Data Products of the Center for the Study of Aging

The Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal household survey conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The multidisciplinary data provide researchers the opportunity to investigate many different aspects related to population aging in the United States. The HRS is extraordinarily rich and complex. With the goal of making the data more accessible to researchers, the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding and support from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), created the seven data products:

  • RAND HRS Data File (v.P) is a user-friendly file derived from all waves HRS. It contains cleaned and processed variables with consistent and intuitive naming conventions, model-based imputations, and spousal counterparts of most individual-level variables.
  • RAND Enhanced Fat Files which contain most of the original HRS variables with household data merged to the respondent level. There is one file for each survey year. Currently, there are files for 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and early release 2014.
  • RAND Income and Wealth Imputation File (v.P) contains the component and ownership variables that were used in RAND HRS income and wealth summary measures. This single file includes the income and wealth imputations for all HRS waves and is distributed as a companion file to the RAND HRS file.
  • RAND Family Data Files are user-friendly files derived from HRS other person files. The files include the characteristics of all children of HRS respondents and spouses.
  • RAND CAMS Spending Data File 2001-2015 (v2) is a user-friendly version of the spending section (Part B) of the CAMS survey.
  • HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview Files and Finder File combine the Exit and Post-Exit Interviews into one file per survey year. The Finder file allows users to identify which years Exit and Post-Exit interviews are available for each Respondent.
  • RAND HRS Tax Calculations 2000 – 2014 (v1) contain information about federal, state, and FICA taxes for respondents to the HRS 2000 – 2014 surveys.

For more information, questions or comments please see our FAQ or email us at RANDHRSHelp@rand.org.

Before doing so, however, we kindly request that users first consult the documentation that accompanies our data products, as we have found that our responses often point users to specific sections of the documentation that provide further detail on the variables mentioned in the users’ queries.

In addition, we recommend that users become familiar with some of the information provided on the HRS website, such as the HRS questionnaires and codebooks for the key variables under study.

We have also found the concordance tool extremely useful to help find available variables across waves: