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Baylor Religion Survey, Wave V (2017)




Froese, P. (2020, December 1). Baylor Religion Survey, Wave V (2017).


Wave V of the Baylor Religion Survey (2017), also known as "The Values and Beliefs of the American Public - A National Study," was administered by Gallup and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. It covers topics of the geography of religion; religious behaviors and attitudes; morality and politics; mental health and religion; intersection of technology and religion; race and ethnicity; the religious, political and ideological values of Trump voters; and basic demographics.

The ARDA has added four additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 1501
Variables: 322
Weight Variable: WEIGHT

Sample data were weighted to minimize bias in the survey based estimates. The base weight assigned to each respondent in each stratum was equal to the inverse of the probability of selection (or the sampling fraction) for that stratum. The base weights were then adjusted for non-response by a non-response weight adjustment factor equal to the ratio of the sample size and the number of completed surveys in each stratum. The final step involved post-stratification weighting to restore proportionality among groups of the population that may have been overrepresented or underrepresented in the survey due to differential non-response or representation on the sample frame. In the process of post-stratification weighting, Gallup weighted the actual respondent database to match the known demographic characteristics of the U.S. adult population by geographic region (census region), age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education. Trimming of extreme weights were carried out to minimize the effect of large weights on sampling error. The target data for post-stratification weighting were obtained from the latest Current Population Survey (CPS) 2015 population projections.

Data Collection

February 2 - March 21, 2017

Original Survey (Instrument)

The Values and Beliefs of the American Public - A National Study

Funded By

The John Templeton Foundation

Collection Procedures

The survey was fielded using a self-administered pen and paper methodology with mail based collection only.

Gallup mailed out an initial 11,000 surveys with an invitation letter, return envelope, and $1 USD cash incentive on February 2nd. Reminder postcards were mailed to all on February 13th, and a full cover letter, survey, and return envelope package was sent to those addresses remaining open on February 28th. Collection of completed interviews finished on March 21st.

Wave 5 of the Baylor Religion Survey (BRS5, 2017) has a final sample of 1,501 respondents, a sample that compares favorably with the 2016 sample of the General Social Survey on a number of key demographic, religious and political characteristics.

Sampling Procedures

The target population (of all adults nationwide) was stratified into 12 strata. Strata were formed based on density of specific subgroups (like Hispanic, African, Younger population (18-34)) to ensure minimum coverage of these sub-populations in the sample. The determination of high density Hispanic, African American or younger population was based on information available at the census block group level. Sampling was done independently within each stratum.

The sample for this study was selected using ABS (Address Based Sample) methodology based on a simple stratified sample design. The mode of data collection was mail. Gallup obtained the ABS sample from the Marketing Systems Group (MSG), a database and survey sample vendor, who has access to the latest DSF (Delivery Sequence File) frame and generated the Sample for Gallup. The DSF of USPS (United States Postal Service) is a computerized database that contains all delivery point addresses, with the exception of general delivery where carrier route or P.O. Box delivery is not available and mail is held at a main post office for claim by recipients. The choice ABS sampling method was made to address the evolving coverage problems associated with telephone-based samples. Gallup obtained a total sample of 11,000 addresses nationwide from MSG and a total of 1,501 surveys were completed with an overall response rate of 13.6 percent.

Principal Investigators

Paul Froese

Related Publications

Dougherty, K. D., Johnson B. R., and Polson E. C. (2007). Recovering the Lost: Remeasuring U.S. Religious Affiliation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 46(4), 483-499.

Citing the Data

When citing this study, the following information should be included:
Baylor University. 2017. The Baylor Religion Survey, Wave V. Waco, TX: Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion [producer].

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