50 Years of NLS Findings

What Topics Can be Studied Using NLS Data?

The National Longitudinal Surveys are nationally representative surveys that follow the same sample of individuals from specific birth cohorts over time. The surveys collect data on labor market activity, schooling, fertility, program participation, health, and much, much more.

For more information on topics that can be studied with NLS data, please refer to the documentation available for each cohort at nlsinfo.org.  Each cohort has an online User’s Guide, which describes the topics covered in the surveys. These guides are a good place to start to find out the general information available in each of the surveys.  Within these guides, see the cohort-specific asterisk tables, which provide the variables available within a topical area, and the years the questions were asked.


50 Years of Research with the National Longitudinal Surveys

For a comprehensive list of NLS-based journal articles, working papers, conference presentations, and dissertations, please use the searchable NLS Annotated Bibliography. The NLS Bibliography online contains NLS research citations that are retrievable through a variety of searches. Search results are arranged by principal author's last name and include the title of the research, the source and date of publication, the NLS cohort(s) used in the research, and an abstract, in most cases.

Several recent articles focus on the National Longitudinal Surveys.  Recent issues of the Monthly Labor Review include several articles using National Longitudinal Surveys data: "An Analysis of Long-Term Unemployment" and "Fertility of the Women in the NLSY79". The September 2015 issue of the Monthly Labor Review contains an article summarizing findings from the NLSY79, NLSY97, and NLSY79 Child/Young Adult cohorts.  The September 2015 edition of Spotlight on Statistics focuses on the NLSY79 and NLSY97 surveys.

Elizabeth Cooksey of The Ohio State University served as guest editor for the October 2016 special issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family celebrating 50 years of the National Longitudinal Surveys.

Slides from the NLS 50th Anniversary Conference are now posted on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. These slides are a great resource for learning about the breadth and depth of the NLS data. A video of BLS Commissioner Erica Groshen's opening remarks is also available on the NLS 50th Anniversary Conference page.

Read extended abstracts from a session on "Research Advances from 30 Years of the NLSY Child and Young Adult Surveys" at the Population Association of America (PAA) 2016 annual conference.

Details about a panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NLS at the 37th Annual Fall APPAM Research Conference can be found here.  Light and McGarry's paper is available on the APPAM website.

The 71st annual conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) featured a panel marking 50 years of the NLS.

The SOLE/EALE conference program in June, 2015 included a special session dedicated to 50 years of NLS-based research.

Learn about Using the NLSY to Conduct Life Course Analyses from Elizabeth Cooksey of the Center for Human Resource Research at The Ohio State University in a Life Course Research Network (LCRN) webinar presented in February, 2014.

Press Releases and Monthly Labor Review articles and other BLS reports that use NLS data are also available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.  NLS News includes information about new data releases, error notices, completed NLS research and other information of general interest to the NLS research community.