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National Longitudinal Surveys

The NLSY26: The Newest National Longitudinal (NLS) Survey

NLS is pleased to have begun the process of planning a new cohort.  With the anticipation that its first interviews will be conducted in 2026, we have tentatively named this new cohort the NLSY26.  Collecting longitudinal data for the NLSY26 will enable researchers to examine how the lessons learned using previous NLS data may have changed over time, as well as permitting the study of new factors affecting the lives and labor market outcomes of a new generation.

As in previous NLS cohorts, BLS plans to ask NLSY26 cohort members a core set of questions that provide extensive information on employment, training, education, income, assets, marital status, fertility, health, attitudes toward work, and occupational and geographical mobility, as well as administering a set of cognitive assessments.  Additional areas of inquiry and assessment are currently being considered as the NLS program consults with its stakeholders and subject matter experts in a range of relevant fields.

Timeline for the New Youth Cohort

  • In 2020, Congress directed BLS to “initiate spending on the planning and development of a new National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) cohort.”

  • FY 2021: Outreach to other agencies and to NLSY data community

  • FY 2022: Design work-including sampling methodology, survey methods, questionnaire, and dissemination

  • Work with partners to establish basic parameters like sample size, ages, oversamples, content

    • Opportunities for input from partners:
      • Survey patterned on the NLSY97 for comparability across generations, but may options for additional or revised questions
      • New modules
      • Special collections
      • Shape content as population ages
  • FY 2023: Survey development

  • FY 2024: Systems development

  • FY 2025: Pre-test fielded, prep for screening

  • FY 2026: Screening and Round 1 data collection


Contact the NLS about the NLSY26

Email: nlsy26info@bls.gov

Last Modified Date: January 6, 2022