. Insights from the GSS have helped scholars, policymakers, and journalists understand how the characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes of the U.S. population have shifted over the past five decades. GSS data provide content for newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, as well as policy reports and recommendations. More than 32,500 journal articles, books, theses, and PhD dissertations are based on GSS data, and about 400,000 students use the GSS in their classes each year.

Data Explorer 2.0 lets users search survey data by question or variable, analyze data without the need for statistical software, quickly view key trends and view responses over time, export data, and save information for later.

Users can find more about our content, methodological adaptations, and sample composition at our website:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the General Social Survey. NORC is working on a research project, events, conference presentations, and other offerings throughout the year to mark the anniversary. To learn more about the activities around the GSS’s 50th year, visit beginning in April.


About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created, and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

About the General Social Survey
The General Social Survey is one of the most influential studies in the Unites States that studies how Americans think and feel about such issues as national spending priorities, crime and punishment, intergroup relations, and confidence in institutions. In addition to informing countless news articles, GSS data have been the basis of more than 32,500 books, scholarly papers, and PhD dissertations over its 50-year history. It is used by more than 400,000 students in their classes each year. The General Social Survey is a project of NORC with principal funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at or (703) 217-6814 (cell).