Longitudinal studies deal with change over time among individuals or groups.
The ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) contains linked census and vital event data for one per cent of the population of England and Wales.
Information from the 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 Censuses has been linked together, along with information on events such as births, deaths and cancer registrations.
At each census, data on slightly more than 500,000 sample members are included. During the 30 years of the study, around 1 million people have been recorded in the sample at some point.
The LS was set up in the 1970s to meet the need for better data on mortality and fertility. Since then it has been used to address a wide range of research questions including studies of social mobility, ageing and migration.
Studies that make the fullest use of LS data are those that link social, occupational and demographic information at successive censuses to data on vital events. Examples include studies of mortality, cancer incidence and survival, and fertility patterns.
More detailed information about the Longitudinal Study
This page last revised: Wednesday 24 July 2002