The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) is a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The WLS provides an opportunity to study the life course, intergenerational transfers and relationships, family functioning, physical and mental health and well-being, and morbidity and mortality from late adolescence through 2011. WLS data also cover social background, youthful aspirations, schooling, military service, labor market experiences, family characteristics and events, social participation, psychological characteristics and retirement.

Survey data were collected from the original respondents or their parents in 1957, 1964, 1975, 1992, 2004, and 2011; from a selected sibling in 1977, 1994, 2005, and 2011; from the spouse of the original respondent in 2004; from the spouse of the selected sibling in 2006; and from widow(er)s of the graduates and siblings in 2006. Data are currently available from all collection rounds except the widows. These will be available in the future. Please join the WLS listserv by sending an email to with a subject line of "Subscribe", and visit this site frequently to ensure you are aware of any updates.

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study is supported by the Behavioral and Social Research Program of the National Institute on Aging.

To summarize the data we suggest you cite this article in your research.

Herd, Pamela, Deborah Carr, and Carol Roan. 2014. "Cohort Profile: Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS)." International Journal of Epidemiology 43:34-41 PMCID: PMC3937969

NEWGenetic Data

We have plans for a Genome-Wide Association Study.

Data Updates

November 18, 2014 - The WLS 13.03 data set is now available. This release includes updated mortality status and dates of death and updated cause of death data from the National Death Index. Please see Change Notice #39 for details. View all data update notices

Reports to Participants

"The Class of 1957 in their Mid-60s: A First Look" (September, 2006)
(text only)

"Brothers and Sisters: Findings from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study" (January, 2008)

"WLS Participant Report | May 2014"