WLS Data Documentation
Apply for access to the WLS DNA Data.
View supplementary documents for data collected about the respondents.
These data include: Relative body mass index, attractiveness, and H.S. activities from the 1957 H.S. yearbooks; Job and college characteristics; female graduates' work histories; high school district resources; disability claims forms; life history and health at midlife; and area resources file.
Documentation for the WLS 12.29 Release
Conventions NEW WLS USERS please read this.
Learn about variable naming and missing value conventions used in the WLS datasets.
Codebooks and Flowcharts
Browse codebooks grouped by collection wave.
Flowcharts and Questionnaires
Visually browse all survey instruments used to collect data from WLS participants since 1957.
Browse by topic
Find data in the WLS dataset by research interest.
Search for variables in the WLS dataset.
Information about the scales constructed from the WLS data.
Retention and Response Rates (PDF)
Various ways of calculating retention and response rates of WLS 1957-2005.
Read detailed information about WLS data collection and variable creation.
Browse the original cross-reference tables
Browse for variables from the 1957-1994 data.
Note: These cross-reference tables link to old versions of the codebooks, so the frequencies will not match the current data. Updated cross-reference information will be available for the new data in the coming months.
The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) Handbook is a useful resource for researchers who want to use WLS data. The handbook is designed to direct readers to appropriate sources of the WLS data, methodology, and documentation information.
Issues with the Data
Issues with the data or documentation? Let us know.
Please contact us if you notice any problems with the data or documentation.