Data Sources for Research in Aging

This page is designed to aid researchers in aging find cross-sectional studies, time series, contextual data, and other data relevant to their research. About 55 studies and datasets have been highlighted in order to provide easy access to some of the most well known and useful studies of the sociological, economic, and medical aspects of aging. This is a small selection of relevant studies, but the archives, government agencies and NGOs listed below will help serve as a gateway to hundreds more.

The best way to use this page is to either go directly to the studies of interest (listed in the Alphabetic index),  or to click on any of the outline headings for a more in-depth discussion of the sources of data related to research in aging on the Internet. Again, the alphabetic index is only a subset of all the material on this page.

Data come in basically two flavors: 1)  raw data that must be manipulated with statistical programs; 2) extractable data, summary statistics, or both, from websites or media (usually CD-ROMs).

Alphabetic Index of Data

I. Sources of Raw Data

A. Multi-Study Indexes
B. Government Agencies and NGOs
C. Selected Studies and Data Resources

II. Extractable Data from Web Sites or Media (Usually CD-ROMS)


I. Sources of Raw Data:

A.Multi-Study Archives

 


1. Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)--University of
    Michigan

    (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/)

    What is available: Electronic data, some data on media, descriptive metadata, electronic and/or print documentation (codebooks, data dictionaries, etc.), program data definition statements. Note that documentation and data definition statement electronic availability varies by data set.

    Restrictions: Most data is restricted to organizational or individual subscriptions. ICPSR does, however, provide selected data and all electronic documentation free of charge. To find out if your organization has an institutional membership in ICPSR, and who your Official Representative (OR) is, see the OR (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/administration/institutions) page.

ICPSR is the largest archive of social science data in the world, with thousands of studies in eighteen major subject areas. Holdings can be searched or browsed. The great power of ICPSR is not simply the availability of data sets (in compressed and uncompressed format), but the availability of ancillary information such as data definition statements, and exhaustive descriptive metadata about data sets. ICPSR also has subsets of subject specific data arranged into archives in the fields of education, aging, criminal justice, and substance abuse & metal health (see below). The archive can be browsed or searched by keyword (three fields or study number) at:

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/access/index.jsp

Profitable places to browse for ICPSR data related to aging are:

A.  Census Enumerations

B.  Health Care Facilities

C.  Social Institutions and Behavior--Age and the Life Cycle and Vital Statistics

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/access/subject.jsp

D.  In addition, ICPSR maintains topical archives that are subsets of the main archive. The most useful of these are:

    A. The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)
(http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/index.jsp)

 ICPSR, in cooperation with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), provides this archive, which seeks "to advance research on aging by helping researchers to profit from the under-exploited potential of a broad range of data sets. NACDA acquires and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, processing as needed to promote effective research use, disseminates them to researchers, and facilitates their use." Studies are available in six categories: demographic characteristics of older adults; social characteristics of older adults; economic characteristics of older adults;  psychological characteristics, mental health, and well-being of older adults; physical health and functioning of older adults; and health care needs, utilization, and financing for older adults. The NACDA Catalog (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/search.jsp) is available at the site and is an essential tool for researchers in aging. The site also provides restricted access to selected microdata census samples from:

Status of Older Persons in Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Countries, Census Microdata Samples Series
(http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/series/53)

Studies of particular interest to aging researchers include:

 RAND Aging Studies in the Developing World (Rand Family Life Surveys)
(http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/series/109)

Americans' Changing Lives: Waves I, II, III, and IV, 1986, 1989, 1994, and 2002
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/studies/4690

Civil War Veterans Series
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/series/192

National Health Interview Survey: Longitudinal Study of Aging, 70 Years and Over, 1984-1990 (Wave II, 1997; Wave III 2000).
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/search.jsp
(Search on study numbers 3526, 3807, & 8719)

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and Followup Series
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/series/39
(Search on study number)

Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) Series
(http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/series/203)

Search for MIDUS in titles.

NACDA studies can be browsed or searched.

