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About Us


Welcome to the Early Indicators Project.

The Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease and Death project specializes in the development of longitudinal life-cycle and historical environmental data sets to study economic, demographic, and epidemiological processes. These include trends in chronic disease, mortality, and labor force participation, as well as the relationship between early-life disease and environmental conditions and later-life disease and mortality.

Early Indicators data are used to study life-cycle and intergenerational factors in the secular decline in morbidity and mortality, improvements in the standard of living over time, changing patterns in geographic mobility, and changing patterns in the intergenerational transmission of wealth. Finally, it facilitates the retrieval of data from archival sources, and to clean and utilize the data for analyses. Data are free and available to the public at http://uadata.org.

Funded by NIA P01AG010120, Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death and by NIA P01AG010120, Early Indicators, Intergenerational Processes, and Aging.


The program project Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease and Death was initiated by Robert W. Fogel to investigate the effect of early-life conditions on later health and socioeconomic outcomes. Fogel led the project until his death in 2013, when leadership passed to Dora L. Costa. The project was first funded by the National Institute on Aging through a grant to the National Bureau of Economic Research in 1992 with the mandate to collect, digitize, and prepare for analysis records pertaining to long-term outcomes of a cohort of 39,616 Union Army veterans. Since then, the project has grown to include several complementary, publicly available data sets. These data are freely available for download at http://uadata.org.

See “Reflections on the Early Indicators Project: A Partial History” by Larry T. Wimmer for further background.

In Memoriam

Robert W. Fogel (7/1/1926 - 6/11/2013) was a leading economic historian and dedicated and enthusiastic mentor. View the in memoriam notice "Robert W. Fogel: Visionary economic historian, generous mentor, eternal optimist" published in the Journal of Economic History.