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Comparative Survey of Freedom, 1972-1976 (ICPSR 7555)

Principal Investigator(s): Gastil, Raymond D.


This data collection contains information gathered in five annual surveys that assessed the degree of freedom in 218 nations and dependencies from 1972-1976. The study was carried out under the auspices of Freedom House, New York City. The number of cases with data varies from year to year, due to annexation, amalgamation, or the addition of further territories to the roster. The data include assessments of the political and civil rights of the general population (using a seven-point scale, i.e., 1, most freedom, to 7, least freedom), an overall freedom rating for the country (using a three-point scale, i.e, free, partly free, and not free), and the direction in which this rating appeared to be moving. Surveys after 1972 have added variables that indicate whether a change in the evaluation since the previous survey was due to internal events in the country or to new information about existing conditions. Before 1973, only the presence or absence of change is noted. Thereafter, an increase in the number of coding categories enables the direction of the change to be recorded. The 1976 data include four additional variables applicable to 142 cases and provide information about the system of government and the economy of most of the nations studied. The rationale used in assigning the seven categories on the continuum of most to least freedom can be found in Appendix III of the codebook, including which civil and political rights were considered critical in order for a nation to garner each rating.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Gastil, Raymond D. Comparative Survey of Freedom, 1972-1976. ICPSR07555-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07555.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07555.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    censorship, civil rights, economic systems, evaluation, freedom of information, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, government performance, nations, political history, political ideologies, political power, political systems, repression, trend analysis, world politics

Geographic Coverage:    Afghanistan, Africa, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Asia, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda Islands, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Central America, Chad, Channel Islands, Chile, China (Peoples Republic), Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Easter Island, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Europe, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibralter, Global, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Juan Fernandez Islands, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Latin America, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States), Middle East, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, North America, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Pacific Ocean, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South America, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Soviet Union, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam (Socialist Republic), Virgin Islands of the United States, Wallis and Futuna, West Indies, Western Samoa, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Time Period:   

  • 1972--1976

Universe:    A total of 218 of the world's nations and dependencies of the world.

Data Type(s):    aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

The data for five years have been combined to produce one continuous record for each country. Entities that were added to the list or removed from it have been assigned the missing data code for the years that are not relevant. This is somewhat misleading in the case of Vietnam, which upon unification resumed the original code assigned to it before division. Consequently, 815 (Vietnam) has the missing data code for 1972-1975, whereas 816 (North and South Vietnam) are so coded for 1976. The missing data code means "not applicable" rather than "unknown," and corresponds to the absence of information in the original data. "No Change" was coded blank in the original, which leads to ambiguity in the case of countries that appear for the first time, and should presumably be coded "not applicable" for all variables dealing with "change since previous survey." Some, however, show directional change, and the remainder have therefore been coded "no change."

Conducted by Freedom House, New York, NY.



Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03

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