    B. Health and Medical Care Archive
    (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/HMCA/index.jsp)

While this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored archive is not specifically related to aging research, it may contain some studies that have ancillary value.


2. Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)
    (http://www.cessda.org/)

    Cost: Varies by archive.

    What is available: Varies by archive.

    Restrictions: Vary by archive.

CESSDA is a metasite that allows users to connect to over 30 data archives around the world. It provides a browseable (viamaps) interface to these archives, and a searchable interface to eleven of them via its catalog, which can be searched by any offive fields. The availability of data is dependent upon the archive. CESSDA provides easy one stop shopping for worldwide data.


3. The Center for Electronic Records--National Archives and Records Administration
    (NARA)
    (http://www.archives.gov/era/)

NARA no longer provides a title list of data files. The holdings are searchable via the the Archival Research Catalog (http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/index.html). In addition, NARA provides some guides to assist in locating electronic record series (http://www.archives.gov/research/electronic-records/info-for-researchers.html#reference).Data are on various media (mostly 9-track and 3480 tapes, CD-ROMS or diskettes). Almost all data from NARA is made available in uncompressed format. Users must order the data they are interested in, the media it is to be delivered on, and the accompanying documentation. Data is available from eighteen major agencies in the three branches of government. There is little descriptive information about the data. Users should contact the center for more information. NARA is an agency to search for data when you cannot find it anywhere else.


4. Institute for Social Research (ISR) Survey Research Center (SRC) Projects--University of Michigan
    (http://www.src.isr.umich.edu/content.aspx?id=home)

    Cost: No.

    What is available: Varies by project. Electronic data and documentation are usually available.

    Restrictions: Vary by project.

Of the four major studies residing at the ISR SRC three are relevant to researchers in aging. They are:

 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and Asset and  Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD)
(http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/)

"The Health and Retirement Study is intended to provide data for researchers, policy analysts, and program planners who are making major policy decisions that affect retirement, health insurance, saving and economic well-being. It is a national panel study with an initial sample of over 12,600 persons in 7,600 households. The AHEAD study provides data to address a broad range of scientific questions focused on the interplay of resources and late life health transitions. Among these issues are: the costs of illness borne by the family; differences in how resources are used to offset cognitive, physical, and functional losses; the effectiveness of various care arrangements in preserving function and delaying institutionalization; the extent to which transfers from kin buffer the assets of older persons and slow transitions to late life impoverishment; and the extent and mechanisms for dissaving and Medicaid spend down." Data, documentation, and bibliographies from both studies are available. In addition, there is a HRS/AHEAD Dynamic Concordance (http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/concord), an extraction system that allows for cross-referencing questions across time. Users pick the waves of the studies they are interested in, subject sections from those waves, and how the output is sorted.  Question text can be searched.

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
(http://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/)

"The PSID is a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of US individuals and the families in which they reside. It has been ongoing since 1968. The data are collected annually, and the data files contain the full span of information collected over the course of the study. PSID data can be used for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intergenerational analysis and for studying both individuals and families." Data, documentation, and a bibliography are available. In addition the PSID Subsetting System (http://simba.isr.umich.edu/) allows the user to pick years (final or early release from 1968 on), variables (with or without conditions), and type of output. Multiple data definition file statement types are supported.


5. Socionet--Sociometrics
    (http://www.socio.com/)

    Cost: Yes.

     What is available: Downloadable or CD-ROM data, program command statements, electronic SPSS dictionary, printed user's guide (codebook), data set descriptions, and other ancillary services, depending on the data set or data archive.

    Restrictions: Depends on the data set.

Sociometrics provides a Data Archive of Social Research On Aging  (http://www.socio.com/agingdata.php), which contains three studies at this time. It also provides a Contextual Data Archive (http://www.socio.com/contextualdata.php), which contains "data that describe the population, social, and economic characteristics of geographic areas, from census tracts to states, in which people reside or work...."


6. Henry A. Murray Research Archive at Havard University
    (http://www.murray.harvard.edu/)

    Cost: No.

    What is available: Electronic data or data on media, descriptive metadata, and print documentation.

