Welcome to the 1958 National Child Development Study

Principal Investigator: Prof Alissa Goodman

The National Child Development Study (NCDS) follows the lives of over 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1958. Also known as the 1958 Birth Cohort Study, it collects information on physical and educational development, economic circumstances, employment, family life, health behaviour, wellbeing, social participation and attitudes.

The NCDS is managed by CLS and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

You can find out more about the National Child Development Study by viewing an interview with Jane Elliott, current Chief Executive of the ESRC, and former Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, below.

The surveys

Since the birth survey in 1958, there have been nine further ‘sweeps’ of all cohort members at ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42, 46, 50 and 55. In 2003 (at age 45), over 9,000 cohort members also participated in a special bio-medical survey so we could learn more about how development, environments and lifestyles affect people’s health.

For more information on each of these surveys, visit our surveys pages.

The data

The data for all NCDS sweeps is available from the UK Data Service. For more information, see our accessing the data page.

Support available

This section of our website offers tools and information to help researchers use the data. If you need further support, please contact our user support team.

Contact us

If you can’t find the help you need on our surveys and documentation pages, please contact clsfeedback@ioe.ac.uk

If you have queries regarding downloading the data, please contact the UK Data Service.

Tell us about your research

We ask researchers to contact us whenever they publish research using the cohort data. With up-to-date records, we can help other researchers avoid duplication and also demonstrate to funders how useful the data is to the research community.

Resources for mixed method and qualitative research

Professor Jane Elliott, former Director of CLS and Libby Bishop of the UK Data Archive discuss the rich qualitative data available to researchers from the 1958 National Child Development Study.