RAND HRS Data Files, supported by NIA and SSA

The RAND HRS Data file is a cleaned and easy-to-use version of data from eleven waves of the Health and Retirement Study data, including five entry cohorts: the original 1992 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) cohort; the 1993 Study of Assets and Health Dynamics (AHEAD) cohort; the Children of Depression and War Baby cohorts entering in 1998; the Early Baby Boomer cohort entering in 2004; and the Mid Baby Boomer cohort entering in 2010. Derived variables covering a broad though not complete range of measures have been constructed.

It includes RAND imputations of wealth, income, and medical expenditures. All variables have been named consistently across waves. It incorporates HRS data from 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and early release 2014.

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, then the "RAND Contributed Files" link.

For more detailed information, please see the documents:

Data Description (link to hrsonline.isr.umich.edu) (PDF) Codebook (link to hrsonline.isr.umich.edu) (PDF) HRS Weights Explained (PDF Download from hrsonline.isr.umich.edu) Help Using Data Products FAQ

Citation Instructions

Please cite both the HRS Data and the RAND HRS data file as follows:

Health and Retirement Study, ([insert Product Name]) public use dataset. Produced and distributed by the University of Michigan with funding from the National Institute on Aging (grant number NIA U01AG009740). Ann Arbor, MI, (year).

RAND HRS Data, Version P. Produced by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. Santa Monica, CA (August 2016).

In addition you should include in the text of your paper:

The HRS (Health and Retirement Study) is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (grant number NIA U01AG009740) and is conducted by the University of Michigan.

You may want to include a footnote, the first time you refer to the RAND HRS data file in the text of a paper, e.g.:

The RAND HRS Data file is an easy to use longitudinal data set based on the HRS data. It was developed at RAND with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration.

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: