This website provides researchers data, documentation, and other resources for analyzing the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. If you are a WLS participant, feel free to also visit our participant website.
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, 2011 and 2020; from a selected sibling in 1977, 1994, 2005, 2011 and 2020; from the spouse of the original respondent in 2004; and from the spouse of the selected sibling in 2006.
The WLS is supported by the Behavioral and Social Research Program of the National Institute on Aging.
The WLS, housed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957.
With over 60 years of data collection, WLS documentation, including survey instruments and codebooks, is vast and varied.
Survey data were collected from the original respondents or their parents in 1957, 1964, 1975, 1992, 2003, and 2011 and from a selected sibling in 1977, 1993, 2004, 2011, and 2020. The current version of the WLS official release data is 14.01.