The Statwing Prize

$1,500 for the most interesting analyses of the General Social Survey

Every other year since 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has asked thousands of Americans 90 minutes of questions about religion, culture, beliefs, sex, politics, family, and a lot more. The resulting dataset has been cited by more than 14,000 academic papers, books, and dissertations—more than any except the U.S. Census.

There’s so much more that can be done with this dataset, though. So we’re offering $1,000 to whoever comes up with the most interesting finding(s), as determined by a crowd vote. Second place will receive $300, third place will receive $200.

Here’s a few example analyses:



1. All submissions are due through the form on this page by January 30 at 11:59pm PST. Multiple entries per person or joint submissions by groups are both fine, too. Statwing staff will nominate a handful of analyses to be voted on by the crowd the following week.

2. Submissions can be of any length. Even small findings that take 5 minutes to uncover have a good chance at being nominated.

3. Submissions must be publicly accessible on the web (e.g., a blog post, a workspace in Statwing, a Github page) so others can vote on it.

4. Submissions can include text, charts, interpretive dance, you name it.

5. Note that this is a competition for the most interesting finding(s), not the best visualization. Effective visualization can be useful in explaining a finding, of course, but beauty specifically won’t be factored heavily into which findings are nominated.

6. Legal things (.docx). Non-exhaustive summary: you still own any analyses you do, but we claim license to use them for promotional stuff. We can use your name (or username/handle, if you prefer) if you give it to us in your submission.


Data and Tools

You are of course free to use whatever analysis and/or visualization tools you’d like.

Regardless of whether you prefer Excel or R or an abacus, we’re confident that you’ll be much more efficient exploring the data (for free) in Statwing—though other tools are better for custom visualization, regression, and many other tasks.

Here’s the data in Statwing (Free, no sign-up required unless you want to save or share your results; see our pricing for details)

Here’s a download of the data (~75mb compressed to ~7mb)

Methodological notes about the data 

To understand the dataset quickly, you can scroll through this Statwing workspace, where we’ve summarized all 406 variables using Statwing’s “Describe” function (your work won’t save).

Email us at if you have any questions.


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