ICPSR Remembers: A 9/11 Data Resource Guide



As we observe the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we examine ICPSR data that preserve and retell the stories of 9/11. The data tell how people dealt with mental health issues after the attacks. The data chronicle how the nation found ways to honor the memories of those who perished that day. They tell us how 9/11 impacted the well-being of families in many ways, including mentally, and economically. The data tell us who people thought was most to blame for the attacks. The data tell us teens’ opinions about the attacks, and whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the country. The data tell us all these things, and more. These data resources help us to pause and remember September 11, 2021, and how our nation was changed forever.


9/11 Variables


Reaction to 9/11: Do you think New Yorkers who have moved into the City since 9/11 had different reactions to September 11 than New Yorkers who were living in the City then, or do you think their reactions were pretty much the same? Piensa usted que los Neoyorquinos que mudaron a la ciudad despues el 9/11 tubieron diferentes reaciones al 11 de Septiembre que los Neoyorquinos que vivian aqui durante el 9/11, o piensa que sus reacciones al 9/11 fueron mas o menos las mismas?

Source: New York Times New York City Poll, August 2006


Frequency of 9/11 Anniversaries: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the future, do you think 9/11 anniversary ceremonies should continue to be held every year, or every 5 years, or every 10 years, or should 9/11 anniversary ceremonies no longer be held? Este ano marca el decimo aniversario de los ataques del 9/11. En el futuro, piensa Ud. que las ceremonias aniversarias se deberian de continuar cada ano, o cada 5 anos, o cada 10 anos, o que las ceremonias aniversarias no se deberian continuar?

Source: CBS News/New York Times New York City Poll, August #2, 2011 


Approval of 9/11 memorial: Do you approve or disapprove of the current plans for the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center site? Aprueva usted o no aprueva de los planos corrientes para un monumento del 11 de Septiembre en el area de las torres Gemelas?

Source: New York Times New York City Poll, August 2006


The Tribute in Light memorial in New York shines in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. (Credit: Getty)


9/11 Affect Finances: How have the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks affected the economic well-being of you and your family? Would you say your financial situation has gotten much better, somewhat better, somewhat worse, or much worse?

Source: The Attack on America and Civil Liberties Trade-Offs: A Three-Wave National Panel Survey, 2001-2004


9/11 Mental Issue: As a result of the terrorist attacks, have you or has someone you know ever suffered from a diagnosed mental health issue such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress syndrome? [IF YES, ASK]: Was that you or someone you know? A causa de los ataques terroristas, a usted o alguien que usted conoce sufrido de una condicion mental diagnosticada como la depression, la angustia o el syndrome de estres postraumatico?

Source: CBS News/New York Times New York City Poll, August #2, 2011


Blame for not preventing 9/11: Who do you think is most to blame for not PREVENTING the September 11th attacks?

Source: CBS News/New York Times September 11th Families Poll, August #3, 2011


9/11 Studies


ABC News 9/11 Anniversary Poll, September 2006 (ICPSR 4665)

The focus of this poll was the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way President George W. Bush was handling the presidency and issues such as the campaign against terrorism and the situation in Iraq. Information was collected on how closely respondents were following the upcoming congressional and gubernatorial election, whether they would vote for a Democratic or Republican candidate if the election for the United States House of Representatives were being held that day, and the single most important issue in their vote for Congress members. Other questions asked which political party they trusted to do a better job handling the main problems the nation would face over the next few years, and whether they approved of the way Congress and their own representative to the United States House of Representatives were handling their jobs. Views were also sought on the war in Iraq and Donald Rumsfield's handling of his job as Secretary of Defense. Respondents were asked how well they thought the campaign against terrorism was going, whether the country was safer from terrorism compared to before September 11, 2001, and whether Osama bin Laden would have to be captured or killed for the war on terrorism to be a success. Information was collected about the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on respondents' lives, how concerned they were about the possibility of more major terrorist attacks in the United States, how much confidence they had in the government's ability to prevent another major terrorist attack, whether the federal government was intruding on the privacy rights of Americans in its investigation of possible terrorist attacks, and whether this intrusion was justified. Additional topics addressed the religion of Islam, new airport security measures, and how proud they felt to be an American. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, household income, voter registration and participation history, political party affiliation, political philosophy, employment status, marital status, and type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural).


ABC News September 11th Teen Poll, August 2002 (ICPSR 3561)

This special topic poll, conducted August 25-28, 2002, was undertaken to assess the opinions of teens about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Teens were asked whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the country, whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about their personal future, how proud they were to be an American, what they planned to do after high school, how involved they felt their parents or guardians were in their lives, how much stress they had in their lives, whether they felt depressed, and how safe they felt in their day-to-day lives. They were also asked how safe they would feel flying in an airplane, being in a tall building, being in a big city, or being in a crowded place. Other survey questions queried the teen respondents about how often they thought about the terrorist attacks that took place in New York and Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, whether their lives had changed since then, and whether they had made any changes in their personal plans for the future because of the attacks. Respondents were also asked if their parents had made any new rules about where they were allowed to go, whether they had to check in with their parents, whether they felt they knew how their parents felt about what happened September 11, 2001, and whether they felt the same way about the attacks as their parents. Teens were also asked if, right after the attacks, they had felt frightened about what happened, scared that there might be more terrorist attacks, worried about their own personal safety, worried about the safety of any friends or relatives, confused about who would do this and why, angry at the people who had perpetrated the attacks, or confident that the United States would handle the problem, and whether they continued to feel those things now. Additional questions probed for whether they had trouble sleeping right after the attacks or trouble now, whether they felt they had a good basic understanding of Islam, and whether they had heard any other kids or adults say prejudiced things about Muslims, Arabs, or Arab-Americans. Background information on respondents includes age, gender, education, and whether they lived in a large city, suburb, small town, or rural area.

(Restricted) DVA Post-9/11 GI Bill (ICPSR 37737)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a U.S. law that provides benefits to military veterans who have taken part in active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. To be eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, an applicant must have served for at least 90 days and still be on active duty or been honorably discharged or discharged for a disability related to serving. The bill was passed into law in 2008. The Census and VA will use linked data resources built from VA administrative records to conduct statistical research that will benefit both agencies. The Post 9/11 GI Bill data includes date of birth and sex.


Long-Term Effects of Law Enforcement's Post-9/11 Focus on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, 2007-2010, United States (ICPSR 29461)

This study examines the state of counterterrorism and homeland security in five large urban law enforcement agencies (the Boston Police Department, the Houston Police Department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and the Miami-Dade Police Department) nine years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It explores the long-term adjustments that these agencies made to accommodate this new role.

Incidents of Post-9/11 U.S. National Security Policies' Impact on Scientific Research and Higher Education in Diverse Geographic Locations, March 2002 to June 2005. (ICPSR 30206)

Through this study, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sought to collect and disseminate information about the impacts of post-9/11 security policies on scientific research and higher education. The study resulted in the development of a searchable database that includes 92 separate incidents in which scientists and engineers, from across the United States and internationally, were affected by the implementation of those policies.


Contact: Dory Knight-Ingram


Sep 11, 2021

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