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; and from the spouse of the selected sibling in 2006.

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

Administrative Data

We welcome suggestions and collaborators for linking administrative data to the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. We review each request to see if the linkage aligns with the goals and purposes of the WLS. Along with approval from the PI, all linkages must be approved by IRB and will become part of the WLS data and made available to other researchers using our existing protocols to maintain participant confidentiality. Anyone wishing to link data should contact the WLS by emailing .

Genetic Data

We have genomic data from the Illumina HumanOmniExpress array with quality metrics supplied by the University of Washington Genetic Analysis Center. Additionally we provide polygenic scores for download. LINK  Please email for more information.

Data Updates

16 September 2020 - The WLS 13.08 dataset is now available. Please see Change Notice #44 for details. View all data update notices.

Reports to Participants

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

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

"WLS Participant Report" (May 2014)