RAND HRS Data Products

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, RAND, with funding and support from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), created the seven data products:

Longitudinal

  • RAND HRS Longitudinal File is a user-friendly file derived from all waves of the HRS. It contains cleaned and processed variables with consistent and intuitive naming conventions, model-based imputations, and spousal counterparts of most individual-level variables. [Latest release: May 2024]
  • RAND HRS Detailed Imputations File contains the component and ownership variables that are used to create the income, wealth, and medical expenditures summary measures found in the RAND HRS Longitudinal File. It is distributed as a companion file to the RAND HRS Longitudinal File. [Latest release: May 2024]
  • RAND HRS 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. [Latest release: July 2023]
  • RAND HRS CAMS Data File is a user-friendly version of the spending section (Part B) of the CAMS survey. [Latest release: September 2023]
  • RAND HRS Tax Calculations contain information about federal, state, and FICA taxes for Respondents to the HRS 2000 – 2014 surveys. [Latest release: May 2018]

Wave-Specific

  • RAND HRS 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, and biennially 1996-2020. [Latest release: May 2024]
  • RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview and Finder Files 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. [Latest release: May 2024]

Helpful Resources

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:

More resources for users

Updates

May 2024

The RAND HRS Longitudinal File 2020 (V2) is now available on the HRS website. In addition to 2020 HRS Core Final Release V1.0 (May 2023) data and 2020 HRS Exit Final Release V1.0 (September 2023), the file now includes wave-specific Leave-Behind Psychosocial variables, as well as poverty threshold variables for all waves. For more information, please see the RAND HRS Longitudinal File Codebook (PDF).

The RAND HRS Detailed Imputations File 2020 (V2) is now available on the HRS website. This file contains the component and ownership variables for all waves that were used to create the income, wealth, and medical expenditures summary measures found in the RAND HRS Longitudinal File. For more detailed information, please see the RAND HRS Detailed Imputations File Codebook (PDF).

An updated version of the RAND HRS 2020 Fat File is now available on the HRS website. It incorporates the 2020 HRS Core Final Release V1.0 (May 2023) data. For more information, please read our data description (PDF).

The RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview and Finder Files 2020 (V1) are now available for all survey years through 2020. They contain raw variables from all the Respondent-level sections and can be easily merged to any other RAND HRS data product.

September 2023

The RAND HRS CAMS Data File 2019 (V2) is now available on the HRS website. This file is a user-friendly, longitudinal version of Part B of the CAMS survey. For more detailed information please read the RAND HRS CAMS Data File 2019 (V2) Documentation (PDF).

July 2023

The RAND HRS Family Data 2018 (V2) are now available on the HRS website. They contain data for the years 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and biennially 1996-2018. For more detailed information, please see the RAND HRS Family Data Codebook (PDF).

September 2020

HRS has recently updated their data download system. Please note that the following instructions supersedes any instructions in our documentation and codebooks. Also note that the new system requires users to register with a new account.

All RAND HRS data products are available at: https://hrsdata.isr.umich.edu/data-products/rand. You will be able to see the data descriptions and documentation without an account, but you will need to register with HRS to access the data using the following registration link: https://hrsdata.isr.umich.edu/user/register. User note: This is a new data downloads system as of September 1st, 2020. If you have an account on the old system but have not created a new account since September 1st, 2020, you will need to create a new account. You can use the same email address as your previous account. (You will not need to create a new account if you have used this system to apply for or manage an HRS Restricted Data Agreement since November 2019.) Once your account is active and you have logged in, you will be able to see the data download links for each RAND HRS data product (and other public HRS data products).