About the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS)

The NLS, sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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. Choose a cohort below to learn more.

Who Are You?

Please indicate your NLS experience so we can direct you to a page that focuses on your needs:

Need Help Using NLS Data?

Explore the Tutorials

Learn how to approach research projects, search for and extract data, and then program with NLS data.


Introduction to the Investigator

Learn how to use the online NLS data search and extraction site to create your own data sets.


NLS Learning Opportunities: Booth Schedule at Conferences

Going to a professional conference this year? The NLS User Services booth will be making its appearance at several conferences in 2016. Stop by to get some hands-on instruction (or just to say hi). 

Latest Information from the NLS

Now posted to our website: NLS Brochures. Need some quick info about the NLS to hand out in your classroom or give to a colleague? Click here for access to PDFs of our brochures.


NLS continues to be a popular topic at PAA.  The 2016 Population Association of America (PAA) conference, held March 31-April 2, included more than 50 NLS-related presentations. For a handy list, click here.


Newest Data Release: [2/5/2016] NLSY79 Interim Release of Rounds 1-25. This release corrects errata items where researchers previously needed to download separate data files. It also updates historical documentation to help researchers more easily find longitudinal data. For details on the updated documentation, click here. To access this new release, go to www.nlsinfo.org/investigator.


Number of NLS-based Dissertations Reaches 1100. Since the NLS project's inception back in the 1960s, more than 1100 Ph.D. candidates have featured NLS data in their dissertations. Browse our online NLS Bibliography to see citations. Masters citations are also included. Recent grads: Is your dissertation or thesis included in our Bib? If not, follow these instructions to submit.


Check out our Website Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the NLS. Fun facts, user profiles, NLS language lessons, and more!! Check us out at https://nlsat50.org/.


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Visit NLS Investigator to explore and download data.