UK Data Service data catalogue record for:
|Title:||English Longitudinal Study of Ageing: Waves 0-6, 1998-2013|
|Series:||English Longitudinal Study of Ageing [English Longitudinal Study of Ageing]|
|Depositor:||NatCen Social Research|
Marmot, M., University College London. International Institute for Society and Health
Oldfield, Z., Institute for Fiscal Studies
Clemens, S., NatCen Social Research
Blake, M., NatCen Social Research
Phelps, A., NatCen Social Research
Nazroo, J., University of Manchester. School of Social Sciences
Steptoe, A., University College London. UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
Rogers, N., University College London. UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
Banks, J., Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Manchester School of Social Sciences
NatCen Social Research
National Institute of Aging
Department of Health
Department for Work and Pensions
Office for National Statistics
Department for Transport
HM Revenue and Customs
Department for Communities and Local Government
Other than the principal investigator and the scientific team, the following people have been involved in the development, data preparation and/or analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA): Lisa Calderwood, Hayley Cheshire, Laura Conway, Kate Taylor, Michelle Lee, Rebecca Taylor, Susan Nunn, Kelly Ward, Dan Philo, Elizabeth Hacker, Natasha Wood, David Hussey, Ian Simpson, Rachel Whalley, and Shaun Scoles (NatCen Social Research) and Carli Lessof (previous principal investigator, formerly of NatCen Social Research); Maria Casanova, Zoe Oldfield, Gemma Tetlow and Carl Emmerson (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Edlira Gjonja, Martin Hyde, Mary Janevic, Saffron Karlsen, Meena Kumari, Anne McMunn, Mike Wadsworth, Elizabeth Breeze, Panayotes Demakakos, Faiza Tabassum, Paola Zaninotto, Cesar d'Oliveira and Mary Pierce (University College London); Brenda McWilliams and David Melzer (University of Cambridge); Nicholas Steel (University of East Anglia); David Blane (Imperial College London); Mike Hurd and Jim Smith (RAND, California); Beth Soldo (University of Pennsylvania; Bob Wallace (University of Iowa); Bob Willis (University of Michigan).
ELSA Advisory Committee:
External members of the ELSA Advisory Committee include: Baroness Sally Greengross (Chair), House of Lords; Mike Bury, Department of Social and Political Science, Royal Holloway, University of London; Emily Grundy, Centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Ruth Hancock, Department of Health and Human Sciences, University of Essex; Sarah Harper, Oxford Institute of Ageing, University of Oxford; Tom Kirkwood, School of Clinical Medical Sciences Gerontology, University of Newcastle; Ian Philp, Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing, University of Sheffield; Tom Ross (retired), Aon Consulting; Jacqui Smith, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; Anthea Tinker, Institute of Gerontology, Kings College London; Christina Victor, School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading; Richard Disney, University of Nottingham; Carol Propper, Imperial College Business School; Alan Walker, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield;
The depositor has supplied the following text for users as an example of the acknowledgement that should be used in publications resulting from use of the ELSA study:
"The data were made available through the UK Data Archive. ELSA was developed by a team of researchers based at the NatCen Social Research, University College London and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The data were collected by NatCen Social Research. The funding is provided by the National Institute of Aging in the United States, and a consortium of UK government departments co-ordinated by the Office for National Statistics. The developers and funders of ELSA and the Archive do not bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here."
Details of the bibliographic citation to be used may be found in the file 'UKDA_Study_5050_Information.htm' that accompanies the dataset.
The citation for this study is:
Select the text above to add data citation in your outputs.
Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.The ELSA study is a longitudinal survey of ageing and quality of life among older people that explores the dynamic relationships between health and functioning, social networks and participation, and economic position as people plan for, move into and progress beyond retirement. The main objectives of ELSA are to:
Joint ELSA/SHARE database:
Users may request access to the ELSA portion of the data from a project to harmonise ELSA Wave 2 and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) Wave 1 (both 2004) data, undertaken by Valeria Bordon at the University of Mannheim. Please Get in touch for further details. The SHARE portion of this joint database can be accessed via the SHARE Project Research Data Centre
Latest edition of ELSA:
For the 22nd edition (April 2015), an updated version of the ELSA RAND Harmonised dataset and accompanying documentation; a file of additional cognitive variables for Wave 5; an updated guide to access arrangements to ELSA genetic data; a new document describing the ELSA study and an updated Wave 1-6 user guide were deposited. Users of the RAND Harmonised data should check the note below. For a full edition history, see documentation.
22nd edition, April 2015: Updated RAND Harmonised dataset:
The updated RAND Harmonised dataset deposited for the 22nd edition (April 2015, see above) was compiled in Stata, and contains extra alphabetic missing value codes. An SPSS version was also deposited, but as SPSS does not accommodate alphabetic missing value codes in numeric variables, the codes have transferred as long numeric codes. Users should be aware that only the Stata alphabetic codes are described in the RAND documentation. It is planned that a new version of the SPSS file will be deposited in due course with the issue fixed, but in the meantime users are encouraged to download the Stata version instead, and will need access to Stata SE software to analyse it, as the file contains over 2,200 variables (the limit for the standard Stata 'Intercooled' version is 2,047).
For a full table of topics and questions covered across all the ELSA waves, see the all waves user guide in the documentation. The ELSA study held at the UK Data Archive currently includes the Index file, Wave 0 and Waves 1-6.
Standard Measures used in ELSA:
|Time period:||Most of the data refer to the time period when the interview took place but some questions cover past events, e.g. pension history, respondent's father's employment when respondent was aged 14.|
|Dates of fieldwork:||Wave 1: March 2002 - March 2003; Wave 2: June 2004 - July 2005; Wave 3: May 2006 - August 2007; Wave 4: May 2008 - July 2009; Wave 5: June 2010 - July 2012; Wave 6: May 2012 - June 2013.|
No spatial unit
|Kind of data:||
Individual (micro) level
The ELSA sample was selected from HSE 1998, 1999 and 2001 respondents, from households containing at least one adult of 50 years or older. To ensure that ELSA remained representative of the target population, 'refreshment' samples from HSE were included at Waves 3, 4 and 6. See documentation for further details.
Multi-stage stratified random sample
See documentation for further details.
|Number of units:||Core data: Wave 1: 12,100 cases. Wave 2: 9,433 cases. Wave 3: 9,771 cases. Wave 4: 11,050 cases. Wave 5: 10,274 cases. Wave 6: 10,601 cases.|
|Method of data collection:||
Face-to-face interview; Self-completion; Clinical measurements; Physical measurements
See documentation for further details.
|Weighting:||Weighting used. See documentation for details.|
The ELSA sample was selected from three survey years of the HSE: 1998, 1999 and 2001. Wave 0 of the ELSA dataset includes HSE data. The sample has since been refreshed using with respondents selected from HSE survey years 2001-2004, 2006 and 2009-2011.
|AGEING||ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION||ANTHROPOMETRIC DATA|
|ATTITUDES||BANKS||BODY CIRCUMFERENCE MEASUREMENTS|
|CANCER||CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES||CARE OF DEPENDANTS|
|CARE OF THE ELDERLY||CENTRAL HEATING||CHILDREN|
|CHRONIC ILLNESS||CINEMA ATTENDANCE||CLINICAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS|
|CLUBS||COGNITION DISORDERS||COGNITIVE PROCESSES|
|COMMUNITIES||CONCERT GOING||CONSUMER GOODS|
|COUGHING||COUNCIL TAX||CREDIT CARD USE|
|CULTURAL GOODS||CULTURAL IDENTITY||DEATH|
|DEBILITATIVE ILLNESS||DECISION MAKING||DEPRESSION|
|DIABETES||DOMESTIC APPLIANCES||DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT AIDS|
|EARLY RETIREMENT||ECONOMIC ACTIVITY||EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND|
|EDUCATIONAL COURSES||ELDERLY||EMOTIONAL STATES|
|EYE DISEASES||FAMILIES||FAMILY ENVIRONMENT|
|FATHER'S OCCUPATION||FATHERS||FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS|
|FINANCIAL RESOURCES||FRIENDS||FURNISHED ACCOMMODATION|
|HOME BUYING||HOME HELP||HOMELESSNESS|
|HOURS OF WORK||HOUSE PRICES||HOUSEHOLDS|
|HOUSING AGE||HOUSING CONDITIONS||HOUSING DESIGN|
|HOUSING FINANCE||HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY||HOUSING TENURE|
|INTEREST (FINANCE)||INTERNET USE||INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS|
|INVESTMENT RETURN||JOB HUNTING||JOB REQUIREMENTS|
|LANDLORDS||LIFE EVENTS||LIFE HISTORIES|
|LIFE INSURANCE||LIFE SATISFACTION||LIFE STYLES|
|LIVING ABROAD||LOANS||LOCUS OF CONTROL|
|MARITAL HISTORY||MARITAL STATUS||MEDICAL HISTORY|
|MEDICAL INSURANCE||MEDICINAL DRUGS||MEETINGS|
|MILITARY SERVICE||MOBILE PHONES||MOBILITY AIDS|
|MOTOR VEHICLES||MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM||MUSEUMS|
|NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES||NEWSPAPER READERSHIP||OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS|
|PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS||PERSONAL CONTACT||PERSONAL EFFICACY|
|PERSONAL IDENTITY||PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES||PLACE OF BIRTH|
|PRIVATE HEALTH SERVICES||PRIVATE PERSONAL PENSIONS||PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS|
|PUBLIC SERVICES||PUBLIC TRANSPORT||QUALIFICATIONS|
|QUALITY OF LIFE||RENTED ACCOMMODATION||RENTS|
|RESIDENTIAL MOBILITY||RESPIRATORY TRACT DISEASES||RESTAURANTS|
|SOCIAL HOUSING||SOCIAL INTEGRATION||SOCIAL ISOLATION|
|SOCIAL LIFE||SOCIAL PARTICIPATION||SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS|
|SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS||SOCIAL SUPPORT||SPORT|
|SPOUSES||STAKEHOLDER PENSIONS||STATE RETIREMENT PENSIONS|
|TENANTS' HOME PURCHASING||THEATRE ATTENDANCE||TOBACCO|
|TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP||TUBERCULOSIS||UNEARNED INCOME|
|UNFURNISHED ACCOMMODATION||VASCULAR DISEASES||VOLUNTARY WORK|
|VOTING BEHAVIOUR||WAGES||WALKING AIDS|
|WALKING||WATER SERVICES (BUILDINGS)||WEALTH|
|Date of release:|
|First edition:||09 March 2005|
|Latest edition:||22 April 2015 (22nd Edition)|
|Copyright:||Copyright held jointly between NatCen Social Research, University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies|
The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage.
Additional special conditions of use also apply. See terms and conditions for further information.
|Availability:||UK Data Service|
|Contact:||Get in touch|
|Title||File Name||Size (KB)|
|IFS ELSA Derived Variables Description||5050_ifs_derived_variables_description.xlsx||234|
|Wave 1 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_1_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||182|
|Wave 2 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_2_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||158|
|Wave 2 Pension Grid Corresponding Variables||5050_Wave_2_Pension_Grid_Corresponding_Variables.xls||178|
|Wave 3 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_3_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||157|
|Wave 4 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_4_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||181|
|Wave 5 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_5_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||182|
|Wave 6 Financial Derived Variables Relationships||5050_wave_6_financial_derived_variables_relationships.xls||182|
|Waves 2-6 End of Life User Guide||5050_ELSA_EOL_User_Guide_Waves_2-3-4-6_v1.pdf||224|
|ELSA Genetic Data Access Procedures||5050_ELSA_Genetics_Data_Access_v3.pdf||427|
|Waves 2-6 Nurse User Guide||5050_ELSA_Nurse_User_Guide_Waves_2_4_6_v1-0.pdf||303|
|Pension Wealth Methodology||5050_ELSA_PW_methodology.pdf||322|
|Pension Wealth User Guide||5050_ELSA_PW_user_guide.pdf||691|
|Description of ELSA||5050_ELSA_Study_Description.pdf||377|
|Waves 1-6 ELSA User Guide||5050_ELSA_User_Guide_Waves_1-6_v2.pdf||727|
|Wave 6 Documentation||5050_ELSA_Wave_6_Documentation.pdf||3059|
|Financial Derived Variables and Imputations Procedures||5050_financial_derived_variables_and_imputations_procedures.pdf||160|
|RAND ELSA User Guide Version C||5050_Harmonized_Rand_ELSA_C.pdf||2253|
|IFS ELSA Derived Variables User Guide||5050_ifs_derived_vars_user_guide.pdf||490|
|Index File User Guide Waves 0-5||5050_index_file_user_guide_wave_0-wave_5.pdf||830|
|Financial Derived Variables Readme File||5050_readme_financial_derived_variables.pdf||307|
|UK Data Archive editions of ELSA to date||5050_UK_Data_Archive_editions_to_date.pdf||133|
|Financial Derived Variables User Guide||5050_user_guide_financial_derived_vars.pdf||1334|
|User Guide for Geographical Variables||5050_User_Guide_for_Geographical_Variables.pdf||350|
|Wave 0 User Guide||5050_Wave_0_User_Guide.pdf||661|
|Wave 1 Documentation||5050_Wave_1_Documentation.pdf||1378|
|Wave 1 Technical Report||5050_Wave_1_Technical_Report.pdf||526|
|Wave 2 Derived Variables User Guide||5050_Wave_2_Derived_Variables_User_Guide.pdf||335|
|Wave 2 Documentation||5050_Wave_2_Documentation.pdf||4722|
|Wave 2 Technical Report||5050_Wave_2_Technical_Report.pdf||658|
|Wave 3 Life History Documentation||5050_Wave_3_Life_History_Documentation.pdf||1121|
|Wave 3 Phase 2 Documentation||5050_Wave_3_Phase_2_Documentation.pdf||1944|
|Wave 3 Technical Report||5050_Wave_3_Technical_Report.pdf||1754|
|Wave 4 Phase 2 Documentation||5050_Wave_4_Phase_2_Documentation.pdf||4511|
|Wave 4 Technical Report||5050_Wave_4_Technical_Report.pdf||1947|
|Wave 5 Derived Variables User Guide||5050_Wave_5_Derived_Variables_User_Guide.pdf||1278|
|Wave 5 Questionnaire||5050_Wave_5_Questionnaire.pdf||1875|
|Study information and citation||UKDA_Study_5050_Information.htm||35|
By principal investigator(s):
Further publications relating to ELSA may be found on the Institute for Fiscal Studies: ELSA website.
