RAND HRS Family Data Files, supported by NIA and HRS

The RAND HRS Family data file is a user-friendly version of HRS family data. The data contain a cleaned, processed, and streamlined collection of variables related to the respondent’s family. The files include a subset of available characteristics of all children of HRS respondents and spouses, data on children-in-law, and data on grandchildren of the respondent.

The files are longitudinal files that link HRS child families within wave and link HRS children across waves. They contain consistent variable names across waves and will easily merge with other HRS data, like the RAND HRS and RAND Enhanced Fat files. The files are distributed as two alternative longitudinal files: one with respondent-child observations with variables specific to parent-child pairs, and one with respondent observations with summary variables about the respondent’s children.

The RAND HRS Family Data 1992-2012 (Version 1) file contains data for the years 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The files incorporate only the core interviews. They do not include exit interviews or any restricted data.

To access the data:

  • You must first register with HRS, if you haven't already. Registration is free. You will receive a password from HRS within 24 hours, usually much sooner. When you receive your password, you can return here to continue.
  • If you've already registered, login to the HRS Public File Download System.
  • Once you have logged in, follow the "Datasets and Files" link.

For more detailed information, please see the following documents:

Family Data Codebook (PDF Download) Family Data Description (PDF download)

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: