About the Health and Retirement Study

The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of approximately 20,000 people in America over the age of 50 every two years. Supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA U01AG009740) and the Social Security Administration, the HRS explores the changes in labor force participation and the health transitions that individuals undergo toward the end of their work lives and in the years that follow.

Since its launch in 1992, the study has collected information about income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and health care expenditures. Through its unique and in-depth interviews, the HRS provides an invaluable and growing body of multidisciplinary data that researchers can use to address important questions about the challenges and opportunities of aging.

The full scope of the study is described in the publication Growing Older in America: The Health and Retirement Study; an overview is provided in our general brochure and this video.

Health and Retirement Study data products are available without cost to registered users; certain Conditions of Use apply. Once you are registered, the Getting Started page will help you learn more about the data products produced by this complex study.

Information for Study Participants