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National Longitudinal Surveys
NLS NLS Program Links
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Information for National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) Participants

The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys designed to gather information at multiple points in time on the labor market activities and other significant life events of several groups of men and women.  NLS data have served as an important tool for economists, sociologists, and other researchers for more than 50 years.  The NLS program started the original cohorts’ project in the mid-1960s with surveys of four groups: Mature Women, Young Women, Older Men, and Young Men.  Today, we have active cohorts:

  • The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) consists of people born from 1957 to 1964, who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979.  In 1986, a separate survey (NLSY79 Child and Young Adult) of all children born to NLSY79 female respondents began, greatly expanding the breadth of child-specific information collected.
  • The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) consists of people born in the years 1980 to 1984, who were ages 12 to 17 when first interviewed in 1997.

Additional information about the program is available on the NLS Questions and Answers page.

Why your participation matters?

“The National Longitudinal Surveys stand out because they are designed to answer key long-term questions about people’s paths through life.

The survey doesn’t just ask about labor market activity. It also asks about education, training, health, marriages and other relationships, children, use of government programs, juvenile crimes and arrests, drug and alcohol use, and much more. Why do we ask about these topics, some of which are pretty sensitive? In short, we’re trying to understand all the things that affect or are affected by labor market activity. That covers nearly every part of our lives.

This is all possible thanks to the people who have agreed to participate in the surveys across many years—so that we can understand people’s paths over time!”

-Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner (

BLS Confidentiality Pledge

We understand that confidentiality is important to you. That is why the law and our own security policies strictly protect the confidentiality of participants in our surveys. Additional information about how we protect your confidentiality is available on the Confidentiality Pledge and Laws page.  The NLS program has established set procedures for ensuring respondent confidentiality and obtaining informed consent.  For more information about these procedures, visit the NLSY79 confidential and informed consent and NLSY97 confidential and informed consent links.

NLS Respondent Websites

  • Visit the NLSY97 Respondent website to make appointment, update your contact information, payment inquires, or any other questions you may have about the survey.
  • Visit the NLSY79 Respondent website to make appointment, update your contact information, payment inquires, or any other questions you may have about the survey.

 Thank you for your participation and interest in the NLS.


Last Modified Date: April 28, 2020