The data presented in this article is related to the research paper entitled "The long arm of childhood circumstances on health in old age: Evidence from SHARELIFE" (E. Pakpahan, R. Hoffmann, H. Kröger, 2016) . It presents the distribution of socioeconomic status (SES) and health from childhood until old age in thirteen European countries. In order to capture the characteristics of longitudinal data, which resembles life course data, we divide the data into three schematic periods: childhood (up to 15 years old), adulthood (30 to 60 years old), and old age (61 to 90 years old). This data set contains respondents' life histories, ranging from childhood conditions (such as housing and health) to detailed questions on education, adult SES (working history, income, and wealth) and old age health. The data can be used not only to understand on how early life experiences determine health in old age, but also to recognise the importance of possible mid-life mediators.