Alberta Survey

The PRL has conducted the annual Alberta Survey since 1987 (a link to the 2017 brochure can be found at the bottom of the page).

The Survey

The Alberta Survey is a random-sample telephone survey of 1200 Alberta adults, using a 25-30 minute questionnaire administered on the computer-assisted telephone interviewing system. The cost-sharing participation feature of the survey allows individuals and organizations the opportunity to collect high quality data from a sizable provincial sample at a far lower cost than an independent survey.

The Alberta Survey serves the research needs of both university researchers and external organizations. The survey explores public opinion on a wide range of public policy concerns. Each year questions about a variety of subjects are asked, ranging from issues debated in academic literature to issues relevant to the Alberta social environment.* Community groups and government agencies have come to rely on the Alberta Survey as a reliable, credible, and relatively low-cost data collection vehicle.

Articles based on data from the Alberta Survey have been published in academic journals. The PRL Discussion Paper series based on Alberta Survey data and many theses and dissertations have also analyzed these data. In addition, statistics and quantitative methods instructors in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta and in other Canadian universities regularly use the Alberta Survey data for teaching purposes.

The Alberta Survey Sample

The Alberta Survey sample contains three sub-samples:  

  • the City of Edmonton - metro area (n=400)
  • the City of Calgary - metro area (n= 400)
  • and the remainder of the Province (Other Alberta, n= 400)  

Random digit dialing is employed to select households. Within a household, quota sampling by gender is used to ensure an equal proportion of male and female respondents. The use of ethical research protocols and trained interviewers has resulted in high quality data and good response rates.  

PRL staff provide assistance to clients in question design and advise them on appropriate methods of analysis and presentation of the data. Clients are charged a basic unit cost for their specific questions.

The client data set consists of the sponsored questions and numerous socio-demographic variables, including age, gender, marital status, education, religion, employment status, occupational major group, income, household composition, home ownership, voting preference in provincial and federal elections and sample area in Alberta.   

The cost for a submission to participate on the Alberta Survey is determined by evaluating the submitted questions in terms of standardized question units. A single response precoded question is rated as one question unit. More complex questions are rated in reference to this basic unit.

Written cost estimates are provided to potential clients after the receipt of draft questions. To participate in the survey a minimum set of five questions at a base cost of $12,000 is required. Reduced rates are available for single sample areas, i.e. only Edmonton or Calgary.

For more information on the Alberta Survey, contact:

Donna Fong
Research Administrator

Phone: (780) 492-4659


* Request previous Alberta Survey data sets through the Libraries' Data Help request form.