    Restrictions: Yes, see Registration for Data Use, Application for Data Use, and Request for Computer Data sections (http://www.murray.harvard.edu/application).

"The Henry A. Murray Research Archive is Harvard's endowed, permanent repository for quantitative and qualitative research data at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and provides physical storage for the entire IQSS Dataverse Network." Most study sizes are small. Studies of possible interest to researchers in aging include: Coping and Adaptation in Older Black Women 1980; Coping and Health Among Older Urban Widows 1984-1986; Factors Influencing Women to Return to School and the School Experience 1972; Faith Development, Moral Development, and Old Age 1978; Friendships of Older Women: Changes Over Time 1992; Grant Study of Adult Development 1938-; Health and Personal Styles 1989; Intergenerational Studies 1932-1982; Intergenerational Study of Puerto Rican Families in New York City 1976-1978; Kelly Longitudinal Study 1935-1955; Follow-up of the Kelly Longitudinal Study 1979-1981; Life Patterns Survey 1980--Radcliffe College Class of 1943; Longitudinal Study of Generations and Mental Health 1971-1997; Longitudinal Study of Moral Development 1955-1977;  McBeath Institute Aging Women Project 1978-1979; Ohio Longitudinal Study; 1975-1995; Widowhood in an American City 1968; and Women in the Middle Years 1980, among others.


7. International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)--Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences [GESIS] (http://www.issp.org/)

     Cost: Yes.

    What is available: Data, codebooks,  and questionnaires on CD-ROM.

    Restrictions: Yes, user must answer a short questionnaire when ordering.

ISSP is dedicated to cross-national social science research. To this end, the GESIS provides access to multiple surveys in areas such as "Role of Government," "Family and Changing Sex Roles," "Religion," "Social Inequality," and "National Identity." Surveys were done in different years from 1985 onward and in different countries (mostly European and North American). ISSP data and documentation are now available for downloading via ZACAT (http://zacat.gesis.org/webview/index.jsp).


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B. Government Agencies and NGOs

Compendiums

A. AgingStats.gov
(http://www.agingstats.gov/agingstatsdotnet/main_site/default.aspx)

The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (Forum)" provides this page of links to statistical resources available from member agencies.


B. Directory of Health and Human Services Data Resources--Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the Department of Health and Human Services
(http://aspe.hhs.gov/datacncl/DataDir/index.shtml)

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the Department of Health and Human Services has produced a Directory of Data Resources within the Department. "The HHS Directory of Health and Human Services Data Resources is a compilation of information about virtually all major data collection systems sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Directory was developed under the auspices of the HHS Data Council, which serves as the department's senior internal data policy body and advises the Secretary on a variety of data policy issues. The directory updates and expands upon the 1995 HHS Directory of Minority Health and Human Services Data. Additional data systems are included in this update, and more extensive information about each data system is provided." Agencies covered include the Administration on Aging, Health Care Financing Administration (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), Agency for HealthCare Research and Policy , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Government Agency and NGO Data:

1. US Census Bureau
(http://www.census.gov)

    Cost: Mostly free, some media items are sold for a fee.

    What is available: Massive amounts of public use data in the form of census tabulations, microdata, population estimates and projections, and survey data from the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation, among other surveys the Bureau sponsors.

    Restrictions: Varies

The Census Bureau is one of the largest distributors of data in the world. A fair proportion of that data is either directly relevant or of ancillary value to researchers in aging. Data from the 2000 and 1990 Censuses and international data is available via three extraction systems (see below), as well as data from the Bureau's major surveys via extraction system (see also below). Most data is available through the American Factfinder (http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml). The Bureau conveniently links to all of its age related data from one page: AGE DATA (http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/age.html). Here can be found links to estimates and projections from as far back as 1970 to the present (depending on the geography) for various geographies.


2. Surveys and Data Collection Systems--National Center for Health Statistics
(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/surveys.htm)

    Cost: Varies by item, from free to extremely expensive data tapes.

    What is available: Public Use Data, detailed statistical tables, charts, tabulated state tables, links to data extractors, electronic ICD files.

