The CLHLS project has been collecting extensive data on a much larger population of oldest-old with a comparative sub-sample of younger elders than has previously been studied. Demographic and statistical methods are used to analyze data in the longitudinal surveys.

The research goal is to determine which factors, out of a large set of social, behavioral, biological, and environmental risk factors play an important role in healthy longevity. The large population size, the focus on healthy longevity (rather than on a specific disease or disorder), the simultaneous consideration of various risk factors, and the use of analytical strategies based on demographic concepts make this an innovative demographic data collection and research project.