MARS Project Brief

Malaysia Ageing and Retirement Survey (MARS)

MARS is a longitudinal study currently conducted by the Centre involving respondents aged 40 and above. Through its unique and in-depth interviews, the MARS provides an invaluable and growing body of multidisciplinary data to address important questions of ageing.


The main objective of MARS is to gather micro-level data on people aged 40 years and older. The data will provide useful input for policy making and the formulation of National Framework for Healthy and Active Ageing Malaysia towards strengthening social protection system for the country.



Comprehensive Baseline data

To produce a comprehensive base-line data on the individual, family, social, economic & health of middle-aged & older persons


To collect longitudinal data on life histories and experiences of middle-aged and older persons over  time to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges related to retirement and ageing


To offer evidence-based recommendations on opportunities and policies to address the trends that
emerge in the midst of population ageing in Malaysia

Part of global platform

To be part of the global platform on retirement & ageing research comparable with similar longitudinal surveys that can provide the basis for policy making & academic studies.

Core Components of MARS

Health, healthcare utilization, health insurance and long-term care

This module is about respondents' health status and health behaviours. Contents include health status, daily activity, illness and other health problems.

Work, employment and retirement

This module is about respondents' work and employment status. Contents include work status, work history, work hours, and retirement information

Income and consumption

This module collects information on respondents' income and consumption at both individual and household level.


This module gathers respondents’ state of being and satisfaction on married life, family, living conditions, finance, health, religious practice, security, environment and the government.

Family support and living arrangement

This module collects information on household roster, background information, living arrangement, family support and transfers.

MARS is in consultation with


University of Tokyo



University of Tokyo



Institute of Social Research (HRS), Univ. Michigan

Jay Lin

Institute of Social Research (HRS),  Univ. of Michigan

JinKook Lee

Program on Global Aging, Health and Policy 
Univ. of Southern California

John Strauss

School of Gerontology, Univ. of Southern California

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Center for the Study of Aging

Research Members

norma mansor


Halimah Awang


tey nai peng

Population Studies Unit, UM

ng sor tho

Department of Statistics, UM

Noran Naqiah Mohd Hairi

Julius Centre, UM

Low Wah Yun

Medical Education & Research Development, UM

Collaborative Partners

Through the collaboration with Institute of Social Research (ISR), University of Michigan, ISR will provide technical support in questionnaire instruments development, particularly the software required to run the survey through Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), as well as training of trainers and field interviewers.

MARS is part of the Gateway to Global Aging Data

Data and Documentation

  • Wave 1: Data Dictionary (PDF)
  • Wave 1: A Snapshot (PDF)
  • Wave 1: Key Findings (PDF)

Researchers who wished to apply data from Malaysia Ageing and Retirement Survey (MARS), kindly write a formal letter of application together with a brief study proposal and data request form and submit to 

For more information about harmonized MARS data, please visit the Gateway for Global Aging.