Longitudinal Data Analysis
Social Science Researchers

Datasets (Major UK Longitudinal resources)


British Household Panel Survey : BHPS

The British Household Panel Survey began in 1991 and is a multi-purpose study whose unique value resides in the fact that:

The wave 1 panel consists of some 5,500 households and 10,300 individuals drawn from 250 areas of Great Britain. Additional samples of 1,500 households in each of Scotland and Wales were added to the main sample in 1999, and in 2001 a sample of 2,000 households was added in Northern Ireland, making the panel suitable for UK-wide research.

Further materials on working with the BHPS are available from these webpages, see:


Birth Cohort Studies

Other UK Longtiudinal Datasets

The ONS Longitudinal Study
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 across censuses as well as information on events such as births, deaths and cancer registrations. Further details. Other useful ONS LS links:

The Scottish Longitudinal Study
The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) which will link administrative records for a 5% sample of the Scottish population. The linked data will include: 1991 and 2001 Census information; data on vital events, including births, deaths and marriages; and health related information on cancers and hospital admissions. This will be the largest longitudinal database in Scotland, including information on approximately 270,000 people.

Forthcoming Workshop


The Original Scottish LS
The Scottish LS was discontinued soon after the 1981 Census, when the Rayner Review of the Government Statistical Service concluded that it was not cost effective. A major factor was the small sample size (one per cent, approximately 50,000 members) which limited its potential for analysis

Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales
The Department for Education and Skills (DFES) conducts the Youth Cohort Study (YCS) on a sample of young people (aged 16-19) in the year after they are eligible to leave compulsory schooling.

Data are collected about their activity status, i.e. whether they are in a full-time job, full or part-time education, on a training scheme, unemployed or doing something else. Also collected is information about their qualifications (gained and studying for), family background and other socio-economic and demographic data.

The survey covers England and Wales and data are available at Standard Regional and Government Office regional level.

A sample of around 20,000 young people are followed up over a two-year period.

Scottish Young People’s Survey
This is a survey of students in their fourth year at school who are then surveyed after an interval of two years six months. It is carried out to determine perceptions of school and the reason for staying on or leaving school, and how this helps with decision making and job satisfaction.

The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series
The IPUMS consists of twenty-seven high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fourteen federal censuses. Some of these samples have existed for years, and others were created specifically for this database. The twenty-seven samples, which span the censuses of 1850 to 2000, collectively comprise our richest source of quantitative information on long-term changes in the American population.

The Whitehall Study
The survey was initially undertaken to investigate cardiorespiratory disorders and their precursors. The aim of the first phase was to evaluate mass screening for cardiorespiratory conditions with respect to yield of previously unrecognised disease and risk factors, organisation and use of non-medical personnel. The second phase included two controlled trials designed to evaluate the results of intervention bases on screening, one by anti-smoking counselling of high-risk subjects and the other by treating newly detected impairment of glucose tolerance. The final phase of the study will be a long-term follow-up of all the screened men. Further details

Workplace Employee Relations Survey
The Workplace Employee Relations Surveys (WERS) are repeated cross-sectional and panel surveys of British workplaces. The repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 1980, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2004. There are three WERS panel surveys (1980-84; 1984-1990; and 1998-2004). The panel surveys are constructed by sampling a subset of workplaces who were interviewed in an earlier survey, during fieldwork on a later survey (for instance, 1479 workplaces from the 1998 survey were successfully re-interviewed during the 2004 survey). The WERS 2004 website ( includes instructions on combining together repeated cross-sectional surveys, and on linking records from different surveys to construct panel datasets (under the section 'help for analysts'). Data can  be accesed from the UK Data Archive / ESDS ( The subject of research in the WERS surveys are workplaces. Key role-holders at each workplace provide information on the nature of employment relations at their place of work. The survey is jointly sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Policy Studies Institute. (Thanks for John Forth at NISER for updating our information on WERS).

British Election Panel Study
The British Election Panel Study (BEPS) follows a panel of voters - interviewing them every six months or so - throughout the course of a parliament.

The first BEPS studied voters from the 1992 General Election through to the 1997 General Election. In between April 1992 and May 1997 a random sample of people were asked about their attitudes towards the political events occurring in the lifetime of the 1992-1997 Conservative Government. This survey was the most ambitious of its kind ever to be conducted. In total eight surveys took place and the results they provided have given us a large amount of new information about the British public and British politics.

British Social Attitudes Panel Study
The British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey series began in 1983 and has been conducted every year since, except in 1988 and 1992 when funding was devoted to conducting the British Election Study (BES). However, in 1997 a scaled-down BSA was fielded in addition to the BES. The survey series is conducted by the National Centre for Social Research.

The Labour Force Survey
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a quarterly sample survey of households living at private addresses in Great Britain. Its purpose is to provide information on the UK labour market that can then be used to develop, manage, evaluate and report on labour market policies

New Earnings Survey Panel
The New Earnings Survey (NES) sample each year comprised all those whose National Insurance (NI) numbers end with a specified pair of digits.

The same pair of digits has been used since 1975 and hence the NESPD comprised data on employees earnings linked by NI number over time.

Main topics covered: earnings, occupation, industry, hours worked, sex, age, place of work, and job tenure.

West of Scotland 20-07 Survey
The 'West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study: Health in the community' is a resource for all Unit programmes. Its aim is to investigate the social processes producing or maintaining differences in health by key social positions (in particular, social class, gender, area of residence, age, ethnicity, and family composition). Three age cohorts (born 1932,1952 and 1972, and aged 15, 35 and 55 at first contact in 1987/88) are being followed up using home-based interviews and postal questionnaires, and we hope to continue this until 2007 (i.e., for twenty years).

The West of Scotland 11 to 16 (now 16+) Study
The 11 to 16 Study originated as an extension to the Twenty-07 Study and is a longitudinal, school-based survey of health and health behaviours in a cohort of 2586 young people resident in the Central Clydeside Conurbation (CCC). The cohort was first surveyed at the end of primary school in 1994 when aged 11, and was subsequently followed up in secondary school at age 13 in 1996, and again at 15 in 1999.