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 2008. 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 list serv by sending an email to WLSannounce-request@ssc.wisc.edu 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.

NEWData Updates

July 17, 2014 - The WLS 13.02 data set is now available. This release includes new measures from the 2011 in-person interview such as linguistic functioning and geocode variables as well as a new ancillary data set on voting behavior. Most of the variables from the 2011 wave have also been updated to include the previously uncoded responses. Please see Change Notice #38 for details. View all data update notices

Pilot Grant Program:
The WLS sponsors an annual pilot grant competition for investigators who are new to the WLS data. For more information, please visit the page for the Pilot Grant Program.


Reports to Participants

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

"Brothers and Sisters: Findings from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study"
(full color)