The Irish Longitudinal study on Ageing (TILDA)


Update: SPSS versions of Wave 1 and Wave 2 now available

Update:Revised versions of wave 1 and wave 2 now available 

Summary of changes:

  • Data from wave 2 self-completion questionnaire added (languages, social involvement, loneliness, voting, alcohol consumption behaviour including CAGE,  perceived stress scale)
  • New derived variables for activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) added to wave 2
  • Individual items for the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CESD) scale added  in wave 2 (MH001 – MH020)
  • Derived social class variable added to wave 2 (W2socialclass)
  • Further education variables added to wave 2 (edu_level and dm048)
  • Self-reported height and weight in wave 2 added (ph720 and ph723)
  • Doctor diagnosed conditions in wave 2 added (high blood pressure –ph201_01, arthritis –ph301_03 and thyroid problems-ph301_15a)
  • Further healthcare utilisation variables added to wave 2 (hu012, hu015a_01, hu015a_02, hu015_03)
  • Further self-reported physical activity variables added to wave 2 (bh101 and bh103)
  • Further employment status and income variables added to wave 2 (we107, we109, we112, we114 and we122)


TILDA is a major inter-institutional initiative led by Trinity College Dublin which aims to produce a massive improvement in the quantity and quality of data, research and information relating to older people and ageing in Ireland. 

  • Eligible respondents for this study include individuals aged 50 and over and their spouses or partners of any age.
  • The study will involve interviews on a two yearly basis with a sample cohort of 8,504 people aged 50 and over (or their spouses/partners) and resident in Ireland, collecting detailed information on all aspects of their lives, including the economic (pensions, employment, living standards), health (physical, mental, service needs and usage) and social aspects (contact with friends and kin, formal and informal care, social participation).
  • Both survey interviews and physical and biological measurements are utilised.
  • The study is closely harmonised with leading international research so as to ensure adoption of best practice and comparability of results.

The TILDA project is funded by Irish Life, Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Department of Health. The support of these early funders allowed this project to be conceived, planned, and implemented.

Study Documentation: TILDA Wave 1

Study Documentation: TILDA Wave 2




Register of Use

ISSDA maintains an opt-in register of projects using TILDA data in their research.  


Accessing the data

The two waves of data from the project are available for request via ISSDA for bona fide research projects only. The current releases has been updated so they now include the first section of health data along with data from the CAPI and SCQ (self-completion questionnaire) administered surveys. Additional health data will be added in future releases.

To access the Anonymised Microdata File (AMF) for Wave 1 and 2, please complete a request form for research purposes and send it to ISSDA by email (with the scanned signature), or by post to the following address:

Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA),
UCD Library,
University College Dublin,
Dublin 4,

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form.  Please note that incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

For teaching purposes, please complete the request form for teaching purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

If you have any queries relating to this dataset please read our FAQs


For a list of Sports related datasets click here.


For a list of Health related datasets click here.