Chart 2: Major Longitudinal Surveys Carried Out by British Government

Topic and department Year started, sample etc. Major data categories/uses
Offenders index. Home Office. 1963. Updated annually. 5m.convicted people. Estimates of reconviction rates and other aspects of criminal history.
Longitudinal Study. OPCS. 1971. Linked annually to vital stats.& decennially, to Census. 1% of population. Census data plus births, marriages and deaths.
New Earnings Survey. CSO. 1975. Linked annually. 150,000. Earnings by occupation, industry, etc.
National Insurance Records. DSS. 1978/9. Linked annually. 1% sample of contributors. Earnings and pension contributions.
Unemployment and vacancies. CSO. 1983. Linked monthly, 5% of claimants. Forecasting. Tracking between all states of economic activity.
Benefit Claimants. DSS. 1984. Linked annually. 30,000 records Sickness, invalidity, disablement, etc, benefit. Used for costing etc.
Youth Cohort Study. DFEE. 1985. 1-2years. 10,000 in cohort 6. Education, work, training, unemployment, qualifications, household composition.
National Health Service Central Register. OPCS. 1991. Daily links. Entire population. To monitor General Practioners lists. And estimate total population?
Inmate Information. Prison Service. 1991. All prison inmates. Periods spent in all establishments.
Labour Force Survey. CSO. 1992. Linked quaterly Employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, income, education and training.
Examination Results Records. DFEE. 1992/3. Linked annually. 158,000 records. For performance indicators using 'value added' measures.
Unemployment Benefit System. DSS. 1994. Linked quarterly. 5% of claimants. Unemployment benefit claimed and paid, reasons for non-payment, dependents.
Individualised Student Records. FEFC. 1994/5. 3 reference dates per year, 2 million FE students. Qualification aims, subject, outcome, funding category etc.

Source: GSS(SPH) Secretariat (1996) Longitudinal Social Statistics: a Guide to Offical Sources. Office for National Statistics.