Microdata of the fifth survey year in 2019 comprise information of 27,762 participants. The method of the survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI). Most interviews were conducted in German, but interviewers offered the opportunity to communicate in one of five other languages (Russian, Turkish, Polish, Arabian, English). The interviews were carried out between March and November 2019 and took 29 minutes on average.
The sample was drawn from a landline and a mobile phone sample. Small federal states (Bundesländer) were oversampled to enable separate analyses of the states. The drawing of the phone numbers was based on - regionally stratified - pools of synthetically generated phone numbers. The weighted sample represents the resident population aged 14 years and older of Germany.
Questions to central topics remained widely unchanged over all five survey years, but in 2019 and 2014, some new topics have been added. In 2019, for the first time in the history of the FWS, information on volunteering for refugees and on attitudes towards democracy have been surveyed. An overview of the survey content for all four waves is given in the List of Variable Correspondence 1999-2019, complete with German and English variable and value labels.
Participants were asked for information on the following topics:
- Activities and volunteering in general
- Civilian public service
- Detailed information on (the most time-consuming) voluntary activity
- Context of volunteering
- Willingness to volunteer
- Volunteering for refugees
- Informal social support apart from volunteering
- Political participation
- Background information about the person
For reasons of data protection, the factually anonymised data sets can only be provided after signing a data distribution contract. FWS data is available free of charge to scientific researchers for non-profitable purposes only and requires written permission of the data distributor (FDZ-DZA). The form to apply for the use of FWS-data can be found here: application form.