Data Samples Overview
The principal accomplishment of the Early Indicators project has been the creation of a data set to study the process of aging longitudinally in the Union Army (UA) cohort - a white, northern population that reached age 65 mainly between 1885 and 1912. The data set is comprised of 15,000 variables on each of over 39,000 recruits.
Project staff have also created a data set of over 21,000 veterans who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiments. This data set is divided into two groups, the Original USCT sample (6,187 recruits) and the Expanded USCT sample (15,069 recruits.) These life histories of the first cohort of African Americans to reach age 65 in the 20th Century will remain an invaluable tool for researchers for years to come.
Additional samples were collected to extend coverage of certain interesting populations. The Andersonville sample targets survivors of the war's most infamous prison camp and can be used to look at the later life effects of traumatic hardship. The Oldest Old sample, composed entirely of veterans who lived to over 95 years of age, can be used to examine the factors that contribute to extremely long life. The Urban sample focuses on recruits enlisted from the largest U.S. cities at the time, giving a sample to study the health effects of the urban population during a period of rapid urbanization.
Death data is collected from multiple sources. A list is available here.
Where to Download Data
All data samples are available through the Bulk Downloads system in multiple formats.