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`Most Important Problem' Dataset updated through June 2015:

The `Most Important Problem' Dataset (MIPD) contains over 832,000 Americans' responses to the "most important problem" question from 1939-2015. This page provides the various data sets, supporting materials and Stata files required for creating a variety of datasets to match specific research needs. Please cite the following: Colton Heffington, Brandon Beomseob Park and Laron K. Williams, forthcoming. "The 'Most Important Problem' Dataset (MIPD): A New Dataset on American Issue Importance", Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Stata data:

  • All of the following files are only available from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

  • MIPD Individual Dataset (Release 1.0): dataset containing the individual-level responses to the MIP question, as well as demographics, economic evaluations, presidential approval, and party competency questions.

  • MIPD Aggregate Dataset (Release 1.0): Survey-level dataset containing the aggregate percentages of MIP responses based on the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), Manifesto Research on Political Representation (MARPOR), and Singer (2011) coding schemes.

  • MIPD Annual Dataset (Release 1.0): Annual dataset for the percentage of Americans identifying various categories as the "most important problem" facing the country today.

Relative Issue Importance of Foreign Policy and the Economy for Americans, 1939-2015


Stata files:

If your research needs are more particular than either the survey-level or annual dataset described above, you can create your own dataset from the individual-level dataset with the following Stata command file. In it, you can vary the temporal domain (annual, quarterly or monthly), the subgroup (i.e., Democrats vs. Republicans), the specific question wording, and the coding scheme (i.e., any combination of CAP, MARPOR and Singer). First download the MIPD Individual Dataset above and then decide your options at the top of the following Stata file.

Supporting materials:

  • MIPD Individual Codebook: Full codebook containing variable definitions, question wordings, coding schemes and descriptive statistics for the MIPD data set.

  • MIPD Aggregate Codebook: Full codebook containing variable definitions, weighting procedures and options for creating the aggregate datasets.

  • Survey References: Detailed references for each survey in the MIPD.