The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) is a biennial survey in China being conducted by the National School of Development (China Center for Economic Research) at Peking University. CHARLS aims to be representative of the residents of China age 45 and older, with no upper age limit. The national baseline sample size is 10,287 households and 17,708 individuals, covering 150 counties in 28 provinces. The baseline of the CHARLS pilot took place in two provinces in the fall of 2008 and the data are public on the CHARLS website.  The first national baseline wave was fielded from late summer 2011-March 2012; Wave 2 in 2013 and Wave 3 in 2015.  A special life history wave was fielded in 2014. National baseline data and a baseline national report are public on the CHARLS website (link below).  Wave 2 and the life history wave data are also public  Wave 3 should be public in early 2017.  A special community history wave is being fielded duing the summer of 2016.  A special section on dementia, harmonized to dementia studies being done by other HRS surveys will be added to wave 4 in 2018.  Validation of the dementia tests for China will be conducted in 2017.
CHARLS is part of a set of longitudinal aging surveys that include surveys in the United State, England, nineteen countries in continental Europe, Korea, Japan, and India. CHARLS aims to set up a high quality, nationally representative and publicly available micro-database that provides a wide range of information about the households of the elderly and also individual information on the elderly respondents and their spouses. CHARLS provides broad data that allows for analysis by multiple disciplines. All data stripped of private identifying information will be available for research use at no charge.
The household survey includes seven parts:
(a) Demographic Background
(b) Family
(c) Health Status and Functioning
(d) Health Care and Insurance
(e) Work, Retirement and Pension
(f, g) Household and Individual Income, Expenditure and Assets
(h) Interviewer Observation
There is also a community survey and a policy survey at the county/district level.