    Restrictions: Varies.

NCHS Survey and Data Collection Systems is a veritable gold mine of public health data and information. The key links from this site are the links to the mortality tables (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/mortality_tables.htm), Adobe Acrobat .pdf tables for each cause of death by age group (tables that are hundreds, and sometimes thousands of pages long); and links to the public use data files (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/ftp_data.htm), which contain machine readable data and documentation for the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, National Nursing Home Survey, National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery, National Hospital Discharge Survey, National Health Interview Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and data from the National Vital Statistics System. For data that is available only in media, there are links to information about media and costs. The data sets of primary interest to aging researchers in this category are the Longitudinal Studies of Aging (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/lsoa.htm). The four studies in the series are available on CD-ROM. Ordering information is provided on each study page. Data for Wave 2 and 3 of the Second Longitudinal Study of Aging is available for downloading at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/lsoa/lsoa2.htm#data.


3. National Death Index--Centers for Disease Control
(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ndi.htm)

    Cost: A set fee plus a charge for each user record for each year of death searched

    What is available: Central computerized index of death record information (beginning with 1979 deaths). Cause of Death Codes can be obtained using the NDI Plus service.

    Restrictions: Yes

"The National Death Index (NDI) is a central computerized index of death record information on file in the State vital statistics offices.  Working with these State offices, NCHS established the NDI as a resource to aid epidemiologists and other health and medical investigators with their mortality ascertainment activities."


4. Social Security Death Index--Social Security Administration

    Cost: Yes

    What is available: Records of approximately 50 million deaths on media.

    Restrictions: Not known

The Social Security Administration has a Master Death Index file that can be purchased from the National Technical Information Services (NTIS) (http://www.ntis.gov/products/ssa-dmf.aspx). Some Internet sites such as Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/ssdi/main.htm) and Genealogy.com (http://www.genealogy.com/gen_ssdisearch.html) provide public access to searches for individual records but these are extremely cumbersome if multiple searches are necessary.


5. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Studies
(http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/)

    Cost: Varies

    What is available: For Researchers in Aging, of particular interest are the National Longitudinal Mortality Study and the Framingham Heart Study

    Restrictions: Vary

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of  Health, produces many studies, two of which may be of particular interest to researchers in aging. They are:

 The National Longitudinal Mortality Study
(http://www.census.gov/did/www/nlms/about/index.html). "The NLMS is a national study of mortality over time among selected Census Bureau samples numbering about 1.3 million persons. The main objectives of the study are to analyze socio-economic, demographic and occupational differentials in mortality within the United States. The basic procedure involves matching a number of Current Population Surveys (CPS) and other Census files to the National Death Index (NDI) every other year to obtain deaths occurring among these cohorts. Death certificates are then purchased from the states. Causes of death and other data on the death certificate are coded. Mortality rates by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, occupation, industry, income, education, state of residence and other factors may then be obtained. The follow-up period begins with 1979, the first year covered by the NDI, and ends with 1989. The total number of deaths in the cohorts for these years is estimated to be about 100,000." The study can be obtained only by contacting NLMS-Census Bureau principal investigator, Norm Johnson. Contact and data availability information can be found here (http://www.census.gov/did/www/nlms/about/availability.html).

 Framingham Heart Study (http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/index.html). More information, including contact information, about this famous 50 year old study can be found at this site.


6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS)
(http://www.cms.gov/CostReports/)

    Cost: Free

    What is Available: CMS Data on Providers, Cost Limits, Cost Reports, Payment Rates

    Restrictions: None

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides access to selected public use files from this site. Files have brief abstracts that explain their contents.

Other data available from CMMS (at cost):

Identifiable Data Files
(http://www.cms.gov/IdentifiableDataFiles/01_Overview.asp)

Identifiable Data Files contain actual beneficiary-specific and physician-specific information. Identifiable Files require a formal request to be submitted to CMS for approval.

Limited Data Sets
(http://www.cms.gov/LimitedDataSets/)

Limited Data Set Files (LDS) are identical to the previous Beneficiary Encrypted Files, but they have been stripped of data elements that might permit identification of beneficiaries. These files contain beneficiary level health information but exclude specified direct identifiers as outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Privacy Rule).

