Individual Study / HRS

Health and Retirement Survey

Health and Retirement Survey

HRS logo
Initiatives -

The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of more than 26,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. The HRS collects data to help:

  • Explain the antecedents and consequences of retirement
  • Examine the relationships among health, income, and wealth over time
  • Examine life cycle patterns of wealth accumula- tion and consumption
  • Monitor work disability
  • Examine how the mix and distribution of eco- nomic, family, and program resources affect key outcomes, including retirement, “dissaving,” health declines, and institutionalization
Start Year
1992
Funding
The study is managed through a cooperative agreement between the NIA, which provides primary funding, and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan
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Members

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Investigators Contacts
  • Dr. David Weir
    Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan

Design

Study design
Population cohort
Follow Up

Follow-up of participants every two years

Marker Paper

Sonnega, A., Faul, J., Ofstedal, M.B., Langa, K., Phillips, J., & Weir, D. (2014). Cohort profile: the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). International Journal of Epidemiology, 43, 576-585. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu067

PUBMED 24671021

Recruitment

Sources of Recruitment
  • Individuals

Number of participants

Number of participants
37,317
Number of participants with biosamples

Access

Availability of data and biosamples

Data
Biosamples
Other

Timeline

Populations

The HRS sub-sample, consists of people who were born 1931 through 1941 and were household residents of the conterminous U.S. in the spring 1992, and their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview in 1992 or at the time of any subsequent interview.

Institutionalized persons (prisons, jails, nursing homes, long-term or dependent care facilities) are excluded from the survey population.

Selection Criteria
Minimum age
50
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples

The Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) sub-sample consists of people who were born in 1923 or earlier, were household residents of the conterminous U.S. in the spring 1992, and were still household residents at the time of their first interview in 1993 or 1994, and their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview or at the time of any subsequent interview.

AHEAD uses the same national probability sample of U.S. households with supplemental oversamples of Blacks, Hispanics and residents of the state of Florida as the HRS, but a dual frame approach was used for individuals born prior to 1914.

The assignment of households to the two groups is based on the age of the oldest person in the household financial unit. If the single adult or either spouse in a married couple was born prior to 1914, the household financial unit is assigned to Group 2. If the single adult or both persons in a married couple were born after 1913 the household financial unit is assigned to Group 1. The full national sample of AHEAD-eligible households is divided approximately 60% to Group 1 and 40% to Group 2. Under the AHEAD sample design, Group 1 households are selected exclusively from the area probability (AP) frame component. Group 2 households are selected using a dual-frame design, roughly 50% of the Group 2 sample originating with the AP frame and the remaining 50% from a stratified sampling from a list frame of Medicare enrollees.

AHEAD Group 1 households were interviewed by telephone except in cases where there was no telephone in the household or the respondent was unable to complete the interview by telephone. Their spouses were also interviewed by telephone. Most respondents in Group 2. were interviewed face- to-face in their homes, although telephone interviews were permitted in cases where the respondent preferred the telephone mode. Face-to- face interviews were also the primary mode of Wave 1 data collection for the spouses of these respondents, irrespective of the spouse's age.
Selection Criteria
Minimum age
70
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples

The Children of the Depression (CODA) sub-sample consists of people who were born in 1924 through 1930, were household residents of the conterminous U.S. when first interviewed in 1998, and who, at that time, did not have a spouse or partner who was born before 1924 or between 1931 and 1947, and their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview or at the time of any subsequent interview.

Selection Criteria
Minimum age
68
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples

The War Baby (WB) sub-sample consists of people who were born in 1942 through 1947, were household residents of the conterminous U.S. in the spring 1992, who, at that time, did not have a spouse or partner born before 1924 or between 1931 and 1941, and were still household residents at the time of the first interview in 1998, and their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview or at the time of any subsequent interview.

Selection Criteria
Minimum age
50
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples

The Early Baby Boomer (EBB) sub-sample consists of people who were born in 1948 through 1953, were household residents of the U.S. when first interviewed in 2004, and who, at that time, did not have a spouse or partner who was born before 1948, and their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview or at the time of any subsequent interview.

Selection Criteria
Minimum age
50
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples

The Mid Baby Boomer (MBB) sub-sample consists of people who were born between 1954 and 1959, were household residents of the U.S. when first interviewed in 2010/2011, and who, at that time, did not have a spouse or partner who was born before 1954, along with their spouses or partners at the time of the initial interview or at the time of any subsequent interview.

The EBB and MBB sub-samples were supplemented in the 2010 wave with a sample of individuals residing in areas with 10% or higher concentrations of Black and/or Hispanic populations in order to boost the size of the minority samples in those cohorts.

Selection Criteria
Minimum age
50
Newborns
Twins
Countries
  • United States of America
Ethnic Origin
Health Status

Recruitment

Sources of recruitment
  • General population
General Population
  • Selected sample

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples