National Longitudinal Surveys

Maintained/created by: US Department of Labor
Geographic unit of data: U.S. national

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The National Longitudinal Surveys provide information from nationally representative samples regarding labor market participation and activities, such as: educational history and employment status, number of hours worked per week and other job characteristics. Information is also provided on significant aspects of life, such as: marriage, fertility, income, and health. The National Longitudinal Surveys are done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the US Department of Labor. The 5 surveys are done to gather information regarding significant events and labor market activities among youth and young adults in the United States. Specific data regarding labor market activities includes, and is not limited to: measures of labor market experience, tenure, employer mobility, educational history, transition from school to work and retirement planning and expectations. Data about life events includes: marital and fertility histories, health conditions, insurance coverage, participation in government assistance programs, criminal histories, and drug and alcohol use.

Data Notes

Users can view and download existing news releases and data tables. Most of the data sets are also available to download for free. Some specific portions may require a fee or an application. The site also provides users with extensive user guides to assist in data analysis. The five National Longitudinal Surveys are: The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979; National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women and Mature Women; National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men and Older Men; NLS79 Children and Young Adults (survey of the biological children of the women from the 1979 NLS Youth Survey). Participants are considered to be a nationally representative sample. The website explains the survey methodology in detail.