Non Identifiable Data Files
(http://www.cms.gov/NonIdentifiableDataFiles)

Non-Identifiable Data Files contain non-identifiable person-specific information and are within the public domain.


7. New Beneficiaries Data System--Social Security Administration
(hhttp://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/microdata/nbds/)

    Cost: Free

    What is available: New Beneficiaries Surveys and relevant Administrative Data and Documentation

    Restrictions: None

The NDBS contains "extensive information on the changing circumstances of aged and disabled beneficiaries," taken from a "national cross-sectional survey of new beneficiaries in 1982," and supplemented with administrative data and a follow-up survey in 1991.


8. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Public Use Files --Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/)

    Cost: Free

    What is available: Data files, SAS program statements,  and Survey Instruments from the 1996 MEPS

    Restrictions: None

 "The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally representative survey of health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, as well as a national survey of nursing homes and their residents. MEPS is co-sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This survey is designed to yield comprehensive data that estimate the level and distribution of health care use and expenditures, monitor the dynamics of the health care delivery and insurance systems, and assess health care policy implications. MEPS is the third in a series of national probability surveys conducted by AHRQ on the financing and utilization of medical care in the United States. The National Medical Care Expenditure Survey (NMCES, also known as NMES-1) was conducted in 1977, the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES-2) in 1987. Beginning in 1996, the MEPS continues this series with design enhancements and efficiencies that provide a more current data resource than in previous surveys. MEPS comprises four component surveys: the Household Component (HC), the Medical Provider Component (MPC), the Insurance Component (IC), and the Nursing Home Component (NHC). The HC serves as the core survey from which the MPC sample and part of the IC sample are based. Data are collected through a combination of computer-assisted in-person interviews, telephone interviews, and mailed surveys."


9.  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program 1973-2008 Public-Use DVD and downloadable data--National Cancer Institute
(http://seer.cancer.gov/publicdata/)

    Cost: Free

    What is Available:The SEER limited-use data include SEER incidence and population data associated by age, sex, race, year of diagnosis, and geographic areas (including SEER registry and county).

    Restrictions: A signed Limited-Use Data Agreement is required to access these data.

This is, according to SEER, the most authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States.


10. WHO Mortality Database
(http://www.who.int/healthinfo/morttables/en/index.html)

    Cost: Free

    What is available: Cause of Death Information for over 70 countries going back to the 1950s

    Restrictions: None

The World Health Organization provides data sets broken out by sex and age group in files organized by  ICD number (7-10). The ICD number of the file basically indicates the chronological coverage. Documentation is provided. This data goes back to the 1950s. WHO also provides an extractor for recent years:WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS) (http://www.who.int/whosis/en/).


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C. Selected Studies and Data Resources

1. Human Mortality Database
(http://www.mortality.org/)

"The Human Mortality Database (HMD) was created to provide detailed mortality and population data to researchers, students, journalists, policy analysts, and others interested in the history of human longevity. The project began as an outgrowth of earlier projects in the Department of Demography at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany (see history). It is the work of two teams of researchers in the USA and Germany (see research teams), with the help of financial backers and scientific collaborators from around the world." At present there is detailed population and mortality data for 37 countries.


2. 1990 Census Subject Summary Tape Files--University of California, Berkeley Social Science and Government Data Archive
(http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/GovData/info/)

The UC-Berkeley Social Science and Government Data Archive provides a large set of its collection of US Census Bureau data files holdings via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). While most of these files have age parameters, and might therefore be useful to researchers in aging, of particular interest is the Subject Summary Tape File (SSTF) collection from the 1990 Census. Data is available from 4 subject summary tape files. The four SSTF files are: SSTF 1, Foreign-born Population in the U.S.;
SSTF 2, Ancestry of the Population of the US; SSTF 3, Persons of Hispanic Origin in the US; and,
SSTF 5, Characteristics of the Asian and Pacific Islander Population in the US. Access to counts from the SSTF files are now available from an on-line abstracting tool.


