What does ELSA tell us about growing older: An overview of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing wave 7 (2014/15) data

Document type
Littleford, Clare; Mandalia, Dhriti; Oskala, Anni
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
3 October 2016
Older Adults, Employment, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is an unparalleled source of information about ageing in England. Since 2002, the study has tracked over 10,000 people aged 50 and over. Participants have been invited to take part in an interview every two years. As well as asking about their lives, a team of qualified nurses have also collected biometric data.

The real value of ELSA lies in the potential for longitudinal analysis. By following the same people over many years, it is possible to see how their circumstances change over time. The depth of information collected on people’s health, finances, relationships and interests helps to create a detailed picture and improve an understanding of the ageing process.