Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Series

Investigator(s): University of Michigan. Survey Research Center

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is the world’s longest running nationally representative household panel survey. With more than 50 years of data on the same families and their descendants, this collection is a cornerstone of the data infrastructure for empirically based social science research in the U.S. PSID gathers data on the family as a whole and on individuals residing within the family, emphasizing the dynamic and interactive aspects of family economics, demography, and health. Information was collected annually from 1968-1997 and biennially after 1997, with the main goal of identifying what causes family income to rise above or fall below the poverty line. PSID data can be used for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intergenerational analysis and for studying both individuals and families. In the Main Interview one person per family is interviewed on a regular basis. Information about each family member is collected, but much greater detail is obtained about the reference person and, if married/cohabitating, the spouse or long-term cohabitor. Covered topics include employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health education, marriage, childbearing, philanthropy, and others. The Child Development Supplement (CDS) provides data on children and their extended families that may be used to study the dynamic process of early human and social capital formation. The first CDS study included up to two children per household who were 0 to 12 years old in 1997, and followed these children over three waves, ending in 2007-2008. The Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS) began in 2005 to follow children from the original CDS cohort into young adulthood, collecting six waves of data through 2015. The TAS collects information on many topics, including psychological functioning, family formation, fertility-related behavior, cohabitation, childhood adversity, computer skills, responsibilities, employment and income, education and career goals, and health. Both supplements were relaunched in 2014 (CDS) and 2017 (TAS) to follow all PSID sample children throughout their life course until they enter the Main Sample as members of their own independent economic units. Finally, the Disability and Use of Time Supplement (DUST) collected information in 2009 and 2013 to investigate the connections between disability, time use, and well-being for older adults.

A repository of PSID data extracts, created from PSID public-use data, is also available through openICPSR.

Note: Files housed in the ICPSR repository are not regularly updated. For current data, users should consult the data owners via Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) directly for details on obtaining these files.