Tracking a nation’s changes

Germany will soon mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even today, the Germans still have plenty of reason to celebrate the historic changes that took place in 1989.

East and West Germans took it upon themselves to forge a new country. But what has become of them a quarter of a century later? Have they come together or grown apart? We believe they have changed each other in often surprising ways.

GESIS, the Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences, has collected information about German society every two years since 1980. The German General Social Survey asks the Germans what they think about issues like family, politics, religion and foreigners.

We have culled answers from eastern and western Germans to 15 questions spanning from the early 1990s to 2012. Taken together, their attitudes towards abortion, education, social inequality and patriotism paint a previously unknown picture of German reunification.


Source: ALLBUS 1980-2012, doi:10.4232/1.11898. Question only to employed: Number of cases for the subgroup of participants from Eastern Germany aged 18-29 between 2009 and 2010 N < 100. Number of cases for subgroup of East and Hauptschule since 1998 N < 100.

This data visualization is part of our series about the German reunification The first 25 years. What are your thoughts about this interactive? Which aspects are most important to you? What are your conclusions? Join the discussion! Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings on twitter (please include the hashtag #de25)