The NSFH was designed to provide a broad range of information on family life to serve as a resource for research across disciplinary perspectives. A considerable amount of life-history information was collected, including: the respondent's family living arrangements in childhood, departures and returns to the parental home, and histories of marriage, cohabitation, education, fertility, and employment. The design permits the detailed description of past and current living arrangements and other characteristics and experiences, as well as the analysis of the consequences of earlier patterns on current states, marital and parenting relationships, kin contact, and economic and psychological well-being. Interviews were conducted in 1987-88, 1992-94, and 2001-2003.

(August 11, 2008) NSFH Wave 1 was updated in BADGIR. Please read this announcement for details.

(May 25, 2018) NSFH Waves 1, 2 and 3 are now fully curated at ICPSR. Users can download ASCII, R, tab-delimited, SPSS, SAS, and Stata data files, as well as PDF versions of the study documentation. NSFH data and document files are also available from the Data and Information Services Center's Online Archive.

Sample Design

Introductory Files

Online Tool/BADGIR: Search for variables of interest and create custom extracts in SAS, SPSS, STATA, Excel and raw ASCII format.

Content Outlines Wave 1 Wave 3
Codebooks and Data Access Wave 1 Wave 3




Working Papers

Helpline: More information on USER SUPPORT.

National Survey of Families and Households
Center for Demography
University of Wisconsin
1180 Observatory Drive, Rm 4412
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 262-9836 or (608) 265-3937
Fax: (608) 262-8400


Last modified on May 25th, 2018