Marmot, M., Banks, J., Blundell, R., Lessof, C. and Nazroo, J. (eds.) (2003) Health, wealth and lifestyles of the older population in England: the 2002 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. ISBN: 1-903274-34-6.
Banks, J., Emmerson, E. and Oldfield, Z. (2004) 'Not so brief lives: longevity expectations and well-being in retirement', in I. Stewart and R. Vaitilingam (eds.) Seven ages of man and woman: a look at life in Britain in the second Elizabethan era, London: ESRC.
Attanasio, O. et al. (2004) Pensions, pensioners and pension policy: financial security in UK retirement savings?, IFS briefing note 48, prepared for the ESRC seminar series 'Mapping the Policy Landscape'.
Calderwood, L., Cheshire, H., Conway, L., Lee, M., Taylor, R. and Lessof, C. (2005) Health, wealth and lifestyles of the older population in England: the 2002 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing: technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.
Banks, J., Oldfield, Z. and Smith, J. (2012) 'Childhood health and differences in late-life health outcomes between England and the United States', Investigations in the Economics of Aging, University of Chicago Press, June, pp.321-339. See abstract at
Steptoe, A., Breeze, E., Banks, J. and Nazroo, J. (2012) 'Cohort profile: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', International Journal of Epidemiology, November. See abstract at
Resulting from secondary analysis:
Steel, N. et al. (2004) 'Developing quality indicators for older adults: transfer from the USA to the UK is feasible', Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13(4), Aug, pp.260-264.
Bowling, A. and Windsor, J. (2008) 'The effects of question order and response-choice on self-rated health status in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62, pp.81-85. Also published online at JECH online - Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reference doi:10.1136/jech.2006.058214 (available to registered JECH subscribers only).
Judge A., Welton, N.J., Sandhu J. and Ben-Shlomo Y. (2009) 'Modelling the need for hip and knee replacement surgery, part 1: a two-stage cross-cohort approach', Arthritis Care and Research, 61(12), pp.1657-66.
Judge A., Welton, N.J., Sandhu J. and Ben-Shlomo Y. (2009) 'Modelling the need for hip and knee replacement surgery, part 2: incorporating census data to provide small-area predictions for need with uncertainty bounds', Arthritis Care and Research, 61(12), pp.1667-73.
Jenkins, A., (2011) 'Participation in learning and wellbeing among older adults', International Journal of Lifelong Education, 30(3), pp.403-20.
Jenkins, A., (2011) 'Investigating the effects of participation in learning on depressive symptoms: evidence for older adults in England', Educational Gerontology.
Vikstrom, J., Bladh, M., Hammar, M., Marcusson, J., Wressle, E. and Sydsjo, G. (2011) 'The influences of childlessness on the psychological well-being and social network of the oldest old', BMC Geriatrics, 11(78), November. See abstract at
Howel, D. (2012) 'Interpreting and evaluating the CASP-19 quality of life measure in older people', Age and Ageing, doi:10.1093/ageing/afs023
Forder, J. and Fernandez, J-L. (2012) Analysing the costs and benefits of social care funding arrangements in England: technical report (2nd Edition), University of Kent and London School of Economics Discussion Paper 2644/2. Retrieved June 18th, 2012, from http://www.pssru.ac.uk/archive/pdf/dp2644v2.pdf
Gale, C.R., Allerhand, M. and Deary, I.J. (2012) 'Is there a bidirectional relationship between depressive symptoms and cognitive ability in older people? A prospective study using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Psych Med.
