Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (ICPSR 6854)

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
David R. Weir, University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research


This is an external resource to which ICPSR links as a courtesy. These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners (via Health and Retirement Study (HRS) ) directly for details on obtaining these resources.

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The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of approximately 20,000 people in America, supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration.

The HRS aims to provide multidisciplinary data that researchers can use to address important questions about the challenges and opportunities of aging. The HRS includes the "original" HRS and the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest-Old (AHEAD) study. These studies were merged in 1998 and now represent the United States population over age 50. Two new cohorts were added in 1998: the Children of the Depression (born 1924-1930) and the War Babies (1942-1947). A fourth cohort, the Early Baby Boomers (1948-1953), was added in 2004; a fifth cohort, the Mid Baby Boomers (1954-1959), was added in 2010; and in 2016, the Late Baby Boomers cohort (1960-1965) became the sixth.

Questionnaire topics include physical and cognitive functioning, retirement plans, family structure and transfers, demographic characteristics, housing, employment status, income, disability, health insurance, pension plans, job history, and attitudes, preferences, and expectations for the future. The survey data are linked with administrative records from the Employer Pension Study (1993 and 1999), National Death Index, Social Security Administration earnings and projected benefits data and W-2 self-employment data, and Medicare files.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (NIA U01AG009740), United States Social Security Administration

  1. These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners directly for details on obtaining the data and documentation. Please visit the HRS website for more information.

  2. Users should refer to the HRS site for a complete list of related publications:
  3. A list of HRS Co-Investigators and committees can be found by visiting the HRS website.

The HRS is intended to provide policy-makers with up-to-date information on changes in retirement and disability patterns, and to provide scientists with data to generate more accurate and realistic models of the retirement decision and the economic and health causes and consequences of retirement and aging.

Please visit the HRS website for information related to survey design and sampling.

HRS uses a national area probability sample of U.S. households with supplemental oversamples of Blacks, Hispanics and residents of the state of Florida. The majority of the sample population is approaching retirement or already retired, but the sample also includes individuals who are not currently working or who have never worked outside the home.

Adults in the contiguous United States, aged 51 - 61 (born during the years 1931 - 1941), who reside in households.

household financial unit