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English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

Man at allotment

Providing crucial evidence about population ageing that is relevant to a number of policy areas.

New findings published in October 2016  

You can download an overview of the key topics from the Wave 7 report 'What does ELSA tell us about growing older?'

The full report for Wave 7, 'The dynamics of ageing: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing 2002-15' is available from the ELSA website. 

About ELSA

ELSA follows the lives of people in England ages 50 and over. 

1 in 3 people in England are now over 50, which means it's really important we understand what life is like for England’s ageing population.

ELSA helps the government plan health care services and pensions systems to best meet the needs of this growing population.

Key findings include:

  • More people aged over the state pension age are working than ever before. Over a third of 60-69 year olds were either employed or self employed in the last month.
  • The majority of people over the age of 50 report hardly ever or never experiencing feelings of loneliness.
  • More women than men report difficulty with activities related to daily living like climbing the stairs and showering.    


We have selected people aged 50 and over who previously took part in the Health Survey for England to take part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. We interview these people every two years.

The advantage of interviewing the same people who took part in Health Survey for England is that we can combine existing data with new data to learn much more about people's health, economic position and quality of life over time.

Other related studies

Living and caring? An investigation of the experiences of older carers.

Understanding multiple disadvantage in old age

Read ELSA reports from 2002-2010