World Value Surveys
The World Values Surveys (WVS) are a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change. It has carried out representative national surveys of the basic values and beliefs of publics in more than 60 societies on all six inhabited continents, containing almost 80 percent of the world’s population. Its first wave was carried out in 1981, a second wave was completed in 1990-1991, a third wave was carried out in 1995-1996 and this current wave has taken place in 1999-2000. This investigation has produced evidence of gradual but pervasive changes in what people want out of life, and the basic direction of these changes is, to some extent, predictable. This study has given rise to more than 300 publications in 14 languages.For Canada, the sample sizes are 1981: N= 1,254; 1990: N= 1,730; 2000: N= 1,931; and 2006: N=2,164.The methodology of the WVS is also consistent. The data at all three time points are derived from face-to-face interviews. The WVS contains some 250-350 items, depending on the survey year. And each WVS survey contains the same core set of survey items, using the same measurement techniques. This means that with WVS data from three time points, it is now possible to track trends reliably across 25 years. Furthermore, because the WVS were conducted in nearly all advanced industrialized states it is also possible to undertake closer cross-national and cross-time research.
In addition, the project has been expanding to include many developing countries.In addition to a main sample, the Canadian wave of the WVS also included a New Immigrant Sample (NIS) since 2000. This boosted sample allows for specific analysis of immigrants arriving in Canada within the last 10 years.