Recent HRS Data Releases and Updates
The following data products are now available on the HRS website:
Public Data Releases and Updates
The HRS 2020 Core (Early, Version 1.0) data is now available on the HRS website. The data collection period for the 2020 interview was March 2020 through May 2021. The 2020 Core data release replaces the COVID-19 Project data, a special midterm data release that included 3,266 respondents from a subsample of households who were originally assigned to enhanced face-to-face interviewing, in two random half groups. The variable RCOVFLAG in the data files indicates respondents who were included in the COVID-19 data release.
The Cross-wave 2015-2017 Life History Mail Survey (LHMS): Harmonized and Aggregated Public Data Resource is now available. This file harmonizes and consolidates public data previously released in separate files for the 2015 and 2017 waves. The LHMS contains questions about residential, educational, employment and health history, and other important childhood and family events. Refer to the Data Description for more information. The Harmonized and Aggregated public data file does not include respondent’s school’s city and state but that information is available in the Restricted Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data files described below.
The Cross-Wave Prospective Social Security Benefit Wealth Measures of Pre-Retirees Waves 10 and 13 data set is now available. It consists of respondent-level Social Security benefit wealth estimates constructed from the employment section of the 2010 and 2016 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (waves 10 and 13) and the restricted Social Security Administration (SSA) summary earnings and benefits files. This file replaces the previous version of this data product, “Prospective Social Security Wealth Measures of Pre-Retirees, Wave 10”, since wave 10 measures are also incorporated in this wave 13 file.
The Cross-Wave SSA Public Permissions Consent History summarizes available information relating to the status of social security permissions for 43,398 HRS respondents. The data set was updated to include summary information by wave for permissions requested from 1992 through 2018. The Public Permissions Consent History file does not include detailed information about earnings and benefits for whether respondents (a) provided consent (xCON), (b) were sent a permission form (xSENT) or (c) were matched to Social Security Administrative data (xMATCH). Data users seeking more detailed information for those variables will need to apply for the Restricted Use Permissions Consent History file.
RAND HRS Public Data
The RAND HRS CAMS Data File 2019 (V1) is now available. It is a user-friendly version of Part B of the CAMS survey. It contains annualized, cleaned, and aggregated spending and consumption variables with consistent and intuitive naming conventions across waves. Refer to the Data Description for more information.
The RAND Center for the Study of Aging creates the RAND HRS data products under subcontract from HRS. The HRS and the RAND products are supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Questions regarding RAND HRS files should be directed to email@example.com.
Sensitive Health Data Releases
The VBS 2016 Flow Cytometry data are now available. The data include counts and percentages for 24 different types of T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells, monocytes, and dendritic cells obtained from flow cytometry performed as part of the HRS 2016 Venous Blood Study (VBS). Flow cytometry results are available for approximately 9300 respondents for any given cell subset.
Restricted Data Releases and Updates
Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data
The Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data is now available. This restricted data product includes respondent’s school’s city and state information for primary, elementary, middle, junior high and high school. The following waves are available:
- 2015 Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data
- 2017 Spring Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data
- 2017 Fall Life History Mail Survey Educational History Data
The Imputation of Lifetime Earnings Records data uses information from earnings records provided by the Social Security Administration, imputation, as well as a project to estimate cumulative lifetime earnings through various ages. Refer to the Data Description for more information.
The Cross-Wave SSA Restricted Permissions Consent History file was updated to include summary information for 43,398 HRS respondents for each wave that respondents were asked to grant HRS access to earnings and benefits held by the Social Security Administration from 1992 through 2018. Compared to the Cross-Wave SSA Public Permissions Consent History file, this data product includes more detailed information about earnings and benefits for the following constructed variables: xCON (whether consent was provided), xSENT (whether a permission form was sent) and xMATCH (whether the record was matched to Social Security Administrative data). Refer to the Data Description for more information.
HRS data and documentation resources are freely available from the HRS Website. These include:
- ASCII data files and corresponding SAS, SPSS and STATA program statements.
- SAS (.sas7bdat), SPSS (.sav) and Stata (.dta) ready-to-use files
- Data Description – information on each dataset including description of content, advice on using the data and cross wave-merging.
- Codebooks – describe the contents, structure and layout of the data. Our codebooks provide variable-level information in HTML format for core interviews and off-year studies.
- Questionnaires – the “box and arrow” representations of core interviews by section for all years.
- Question Concordance – a tool for cross-referencing survey questions across core interview years.
Questions, comments or concerns about the above data products should be directed to the HRS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.