National Survey of the Aged [United States], 1962 (ICPSR 7687)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Ethel Shanas

Version V1

This data collection contains the results of a survey of the aged in the United States in 1962. The study gathered information on the health, economic status, living arrangements, and family relationships of persons aged 65 years and older. The emphasis of the survey was on the general physical capacity of older people, the relationship of physical capacity to economic conditions, employment and retirement patterns, housing, and family and social relationships. The survey was designed to produce national estimates of the needs of older persons. In particular, the services that facilitate continued independent living arrangements were examined. The survey was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center and was part of a three-nation study in Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States (see NATIONAL SURVEY OF THE AGED [UNITED STATES], 1957 [ICPSR 7686] and NATIONAL SURVEY OF THE AGED, 1975 [ICPSR 7945]). In personal interviews respondents who were currently employed (and those who were retired or housewives) were asked for employment details and occupational history, their attitudes about work and retirement, and descriptions of their physical health, with specific questions asked of both nonambulatory and housebound persons, (e.g., if they needed and/or received help with various personal care tasks, what specific illness kept them indoors, and who provided their in-home care). Respondents were also asked for information about their children and relatives (e.g., the amount of financial help received from them, the number of times each sibling and child visited, and the amount of time it would take each to make the trip to the respondent's dwelling) and their finances (e.g., living expenses, life insurance, value of property, amount of mortgage payment or rent, and amount and sources of income). Other questions concerned attitudes about aging (e.g., if respondents were satisfied with their life accomplishments, if they believed in an afterlife, and how often they experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation). The interviewers provided observational data about respondents (e.g., level of cooperation and alertness and ability to hear and see). Demographic data gathered include age, sex, marital status, relationship to head of household, number of persons in household, type of household, country of origin, age when arrived in the United States, last grade or year of school completed, religious preference, and if living on a farm.

Shanas, Ethel. National Survey of the Aged [United States], 1962. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (M-5630)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Public Health and Science (CH00054)


1962-05 -- 1962-08

The survey was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center.

A stratified, five-stage random probability sample.

The total noninstitutionalized population of the United States.

personal interviews

survey data



1985-05-24 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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