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Background

The General Social Survey (GSS) is recognized for its regular collection of cross-sectional data that allows for trend analysis, and its capacity to test and develop new concepts that address emerging issues. Each survey contains a core topic, focus or exploratory questions and a standard set of socio-demographic questions used for classification. More recent cycles have also included some qualitative questions which explore perceptions.

The survey collects data over a twelve month period from the population living in private households in the 10 provinces. For all cycles except Cycle 16, the population aged 15 and older has been sampled. Cycle 16 only sampled persons aged 45 and older. Until 1998, the sample size was approximately 10,000 persons. This was increased in 1999 to 25,000. With a sample of 25,000, basic estimates are available at both the national and provincial levels. Depending on the survey topic, the increased sample size may also be sufficient to produce estimates for small population groups such as persons with disabilities, people in visible minorities and seniors. However, the sample size is not large enough to produce estimates for Aboriginal peoples.

The above information is taken from the General Social Survey Product Main Page at Statistics Canada.

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 1: Health and Social Support, 1985
   User Guide (ascii) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 2: Time Use and Social Mobility, 1986
   User Guide (ascii) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 3: Personal Risk, 1988
   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (ascii) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 4: Education and Work, 1989
   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (ascii) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 5: Family and Friends, 1990
   Dictionary (ascii) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 6: Health, 1991
   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (ascii) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 7: Time Use and Social Mobility, 1992
   Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 8: Personal Risk, 1993
   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (ascii) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 9: Education and Work, 1994
   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (pdf) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Record Layout (doc) | List of Variables (doc) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 10: Family, 1995

User Guide (pdf) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Control Form (pdf) | Variance Tables (txt) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 11: Social Support, 1996

   Codebook (ascii) | User Guide (pdf) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Variance Tables Age 15+ (pdf) | Variance Tables Age 65+ (pdf) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 12: Time Use, 1998

User Guide with Appendices (pdf) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 13: Victimization, 1999

User Guide (pdf) | Questionnaire (pdf) | Variance Tables (pdf) | Comparison of Cycles 3, 8, and 13 (pdf) | Abstract (txt) | Attention (doc)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 14: Access to and Use of Information Communication
   Technology, 2000

   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (pdf) | Abbreviations (txt) | Abstract (txt) | Attention (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 15: Family History, 2001

   User Guide (pdf) | Abstract (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 16: Aging and Social Support, 2002

   User Guide (pdf) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 17: Social Engagement in Canada, 2003

   Dictionary (ascii) | User Guide (pdf) | List of Variables (doc) | Abbreviations (txt) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt)

General Social Survey (GSS) Cycle 18: Victimization, 2004

   User Guide (pdf) | Abstract (txt) | Readme (txt) | Abbreviations (txt)

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