Contextual Data Resource

for Aging Surveys

The Contextual Data Resource (CDR) is a collection of user-friendly datasets that enable researchers to study the impact of place on health and well-being among HRS respondents. Contextual factors such as neighborhood disadvantage, air pollution, and health care access and quality play an important role in facilitating or hindering older adults’ ability to lead healthy, active, independent, and engaged lives. 

The Contextual Data Resource (CDR) includes measures representing seven key theoretical dimensions of the socioenvironmental context; socioeconomic/demographic structure, economic conditions, social stressors, health care, physical hazards, amenities, and the built environment. Measures are available at various levels of geography (e.g., census tract, county, metro area, state) and include proximity measures constructed using respondent geocoded address information (e.g., buffer density measures and distance measures). 

Currently measures are available for the period 1990-2016, with some measures available on an annual basis and others available at fewer time points. The potential to link this contextual data to aging surveys will increase opportunities to analyze prospective effects of environmental conditions on health and aging, the effects of residential mobility on aging-related outcomes, and the ways environments change around older adults as they age in place. 

Potential Uses of the CDR include:

  • Characterizing the neighborhood environments of older adults in a national context and over time

  • Identifying key environmental factors contributing to health and health disparities among older adults;

  • Comparing the availability of health care resources with individual usage and outcomes

  • Investigating gene environment interactions

CDR Datasets

Food Environment and Access

Uniform Crime Reports

Census and American Community Survey

Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

Air Pollution: O3 and PM2.5

Air Pollution: NO2

Street Connectivity

A project of the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (R21 AG045625, P30 AG017625).

For more information contact the current CDR team listed on the People page.