3. Current Population Survey Data--National Bureau of Economic Research
(http://www.nber.org/cps/)

NBER provides access to an extensive set of data and documentation from CPS monthly data, supplements, and the merged outgoing rotations, among others. The strength of this collection is its historical coverage.


4. National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS)--Bureau of Labor Statistics
(http://www.bls.gov/nls/home.htm)

Data can be access via the NLS Web Investigator (free registration is required):
https://www.nlsinfo.org/investigator/pages/login.jsp

Documentation and questionnaires are available for downloading at:
http://www.chrr.ohio-state.edu/nls-info/ordering/display_db.php3

"The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS), sponsored and directed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, gather detailed information about the labor market experiences and other aspects of the lives of six groups of men and women. The first set of surveys, initiated in 1966, consisted of four cohorts. These four groups are referred to as the "older men," "mature women," "young men," and "young women" cohorts of the NLS, and are known collectively as the "original cohorts." In 1979, a longitudinal study of a cohort of young men and women aged 14 to 22 was begun. This sample of youth was called the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). In 1986, the NLSY79 was expanded to include surveys of the children born to women in that cohort and called the NLSY79 Children." Documentation can be downloaded/purchased from Ohio State University. Data is now available only via the NLS Web Investigator.


5. National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS)--Duke University
(http://www.nltcs.aas.duke.edu/index.htm)

"The 1982, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2004  National Long Term Care Surveys (NLTCS) are surveys of the entire aged population with a particular emphasis on the aged who are functionally impaired. The samples drawn from aged Medicare beneficiary enrollment files are nationally representative of both community and institutional residents. The 1982, 1984, 1989 and 1994 NLTCS are designed to measure the point prevalence of chronic (90 days or more) disability in the U.S. elderly Medicare enrolled population and changes (both improvement and incidence) in chronic disability (and institutionalization) over time." The 1999 release of the survey began in March, 2001. A data request letter is required in order to receive the data and documentation on CD-ROM. For more information about accessing the data, go to http://www.nltcs.aas.duke.edu/public.htm


6. National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH)--University of Wisconsin-Madison
(http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/nsfh/)

"The National Survey of Families and Households includes interviews with 13,007 respondents from a national sample. The sample includes a main cross-section of 9,637 households plus an oversampling of blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, single-parent families, families with step-children, cohabiting couples and recently married persons. NSFH2 reinterviewed the original NSFH sample in 1992-94, five years after the original interview." NSFH3 reinterviewed a subset of the original NSFH sample in 2001-2003. The subset included "a mid-to-later life sample of main respondents 45 and older with no focal children, and a parent sample made up of main respondents and their young adult focal children." Data, documentation, working papers, and a bibliography are available.


7. PUMS Census Data from Michigan
(http://micda.psc.isr.umich.edu/data.html)

The University of Michigan provides two 1990 PUMS aging related files on demand: the 3% elderly file released by the Census Bureau (also available via the ICPSR NACDA archive (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/index.jsp) (search for study #6219); and a file "combining households with a respondent 60+ or older from the 5% PUMs with the 3% PUMs. This allows for an 8% sample of elderly households from the 1990 PUMS. The weights have been readjusted." For 2000, there is a file based on the 5% PUMs file that contains data from households with at least one person age 65 or older (search for study #4204).


8. Rand Corporation Contextual Data Library
(http://www.rand.org/labor/aging/dataprod/cdl.html)

This site, funded by the RAND Population Research Center and the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, provides 20 datasets at this time that are intended to be "used in analyses to characterize a time and/or place." Datasets may include any or all of the following: SAS data set; SAS format definition; STATA data file; tab-delimited file; and readme file. Data are bundled in compressed PC and UNIX formats. Among currently available data are: Remaining Life Expectancy; US Federal Minimum Wage; Divorce Rate; Annual Social Security Contribution Base; Average Poverty Thresholds by Family Size and Elderly/NonElderly; and State and U.S. Population by Gender, Race, Age.


