About the sample

The sample population for the study was drawn from all live births in the UK over 12 months from 1 September 2000 in England & Wales and 1 December 2000 in Scotland & Northern Ireland.

The sample was selected from a random sample of electoral wards, disproportionately stratified to ensure adequate representation of all four UK countries, deprived areas and areas with high concentrations of Black and Asian families.

The sample design of the MCS differs from that of its predecessors (NCDS & BCS70) in that it took a whole year's births, and covers the whole of the United Kingdom for the first time.  The sample was drawn slightly later in Scotland and Northern Ireland so as not to coincide with other surveys being carried out on families with babies in these areas at the same time.

 

Cohort Sample by Type

 

Clusters, families and children, by country

 

Number of
sample
wards*

Achieved Responses **

Children

Families
interviewed

Single
Mothers

Fathers***

UK Total

398

18,818

18,552

3,194

13,599

England

200

11,695

11,533

1,853

8,558

Wales

73

2,799

2,761

590

1,957

Scotland

62

2,370

2,336

375

1,758

N Ireland

63

1,955

1,923

376

1,326

 

Notes

* including 49 groupings of two or three small wards
** provisional totals, all productive contacts
*** partners of main respondent in two parent families
 

For more information on sampling and response please see Plewis 2007

       
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