Afrobarometer collects and disseminates information regarding Africans’ views on democracy, governance, economic reform, civil society, and quality of life. Round 1 surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2001. At that time, the project covered seven countries in Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe), three countries in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria and Mali) and two in East Africa (Uganda and Tanzania). Round 2 surveys were completed by November 2003 with four new countries added: Kenya, Senegal, Cape Verde and Mozambique. Round 3 surveys were conducted from March 2005 to February 2006 in the same countries, plus Benin and Madagascar. Round 4 surveys were conducted during 2008 and 2009 in 20 countries, reflecting the addition of Burkina Faso and Liberia. The fifth Round of surveys were done between October 2011 and June 2013. In the Round 5 surveys, the project covered an additional 15 countries in different regions of the continent. Among the new R5 countries were: Mauritius and Swaziland in Southern Africa; Burundi and Ethiopia in East Africa; Cameroon, Niger, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Togo in West Africa. Afrobarometer also worked with the Arab Barometer and implemented R5 surveys in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco Sudan and Tunisia. Additional Round 5.5 surveys were also conducted in Mali and Zimbabwe.
The Afrobarometer is a comparative series of public attitude surveys that assess African citizen's attitudes to democracy and governance, markets, and civil society, among other topics. The surveys have been undertaken at periodic intervals since 1999. The Afrobarometer's coverage has increased over time. Round 1 (1999-2001) initially covered 7 countries and was later extended to 12 countries. Round 2 (2002-2004) surveyed citizens in 16 countries. Round 3 (2005-2006) 18 countries, and Round 4 (2008) 20 countries. The survey covered 34 countries in Round 5 (2011-2013).
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Version 01: Edited, anonymized dataset for public distribution
Each Afrobarometer survey collects data about individual attitudes and behavior, including innovative indicators especially relevant to developing societies. This includes the following topics:
• Democracy - Popular understanding of, support for, and satisfaction with democracy, as well as any desire to return to, or experiment with, authoritarian alternatives.
• Governance - The demand for, and satisfaction with, effective, accountable and clean government; judgments of overall governance performance and social service delivery.
• Livelihoods - How do African families survive? What variety of formal and informal means do they use to gain access to food, shelter, water, health, employment and money?
• Macro-economics and markets - Citizen understandings of market principles and market reforms and their assessments of economic conditions and government performance at economic management.
• Social capital - Whom do people trust? To what extent do they rely on informal networks and associations? What are their evaluations of the trustworthiness of various institutions?
• Conflict and crime - How safe do people feel? What has been their experience with crime and violence?
• Participation - The extent to which ordinary people join in development efforts, comply with the laws of the land, vote in elections, contact elected representatives, and engage in protest. The quality of electoral representation.
• National identity - How do people see themselves in relation to ethnic and class identities? Does a shared sense of national identity exist?
conflict, security and peace [4.1]
domestic political issues [4.2]
government, political systems and organisations [4.4]
mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion [4.6]
political ideology [4.7]
business/industrial management and organisation [2.2]
mass media [7.4]
social exclusion [12.9]
cultural activities and participation [13.2]
cultural and national identity [13.3]
religion and values [13.5]
social behaviour and attitudes [13.6]
social change [13.7]
social conditions and indicators [13.8]
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is district.
The sample universe for Afrobarometer surveys includes all citizens of voting age within the country. In other words, we exclude anyone who is not a citizen and anyone who has not attained this age (usually 18 years) on the day of the survey. Also excluded are areas determined to be either inaccessible or not relevant to the study, such as those experiencing armed conflict or natural disasters, as well as national parks and game reserves. As a matter of practice, we have also excluded people living in institutionalized settings, such as students in dormitories and persons in prisons or nursing homes.
Producers and sponsors
The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)
Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
Michigan State University (MSU)
Department for International Development
Swedish Internation Development Cooperation Agency
United States Agency for International Development
World Bank Group
Sample size: 2400
Sampling frame: Drawn from the National Census, done in August 2002 by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Government Statistics Agency. This frame has not been updated and was the one used in the second and third rounds of the AB survey.
Sample universe: Citizens aged 18 years or older, excluding institutions
Sample design: Nationally representative, random, clustered, stratified, multistage area probability sample
Stratification: Regions (21 Mainland and 5 in Zanzibar) and place of residence (urban-rural).
Stages: Rural Areas: Randomly select Secondary Sampling Units (SSUs) (Ward), PSUs (EAs) (two from each SSU), Start Points, Households, Respondents. Note: Wards were used as SSUs in all regions except Tabora, where the rural sample was drawn without using SSUs. This sampling difference in Tabora has been accounted for in the weighting of the data.
Urban Areas: Randomly select PSUs (EAs), Start Points, Households, Respondents.
PSU selection: Probability Proportionate to Population Size (PPPS)
Cluster size: 8 Households per PSU
Household selection: Randomly selected start points, followed by walk pattern using 5/10 interval.
Respondent selection: Gender quota filled by alternating interviews between men and women; respondents of appropriate gender listed, after which household member draws a numbered card to select individual.
Response rate of the survey was 85.5%.
Note that for some surveys data is weighted to correct for either deliberate (e.g., to provide an adequate sample of specific sub-groups for analytical purposes) or inadvertent over- or under-sampling of particular sample strata. In these cases, a weighting variable is included as the last variable in the data set, with details described in the codebook. These weighting factors should be used when calculating all national-level statistics.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA)
For general inquiries
For general inquiries
Public use files, available to all
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Afrobarometer Data, [Country(ies)], [Round(s)], [Year(s)], available at http://www.afrobarometer.org.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.