Korean General Social Survey (KGSS), 2003-2021 (ICPSR 38577)

Version Date: Jan 3, 2023 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Jibum Kim, Sungkyunkwan University (South Korea). Survey Research Center; Jeong-han Kang, Yonsei University; Seok-ho Kim, Seoul National University; Changhwan Kim, University of Kansas; Wonho Park, Seoul National University; Yun-Suk Lee, University of Seoul; Seulgi Choi, KDI School of Public Policy and Management; Sori Kim, Korea Institute of Public Administration



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The Korean General Social Survey (KGSS) is the Korean version of the General Social Survey (GSS) , closely replicating the original GSS of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The KGSS comprises four parts:

  • The first part includes replicating core questions that cover the core content of Korean society.
  • The second part is the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) module, which is a cross-national survey of 43 countries from all over the world.
  • The third part is the East Asian Social Survey (EASS) module. The EASS is a joint survey of four East Asian countries (Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan) conducting a GSS-type social survey.
  • The last part contains modules proposed by researchers.

This data collection is the cumulative version of the previous 18 years of survey data from 2003 to 2021 (not including 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020). This dataset contains a total of 20,841 cases across 3,215 variables.

Respondents were asked for their opinions about Korean society, economic conditions, government performance, politics and political conditions. Additional questions were asked regarding the health care system, respondents' health behaviors, human rights, attitudes toward aging and the elderly, household composition, household income, education, occupation, environmental issues, international migration and so on. Demographic information collected includes age, sex, education level, household income, employment status, religious preference, political party affiliation, and political philosophy.

Kim, Jibum, Kang, Jeong-han, Kim, Seok-ho, Kim, Changhwan, Park, Wonho, Lee, Yun-Suk, … Kim, Sori. Korean General Social Survey (KGSS), 2003-2021. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2023-01-03. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR38577.v1

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Ministry of Education (South Korea), National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020S1A3A2A03096777), Sungkyunkwan University
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2003-01-01 -- 2021-12-31
2018-01-01 -- 2018-12-31, 2016-01-01 -- 2016-12-31, 2003-01-01 -- 2014-12-31, 2021-01-01 -- 2021-12-31

2003 - 2014: The KGSS population of consists of non-institutionalized residents in Korea who are 18 years of age or older and who can communicate in Korean. The sample size of the first (2003) and the second (2004) surveys was 2,000 but it was increased to 2,500 with the third (2005) survey to reduce standard errors and increase effective sample sizes. Between 2003 and 2005, data from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety was utilized instead of constructing sampling frames of households. The sample was selected using a multi-stage area probability sampling method.

2016 - 2021: The 2016 and 2021 KGSS population consists of non-institutionalized residents in Korea who are 18 years of age or older and who can communicate in Korean. The required number of persons were directly selected if a well-defined list of all adult persons was available. If such list was not available, potential respondents were selected in four stages utilizing an area probability sampling method. The first three stages select the required number of households. The fourth stage selects an eligible person from each selected household.

Longitudinal: Trend / Repeated Cross-section

All national populace aged 18 years or older residing in households in South Korea.


  • 2003: 1,315 respondents (66%)
  • 2004: 1,312 respondents (66%)
  • 2005: 1,613 respondents (65%)
  • 2006: 1,605 respondents (64%)
  • 2007: 1,431 respondents (57%)
  • 2008: 1,508 respondents (60%)
  • 2009: 1,599 respondents (64%)
  • 2010: 1,576 respondents (65%)
  • 2011: 1,535 respondents (61%)
  • 2012: 1,396 respondents (56%)
  • 2013: 1,294 respondents (52%)
  • 2014: 1,370 respondents (55%)
  • 2016: 1,051 respondents (47%)
  • 2018: 1,031 respondents (43%)
  • 2021: 1,205 respondents (50%)



2023-01-03 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 recodes and/or calculated derived variables.

The weight variable, FINALWT, with six implied decimal places has been included and must be used in any analysis.