Behncke, S. (2012) 'Does retirement trigger ill health?', Health Economics, 21(3), pp.282-300, March. See abstract at
Silcock, D., Redwood, D. and Curry, C. (2012) Retirement income and assets: the implications for retirement income of Government policies to extend working lives, Pensions Policy Institute, pp.1-90, April. See abstract at
Grundy, E. and Read, S. (2012) 'Social contacts and receipt of help among older people in England: are there benefits of having more children?', The Journals of Gerontology: Physiological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67(6), pp.742-54, November. See abstract at
Ysseldyk, R., Haslam, S.A. and Haslam, C. (2013) 'Abide with me: religious group identification amongst older adults promotes health and well-being by maintaining multiple group memberships', Aging and Mental Health.
Daly, M. (2013) 'The relationship of C-reactive protein to obesity-related depressive symptoms: a longitudinal study', Obesity, 21, pp.248-250.
Blundell, R., Crawford, C. and Jin, W.(M.) (2013) What can wages and employment tell us about the UK's productivity puzzle?, IFS Working Papers, W13/11, June. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/wp.ifs.2013.1311. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp201311.pdf
Crawford, R., Keynes, S. and Tetlow, G. (2013) A single-tier pension: what does it really mean?, IFS Report R82, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/re.ifs.2013.0082. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r82.pdf
Beach, B. (2013) Grandparental Generosity: Financial transfers from grandparents to grandchildren, London: International Longevity Centre-UK.
Cruwys, T., Dingle, G.A., Haslam, C., Haslam, S.A., Jetten, J. and Morton, T.A. (2013) 'Social group memberships protect against future depression, alleviate depression symptoms and prevent depression relapse', Social Science and Medicine, 98, pp.179-186, available online 25 September 2013.
Gale C.R., Baylis D., Cooper C. and Aihie Sayer, A. (2013) 'Inflammatory markers and incident frailty in men and women: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Age (Dordr.), 35(6), pp.2493-501. doi: 10.1007/s11357-013-9528-9
Gale C.R., Cooper C., Deary I.J, and Aihie Sayer, A. (2013) 'Psychological wellbeing and incident frailty in men and women: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Psychological Medicine. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291713001384
Banks, J., Crawford, R., Crossley, T.F. and Emmerson, C. (2013) 'Financial crisis wealth losses and responses among older households in England', Fiscal Studies, 34(2), pp.231-254. doi:10.1111/j.1475-5890.2013.12004.x
Boyce, C., Wood, A., Banks, J., Clark, A. and Brown, G. (2013) 'Money, well-being and loss aversion: does an income loss have a greater effect on well-being than an equivalent income gain?', Psychological Science, 24(12).
Gale, C.R., Cooper, C., Deary, I.J. and Aihie Sayer, A. (2014) 'Psychological wellbeing and incident frailty in men and women: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Psychological Medicine, 34, pp.697-706.
Gale, C.R., Allerhand, M., Sayer, A.A., Cooper, C. and Deary, I.J (2014) 'The dynamic relationship between cognitive function and walking speed: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Age, 36(4), pp.9682. doi: 10.1007/s11357-014-9682-8.
Allerhand, M., Gale, C.R. and Deary, I.J. (2014) 'The dynamic relationship between cognitive function and positive wellbeing in older people: a prospective study using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Psychology of Aging, 29(2), pp.306-18. doi: 10.1037/a0036551.
Adams, J., Stamp, E., Nettle, D., Milne, E. and Jagger, C. (2014) 'Socio-economic position and the association between anticipated and actual survival in older English adults', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68, pp.818-25.
Haslam, C., Cruwys, T and Haslam, S.A. (2014) '"The we's have it": Evidence for the distinctive benefits of group engagement in enhancing cognitive health in ageing', Social Science and Medicine, 120, pp.57-66.
Gale, C.R., Deary, I.J., Wardle, J., Zaninotto, P. and Batty, G.D. (2015) 'Cognitive ability and personality as predictors of participation in a national colorectal cancer screening programme: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, [Epub ahead of print] pii: jech-2014-204888. doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-204888
Gale, C.R., Cooper, C. and Sayer, A.A. (2015) 'Prevalence of frailty and disability: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing', Age and Ageing, 44(1), pp.162-5. [Epub 2014 Oct 12]. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afu148
The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has produced a 'Data Dictionary' covering summary information on UK-based survey series (including ELSA) that include any data on alcohol use. Further information and links to the dictionary documents may be found on the IAS Data Dictionary - Table of Contents web page.