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Public Opinion and Social Attitudes Data  

This guide will help you find public opinion and social attitudes data, including public opinion polls.
Last Updated: May 29, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Background Information

Search the library catalog for subjects such as "Public Opinion" and "Public Opinion Polls".

Statistical Indexes & Databases

  • Major Statistical Indexes & Databases
    Link to guide with descriptions of the major multidisciplinary subscription statistical indexes and databases at the MSU Libraries
  • Data-Planet
    This is a powerful interdisciplinary database that assembles statistical information from government and private sources in one single interface.
  • Statista
    Statista is a statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources including agriculture, advertising, health, hospitality, consumer goods, and much more.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    Indexes and abstracts statistical publications from the US government, state governments, international organizations, and professional associations.

Quick Picks - Favorite Resources

  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
    One of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are represented.
  • Polling the Nations
    Polling the Nations is the most comprehensive collection of public opinion, with information from not only in the United States but also more than 80 countries around the world. Includes polls from local U.S. areas. The database includes the full text of the questions and responses covering a broad range of issues.
  • State of the State Survey
    The State of the State Survey is the only survey conducted in Michigan designed to systematically monitor the public mood on important issues in major regions of the state. Administered here at MSU by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.

What are polls?

Polling 101: A tutorial on the fundamentals of polling from the Roper Center.

Poll & Survey FAQs: from the American Association for Public Opinion Research

20 Questions Journalists Should Ask About Poll Results: An article on how to distinguish between scientific and unscientific polls from Public Agenda.


Only a fraction of polls are published and an even small fraction still is easily attainable.  For example, when you in the paper "according to a Gallup Poll published last week" it is not guaranteed that you will be able to find the poll in one of our services.  Also, many marketing polls/surveys are prohibitively expensive and therefore in effect not available.


Scholarly Literature on Public Opinion

Subject Specialist Librarian

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Hailey Mooney

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