NLS Youth '79 Cohort

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort
Short Description: 
Men and women born in the years 1957-64
Short Title: 
NLS Youth 1979
Long Name: 
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth | 1979
Investigator URL:
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Income, Assets & Program Participation: An Introduction

The NLSY79 cohort is a unique source of income and asset information. Family poverty status variables are available for NLSY79 respondents. In addition, detailed information is provided on public assistance income sources, and a series of environmental variables describe the extent of family and individual poverty within the respondent's geographical area of residence. Note: By their nature, financial questions may elicit a higher number of "refusal" or don't know" responses than other questions.



Important Information About Using Training Data

School Discipline

The 1980 survey included several questions on school discipline problems, that is, whether NLSY79 respondents had ever been suspended or expelled from school, and if so, the number of times, date of most recent disciplinary action, and when/if the youth had returned to school. Almost one quarter of the sample, or 3,030 respondents, reported having been suspended at some point in their schooling; a smaller number (538) reported having been expelled. 

School & Transcript Surveys


Important Information About Using School and Transcript Surveys Data

Educational Attainment & School Enrollment

Created Variables

HGC_EVER: This XRND variable contains the highest grade ever completed updated through the respondent's most recent interview. These incorporate adjustments to prevent respondents from regressing in years of schooling when they take such actions as returning to school in a new field.

Aptitude, Achievement & Intelligence Scores

Created Variables

AFQT SCORES: 1981, 1989 (renormed), 2006 (renormed) - These variables represent the respondent's AFQT scores calculated from the ASVAB tests for the vast majority of respondents who took them in 1980. The scores have been renormed twice based on updated standards.

Education, Training & Cognitive Tests: An Introduction

The NLSY79 contains detailed information on respondents' educational and training histories. The survey also contains multiple cognitive tests from respondents' earlier years.

Family Background

Family background is a key element of the NLS because parent and sibling attributes have a significant impact on a respondent's future life experiences. Data are available on the NLSY79 respondents' parents and siblings as well as on the respondents' early characteristics. 


Created Variables

Sexual Activity & Contraception

Sexual Activity 

In 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985 NLSY79 respondents were asked about their sexual activity. Once the respondent answered the questions, he or she was not asked the series in subsequent surveys. Out of a total of 12,686 respondents, 310 did not answer any of the questions in these years.


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