The Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) is a leader in the development, implementation, and analysis of data on individual opinions and behavior. As a center for excellence in survey research, LAPOP uses “gold standard” approaches and innovative methods to carry out targeted and national surveys; conduct impact evaluation studies; and produce reports on individual attitudes, evaluations, and experiences across the Americas.
LAPOP’s origins date to the 1970s, in research by Dr. Mitchell Seligson on democratic values in Costa Rica. This pioneering effort took place in the 1970s, a time in which much of the rest of Latin America was caught in the grip of repressive regimes that widely prohibited studies of public opinion. As democratization expanded in Latin America, LAPOP grew in scope and size. Today, LAPOP is engaged in research in every country in Latin America, Canada, the United States, and much of the Caribbean.
LAPOP’s AmericasBarometer regional survey is the only scientifically rigorous comparative survey that covers all of the mainland independent countries in North, Central and South America, as well as a significant number of countries in the Caribbean. With the AmericasBarometer, LAPOP measures values, behaviors and socio-economic conditions in the Americas using national probability samples of voting-age adults. Standardization of methods across the national surveys and a common core permits valid comparisons across countries and time, allowing the AmericasBarometer to serve as a true "barometer" tracking shifts in individual opinions and behaviors. Stratified sample designs, available on LAPOP's website, permit complex analyses of individuals nested within sub-regions. In addition to a common core, individual questionnaires contain country-specific modules that allow experts to assess topics of particular relevance to the country. The AmericasBarometer series begins in 2004 and includes 34 countries and over 311,336 interviews.