9. Rand Corporation HRS and Fat File
(http://www.rand.org/labor/aging/dataprod/helphrs.html)

The RAND Center for the Study of Aging has created this alternative version of the Health and Retirement Survey data files. A description of the files is available at the HRS website (http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/modules/meta/rand/index.html). To access the documentation for the files can be found at: http://www.rand.org/labor/aging/dataprod/fattable.html. "There is a single Fat File for each year of HRS/AHEAD which contains most of the "raw" or original variables, merged to the respondent level. The Fat Files are available on request with preliminary documentation. [Note: No documentation is available for 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 at this time.] To request these files please provide your name, address (no PO Box), phone number and data format (SAS/Stata/SPSS) to RANDHRShelp@rand.org." The files are available in Stata, SPSS, and SAS format.


10. The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS)--University of Wisconsin Data and Program Library Service
(http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/wlsresearch/)

"The WLS is a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. Survey data were collected from the original respondents or their parents in 1957, 1964, 1975, and 1992 and a selected sibling in 1977 and 1993." Data, documentation, and a bibliography are included. Users must register for the data before acquiring it.


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II. Extractable data from web sites or media (usually CD-ROMS)

 


1. FERRET--Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau
(http://dataferrett.census.gov/)
Data Ferrett downloadable browser:
(http://dataferrett.census.gov/run.html)

FERRET provides interactive access to all major CPS (Current Population Surveys) and supplements as far back as 1992 (years vary by supplements), the 1992, 1993, and available 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the 1997 Survey of Program Dynamics, the 1993 National Health Interview Survey, the 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, the 1994 Mortality - Underlying Cause-of-Death file, the 1996 National Ambulatory Care Survey, and the 1996 National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey.  Selected data (raw or SAS data sets) or descriptive statistics can be accessed. Download options are available. Users must login before using the system. In addition, FERRET provides direct downloading of data files for selected CPS and SIPP files from its FTP (http://www.bls.census.gov/ferretftp.htm) site.


2. CDC Wonder--Centers for Disease Control
(http://wonder.cdc.gov/)

WONDER provides statistical tables from the data it covers. Among the useful statistical data sets WONDER provides extraction for are:  SEER (Cancer Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) (users can pick geographies, demographics, time periods and disease codes);  ICD9 and 10 Finder (disease by classification number) (users can search by keyword); State Injury Mortality Data (users can pick geographies and injury type); and Mortality (users can pick geographies, demographics, and time periods);  Note that time periods covered vary by database. Download options are available. Wonder also hosts many bibliographic databases. Users must login at the main site before accessing data.


3. NACDA Survey Documentation and Analysis--ICPSR NACDA
(http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACDA/sda.jsp)

ICPSR's National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging contains an extraction system that allows users to "subset variables or cases for analyzing or downloading and produce crosstabulations, descriptive statistics, and frequencies for selected studies." Key studies covered include: Longitudinal Study of Aging, 70 Years and Over, 1984-1990; National Health Interview Survey, 1994, Second Supplement On Aging; National Survey Of Self-Care And Aging: Follow-Up, 1994; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II: Mortality Study, 1992; and several National Hospital Discharge Surveys.


4. IPUMS--University of Minnesota History Department
(http://usa.ipums.org/usa/)

IPUMS contains "high precision" samples drawn from the 1850-1990 censuses. It assigns uniform codes across the samples. Users can pick geographies, variables, sample sizes, and cases. Output can be accessed in raw or compressed form, with a customized codebook and SPSS data definition statements. Note that free registration is required to use the extraction system.


5. American Factfinder--Census 2010 and 2000 Lookup (Extractor)
(http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml)

This extraction system contains data from STF1 (100% count of basic demographic variables), STF2 (2000 only) and STF3 (sample count of all socioeconomic and demographic variables). Users can pick both geographies and variables. Download, as well as mapping options are available. The previous version of the American Factfinder site, with access to 1990 Census data, is no longer available.


