The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor. These surveys have gathered information at multiple points in time on the labor market experiences and other significant life events of several groups of men and women. Each of the NLS samples consists of several thousand individuals, many of whom have been surveyed over several decades.
The NLS family of surveys includes seven cohorts, three ongoing and four original cohorts (for whom data collection has ended).
NLS Youth 1997 (NLSY97)
Began in 1997 with 8,984 men and women born in 1980-84 (ages 12-17 in 1997). Sample members were interviewed annually from 1997 to 2011 and biennially thereafter.
NLS Youth 1979 (NLSY79)
Began in 1979 with 12,686 men and women born in 1957-64 (ages 14-22 in 1979). Sample members were interviewed annually from 1979-1994 and biennially thereafter.
NLS Youth Child and Young Adult (NLSCYA)
Began in 1986 with children born to female NLSY79 respondents. Biennial data collection consists of interviews with the mothers and interviews with the children themselves; from 1994 onward, children turning age 15 and older during the survey year have been administered a Young Adult questionnaire that is similar to the NLSY79 questionnaire.
Four Original Cohorts:
Older Men (NLSM)
Began in 1966 with 5,020 men born in 1906-21 (ages 45-59 in 1966). Sample members were interviewed 12 times from 1966 to 1983. A final interview in 1990 was conducted with 2,092 respondents who were 69-83 years old, and 2,206 family members of deceased respondents.
Mature Women (NLSW)
Began in 1967 with 5,083 women born in 1922-37 (ages 30-44 in 1967). Sample members were interviewed 21 times from 1967 to 2003. The final interview in 2003 was conducted with 2,237 women ages 66-80.
Young Men (NLSM)
Began in 1966 with 5,225 men born in 1941-51 (ages 14-24 in 1966). Sample members were interviewed 12 times from 1966 to 1981.
Young Women (NLSW)
Began in 1968 with 5,159 women born in 1943-53 (ages 14-24 in 1968). Sample members were interviewed 22 times from 1968 to 2003. The final interview in 2003 was conducted with 2,857 women ages 49-59.
National Longitudinal Surveys public data are made available, free of charge, through the Investigator website at: www.nlsinfo.org/investigator. Visit the NLS website at: www.nlsinfo.org for additional information about the NLS and each cohort.
CHRR services used for the NLS:
Sample Design and Management
Survey and Questionnaire Design
Service descriptions can be found on CHRR's services page.