The study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals
living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants
has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures,
health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics.
The PSID is directed by faculty at the University of Michigan, and the data are available on this
website without cost to researchers and analysts.
The data are used by researchers, policy analysts, and teachers around the globe. Over 3,000
peer-reviewed publications have been based on the PSID. Recognizing the importance of the data,
numerous countries have created their own PSID-like studies that now facilitate cross-national
comparative research. The National Science Foundation recognized the PSID as one of the
60 most significant advances
funded by NSF in its 60 year history.