6. International Data Base (IDB)--Census Bureau
 (http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/)

IDB allows the user to pick basic demographic and socio-economic variables for any or all of 227 countries around the world. Summary or detailed data is available from as early as 1950 to projections as late as 2050. In addition, static or "active" population pyramids are available. Users can aggregate selected countries into chosen regions. Countries can be ranked by population for any year from 1950-2050. Download options are available. IDB can also be downloaded and used locally on the PC.


7. Health Indicators Warehouse
(http://healthindicators.gov/)

"The Health Indicators Warehouse serves as the federal data hub for measurable characteristics that describe the health of a population (such as life expectancy, mortality, disease incidence or prevalence, or other health states); determinants of health (such as health behaviors, health risk factors, physical environments, and socioeconomic environments); and health care access, quality, and use."


8. CPS Utilities CPS on Web--Unicon Research Corporation
(http://www.unicon.com/cgi-win/login.exe)

An offshoot of Unicon's CPS Utilities, this extraction system allows the user to choose from any of nearly 1,100 variables from the Census Bureau's March and June Current Population Survey Supplement. Users can choose variables and years, and create custom variables. Download options are available. Note: This extraction system works only on Netscape or Microsoft  Internet Explorer 4.0 or above. CPS on the Web is presently free during the "development" stage.


9. Luxembourg Income and Employment Studies (LIS and LES)--Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Center for Population, Poverty and Policy Studies (CEPS)
(http://www.lisdatacenter.org/)

"The Luxembourg Income Study, begun in 1983, is a database of  social and economic household survey microdata from 25 countries in Europe, North America, the Far East, and Australia." Data are directly taken from household surveys or administrative records in the countries involved. Microdata are standardized and become part of the database. Researchers in member countries have access to this data, after registration. LIS can process SAS, SPSS, or STATA jobs via email. Available datasets and documentation can be found at the site. The Luxembourg Employment Study, a project associated with the Luxembourg Income Study, began in 1994. Its aim is to "construct a databank containing Labour Force Surveys from the early nineties from countries with quite different labour market structures. These surveys provide detailed information on areas like job search, employment characteristics, comparable occupations,  investment in education, migration, etc. The LES team has harmonised and standardised the micro data from the labour force surveys in order to facilitate comparative research." After registering, users may submit statistical program jobs to the LES in order to analyze data. The "User Information" section provides links to available electronic documentation needed to set up program statements. LES can process SAS, SPSS, or STATA jobs via email.


10. General Social Survey (GSS)--National Opinion Research Center (NORC)--University of Chicago

Extraction systems
University of Michigan--ICPSR (http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website/)
Queens College (http://dragon.soc.qc.cuny.edu/QC_Software/GSS.html)
University of California-Berkeley (http://sda.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/hsda?harcsda+gss08)

The General Social Survey, one of the best known "almost annual omnibus personal interview surveys of US households," is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. Users may use any of the above extraction systems to get subsets of raw data, conversions to other file specifications, and/or descriptive statistics and crosstabs. Queens College's system requires downloading and installation of the Extract extraction system, as well as the compressed files the user is interested in.

Raw Data can be purchased from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut.
http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/data_access/data/datasets/general_social_survey.html

It is also available in the main ICPSR archive.
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/access/index.jsp
Search "General Social Survey Series", as a phrase, in title.


11. CANQUES on the Web--Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)--National Cancer Institute
(http://srab.cancer.gov/prevalence/canques.html)

NCI's Cancer Query System on the Web (CANQUES, available only to browsers that support Java 1.1) "allows the user to access over 10 million pre-calculated cancer statistics. Statistics are available from SEER Cancer Statistics Reviews, 1973-2007. Users can retrieve data related to: SEER Incidence and Mortality rates and trends. Users can pick demographics, types of cancers, and time periods. Download options are available.


12. WISQARS: Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (Centers for Disease Control)
(http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html)

This is an interactive system that provides customized injury-related mortality data useful for research and for making informed public health decisions.

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Questions, comments, additions, please contact:
Jack Solock
Director--Data and Information Services Center and Center for Demography of Health and Aging
University of Wisconsin-Madison
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu