National Survey of Black Americans, 1979-1980 (ICPSR 8512)

Principal Investigator(s): Jackson, James S. (James Sidney), University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center; Gurin, Gerald, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Survey Research Center


The purpose of this data collection is to provide an appropriate theoretical and empirical approach to concepts, measures, and methods in the study of Black Americans. The questionnaire was developed over two years, with input from social scientists, students, and a national advisory panel of Black scholars. The final instrument encompasses several broad areas related to Black American life. The study explores neighborhood-community integration, services, crime and community contact, the role of religion and the church, physical and mental health, and self-esteem. It also examines employment, the effects of chronic unemployment, the effects of race on the job, and interaction with family and friends. In addition, the survey provides information on racial attitudes, race identity, group stereotypes, and race ideology. Demographic variables include education, income, occupation, and political behavior and affiliation.

Series: National Survey of Black Americans Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Jackson, James S. (James Sidney), and Gerald Gurin. National Survey of Black Americans, 1979-1980. ICPSR08512-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    African Americans, community involvement, crime, economic indicators, ethnic identity, family relationships, mental health, physical health, political ideologies, psychological wellbeing, race relations, racial attitudes, racial discrimination, racism, reactions to crime, religious attitudes, religious beliefs, residential segregation, self esteem, social indicators, social interaction, social networks, social services, stereotypes, unemployment, work attitudes

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979--1980

Universe:    Black United States citizens 18 years of age or older.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Users should note that data for the "state and county" codes (Variables 1405, 1407, and 1410) were entered in COUNTY/STATE order and not STATE/COUNTY order. This is the reverse of how Note 3 describes the interpretation of these variables. (2) The age distribution for the 2,107 persons interviewed was ages 17-54 (N = 1,526), 55-64 (N = 239), 65-74 (N = 230), 75-84 (N = 100), and 85+ (N = 12). (3) The data in this collection are superseded by the Wave 1 data in NATIONAL SURVEY OF BLACK AMERICANS, WAVES 1-4, 1979-1980, 1987-1988, 1988-1989, 1992 (ICPSR 6668)


Sample:    National multistage probability sample. The sample is self-weighting. Every Black American household in the continental United States had an equal probability of being selected.

Data Source:

personal interviews and questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1987-01-12

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 1999-07-16 SAS data definition statements have been added to this collection, and the SPSS data definition statements were reformatted.

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