1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2004  
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Contents >> Non-ABS Collections >> Cross-Sectoral >> Longitudinal Suvey of Australian Youth

Longitudinal Suvey of Australian Youth


LSAY Project Director
Australian Council for Education Research (ACER)
Private Bag 55, Camberwell, VIC 3124
Telephone (03) 9277 5607
Facsimile (03) 9277 5500

Website http://www.acer.edu.au/index.html


The Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth (LSAY) is a program of longitudinal surveys which provides information on the transitions of young people between education, training and work. The LSAY research program is managed jointly by ACER and the Department of Education, Science and Training. The current program of LSAY work commenced in 1995. It follows two earlier programs of longitudinal studies in Australia: Youth in Transition conducted by ACER; and the Australian Youth Survey (and its predecessor the Australian Longitudinal Survey) conducted by DEST.


The project is currently following three cohorts

    • a group of young people who were in Year 9 in 1995
    • a group of young people who were in Year 9 in 1998
    • a group of young people who turned 15 years of age in 2003 and participated in OECD PISA 2003.

In addition, LSAY incorporates data from the Youth in Transition and Australian Youth Survey cohorts, and an extensive program of analysis and reporting based on data from all cohorts.



A range of publications including research reports and technical papers are available
from ACER.

Data Service

LSAY data are deposited with the Social Sciences Data Archives (SSDA) at the Australian National University in Canberra. The data are deposited in a form that does not permit the identification of individual sample members or participating schools. The data can be purchased from SSDA in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) format for a nominal charge.

Release Schedule

Research reports, technical papers and other materials are produced regularly each year. The data is provided to SSDA annually.


Over time the LSAY data collections from each cohort build up a range of data items on the social and educational backgrounds of young people, their participation in various forms of education, training and work, and their attitudes to education, work and life more generally. Not all of these data are collected each year, and the data collection changes somewhat in coverage as cohorts gradually get older, although there is a common core of data items. The longitudinal nature of the LSAY data collections means that new surveys are closely linked to, are comparable with, and build on, the previous surveys.

The common areas covered each year are as follows:
    • Educational experiences (program, institution, type of enrolment, performance)
    • Labour market experiences (employment, type of job, occupation, industry, earnings, job training, job history, job search activity)
    • Non-work and education activities
    • Health, living arrangements and financial support
    • Attitudes and aspirations


Information is available for Australia, states and territories, and metropolitan/rural, except for Year 9 achievement scores which are available for Australia only. For some data, other geographical levels may be available, depending on confidentiality.


Following initial data collection in school, and a mail survey in the second year, subsequent contact with the sample is via a telephone survey that averages about twenty minutes in length.


Reference Period

Telephone interviews are conducted annually between August and October.

Frequency of Collection

The survey is longitudinal. Survey respondents are contacted annually.

Historical Data

Data are available from 1978. The current collection follows on from earlier longitudinal surveys, Youth in Transition and Australian Youth Survey. Youth in Transition covered youth cohorts born in 1961, 1965, 1970 and 1975. The Australian Youth Survey commenced in 1989 with 5,300 young people aged 16 to 19 years and concluded in 1997.


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