Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY)

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) is a survey program that tracks groups of young Australians with the aim of studying their transitions from school to further education and work. It uses large, nationally representative samples of young people to collect information about education and training, employment and social development.

Survey participants (collectively known as a ‘cohort’) enter the study when they turn 15 years old, or as was the case in earlier studies, when they were in Year 9. Individuals are contacted annually until they are 25 years of age. Studies began in 1995, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2009 and more recently in 2015. About 14,000 students start out in each cohort. Since 2003, the first survey wave has been integrated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The LSAY program brings together two existing, long-established projects: the Youth in Transition survey conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research; and the Australian Youth Survey conducted by the former Australian Department of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.

LSAY is managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Further information about the LSAY program is available from the LSAY website.

The LSAY data is available to access free of charge. To access the LSAY data:

  1. Sign up to the ADA Dataverse
  2. Go to the LSAY Dataverse and locate the cohorts and datasets you wish to access.
  3. Click on ‘Request access’ and complete the online form.

Visit the User support and documentation page for the range of resources and tools available to support researchers and data users in using the LSAY data.


LSAY cohort datasets

CohortADA IDDOIStudy documentationCohort user guide
19950101010.4225/87/YKOFALDataverse CatalogueLSAY 1995 cohort user guide
19980103910.4225/87/O4AIPZDataverse CatalogueLSAY 1998 cohort user guide
20030111110.4225/87/5IOBPGDataverse CatalogueLSAY 2003 cohort user guide
20060113710.4225/87/WFEYRUDataverse CatalogueLSAY 2006 cohort user guide
20093002310.4225/87/6BW27VDataverse CatalogueLSAY 2009 cohort user guide
20150139210.4225/87/PJO7GBDataverse CatalogueLSAY 2015 cohort user guide