The United States Information Agency, also known as the U.S. Information Service (USIS) was a foreign affairs agency in the executive branch of the U.S. government with a charge to explain and support U.S. foreign policy, interests, and values abroad. The agency was established in 1953 by President Eisenhower. USIA was responsible for a number of important U.S. projects during the Cold War, including Voice of America radio, the Fulbright Scholarship program, speaker series, the publication of magazines and newspapers, the filming of documentaries, and the design and operation of U.S. pavilions at world expositions.
The survey research function of USIA supported all these efforts while informing diplomatic services of public opinion of the U.S. in countries around the world. Roper’s collection of over 1259 USIA datasets from the 1950s to the early 2000s includes data from more than 75 countries. These surveys measured responses to the specific projects of the USIA, including radio, world’s fair exhibits, and publications. But the surveys also investigated attitudes towards democracy, free speech, Communism, the Soviet Union, the SALT treaties, race relations in the U.S. and international trade and economic issues.
In addition to the collection of individual-level data, the Roper Center also hold a vast collection of reports on USIA survey work, written for the use of agency officials. A partial listing of these reports is available; digitized copies can be ordered for a small fee.
In 1999, the functions of the USIA were absorbed into the Department of State, with survey research efforts conducted by the Office of Opinion Research.
Decade and Datasets:
2000s – 77
1990s – 362
1980s – 510
1970s – 137
1960s – 115
1950s – 58