The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University is a non-profit, non-partisan public opinion data archive that enables researchers to better grasp what public opinion is and ensures that the views of the public are preserved properly. It is one of the world’s leading archives of social science data, specializing in public opinion surveys from the 1930s to today.
On October 1, 2018, the center received a grant for $1.425 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to construct a Health Opinion Database. This project leads to the most comprehensive database in the world for survey questions related to health. It allows the public to access tens of thousands of survey questions from 1935 to the present, related to the public’s values, beliefs, experiences, and attitudes about heath and what influences health. Data visualization tools will be created to help users understand trends over time.
The Roper Center maintains the world’s largest archive of survey data, including over 700,000 survey questions of samples from the United States and more than 23,000 datasets from over 100 countries. Its goals are to promote the informed use of survey research and public opinion information, maintain and constantly enlarge a web-based library of survey research and public opinion data, develop access tools for researchers, increase international understanding, and promote cross-national research on political and social issues. The Roper Center’s survey data is available to academics, policy researchers, press, businesses, and other interested parties.
“In addition to supporting public opinion research and social science education around the world,” says Peter Enns, Government, and executive director of the center, “The Roper Center helps foster and support a vibrant interdisciplinary research community at Cornell, enhancing research on topics, such as health care, elections, information science, the environment, and more.”
The Roper Center was established in 1947 at Williams College and moved to Cornell University in 2015. It is supported by media polling units and research organizations that donate their data. The center has been a resource for countless books, articles, and media stories.