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National Survey of the Aged [United States], 1957 (ICPSR 7686)

Principal Investigator(s): Shanas, Ethel


This survey, sponsored by the Health Information Foundation at the University of Chicago and conducted at the National Opinion Research Center, consists of three component parts. Part 1, the Health Needs of Older Persons, covers health, the use of medical facilities, the cost of medical care, the older person's sources of income, his/her social relationships, attitudes toward younger family members, work, religion, and a self-evaluation of health status for persons aged 60 and over. Part 2, Household Enumeration: Noninterviewed Individuals, contains information describing persons located during the enumeration process who were unable to complete an interview. For Part 3, Public Attitudes on Older People, a cross-section of adult Americans was surveyed. This survey was mainly concerned with the level of responsibility younger and middle-aged people assumed for older relatives, the kinds of plans they were making for their own maintenance in later years, and overall attitudes on the part of all age groups toward certain situations that are commmon in later life.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

    This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Health Needs of Older Persons - Download All Files (16.412 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  Household Enumeration: Noninterviewed Individuals - Download All Files (2.922 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS3:  Public Attitudes On Older People - Download All Files (5.039 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Shanas, Ethel. National Survey of the Aged [United States], 1957. ICPSR07686-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    aging, health, health facilities, health insurance, income, medical care, medical history, older adults, personal finances, retirement, Social Security, work

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1957

Date of Collection:   

  • 1957 (May-June, and November)

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Parts 1 and 2 are based on a random sample of the total noninstitutionalized population in the United States aged 60 and over. The six-stage area probability sample was of the general design used by the United States Bureau of the Census for the Current Population Survey. Part 3, the general public survey, used the same sampling frame used in Parts 1 and 2 but employed quotas rather than probability selection at the last two stages. It is based on an areally-restricted quota sample of the adult population.

Extent of Processing:   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.


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-01-11

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File QU7686.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CB7686.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 1998-04-28 The codebook and data collection instruments are being released as PDF files. For the logical record length data, SAS data definition statements are now available and the SPSS data definition statements have undergone minor editing.

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