Global Flourishing Study Releases First Wave of Data in Historic Research Project to Uncover Causes of Human Flourishing

First wave of data, collected from more than 200,000 individuals in over 20 countries, now available through partnership with Center for Open Science

February 13, 2024
Global Flourishing Study partners Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, Gallup and the Center for Open Science

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Feb. 13, 2023) – The first full dataset from the Global Flourishing Study (GFS), a groundbreaking initiative co-directed by Baylor University researcher Byron Johnson, Ph.D., is now available through the Center for Open Science (COS). The GFS project, a five-year, $43.4 million longitudinal study of over 200,000 individuals in more than 20 countries, represents the largest funded research project in Baylor history

Launched in 2021, GFS was designed to investigate a wide range of factors that influence human flourishing. Baylor University, the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, Gallup and the Center for Open Science partner on the study. The Center for Open Science will present the data as an open-access resource for researchers, journalists, policymakers and educators worldwide.

“On a project of this scale and scope, it is essential that the data be made available not just to the academic community, but to a truly global audience,” said Johnson, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor. “This is why our partnership with the Center for Open Science (COS) is so critically important to the success of the GFS. Guided by the principles of the Open Science Framework (OSF), COS is uniquely qualified to ensure that the access to this data resource takes place in a manner that is transparent, ethical and reproducible.

“The Global Flourishing Study is one of the first major studies to be open access, which is a great fit for Baylor as a Christian research university, because it underscores the importance of transparency regarding data and research more generally. The GFS research team, like everyone else around the world, is excited to gain access to this important dataset,” Johnson said.

As a longitudinal study, the GFS data will annually provide greater insight into comprehensive findings with each new wave released. Researchers will initially analyze country-specific and demographic data, among other topics.

“The GFS will be an incredible longitudinal data resource on the study of human well-being. I cannot wait to see what our research team and other teams around the world, facilitated by COS, will learn from it,” said project co-director Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D., The John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard.

Researchers can access GFS data in three ways:

  • Preregistration: Preregister an analysis plan now to receive access to the wave one dataset at
  • Registered Report: Access also is available to those who submit a Registered Report to a journal. With Registered Reports, a journal reviews the preregistration plan and agrees to publish the findings regardless of the outcome, protecting against publication bias. 
  • Public release: Those wishing to receive the data without preregistration can access the non-sensitive data for each wave a year after the initial release.

“The GFS initiative is more than a study; it’s a commitment to understanding the human condition,” Gallup CEO Jon Clifton said. “The release of this dataset is a significant step towards that goal.”

For more information on GFS’s data access, visit the Center for Open Science GFS website, where additional information is available about utilizing GFS data, viewing recordings of previous webinars, which include information about preregistration and Registered Reports, and how to gain access to the wave one dataset. Sign up to receive the GFS newsletter for news about the data and to register for webinars in the coming months.

“The Open Science Framework and the expertise of COS makes this possible,” said Huajin Wang, Ph.D., COS Director of Programs. “COS is thrilled to be stewarding the data access process and ensuring that everyone around the globe is able to access this unprecedented data.”


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Global Flourishing Study is the product of collaboration among researchers from Harvard University, Baylor University, Gallup, and Center for Open Science to address significant limitations in current studies of Human Flourishing. The project is based on the creation of an important new data resource: a global, probability-based panel of more than 200,000 participants from over 20 geographically and culturally diverse countries. Funders include John Templeton Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Well-Being for Planet Earth Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, Well Being Trust, the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation, and the David & Carol Myers Foundation. 


Launched in 2004, Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) initiates, supports, and conducts research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, philosophy, epidemiology, theology, and religious studies. The ISR mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development, and social conflict. 


Founded in 2016, the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science aims to study and promote human flourishing, and to develop systematic approaches to the synthesis of knowledge across disciplines. The program’s research contributes to the broad question of how knowledge from the quantitative social sciences can be integrated with that of the humanities on questions of human flourishing and how best to carry out this synthesis of knowledge across disciplines. 


Gallup is a global analytics and advice firm with more than 80 years of experience measuring public opinion and human development. In the organization’s own research and in working partnerships with government, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, Gallup develops indicators to measure key global development and social responsibility indicators over time.


Founded in 2013, COS is a nonprofit culture change organization with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools, including the Open Science Framework (OSF). Learn more at