Process to Request Access to the Original Cohorts Geocode Data

The process for requesting access to geographic variables in the "original cohorts" of the National Longitudinal Surveys (Older Men, Young Men, Mature Women, Young Women) differs from the process for the NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult, and NLSY97. Data for the NLS original cohorts were collected by the Census Bureau. The process for requesting access to geographic variables that are not available on the public-use files for the NLS original cohorts involves review at both the Census Bureau and BLS. The public-use files for all of the original cohorts include variables indicating South/non-South residence. Other geographic variables are available for researchers to use, but only at the Census Research Data Centers that have been established in several locations around the country.

For the NLS of Older Men and the NLS of Young Men, variables are available on the State and county of residence in each round of the surveys. A variable also is available on the Primary Sampling Unit from which the samples were selected in the first round of the surveys in 1966.

For the NLS of Mature Women and the NLS of Young Women, many more geographic variables are available. These variables include State, county, census tract and block, and latitude and longitude of residence in each round of the surveys. Variables are available on whether a respondent moved to a different address from one round of the survey to the next. A variable also is available on the Primary Sampling Unit from which the samples were selected in the first round of the surveys in 1967 (Mature Women) and 1968 (Young Women). In addition, variables are available on the names and locations of colleges and universities that respondents attended.

The process established by BLS and the Census Bureau to request access to geographic variables from the NLS original cohorts includes two main steps:

  • First, researchers must send a description of the project to BLS at NLS_info@bls.gov. The proposal should describe clearly and concisely the objectives of the project, the research hypotheses and methodology, the geographic information needed for the project, and the way in which that geographic information will be used. BLS staff will review and comment on the proposal and possibly ask follow-up questions. When BLS staff has all the information it feels is necessary, it will recommend whether to approve the project.
  • Second, if BLS approves the project, BLS will notify the researcher and the Census Bureau. The researcher then can submit a formal proposal to the Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies (CES), which oversees the Research Data Centers. Interested researchers should consult the CES website for proposal guidelines and information on the locations of Research Data Centers. Researchers also should work closely with CES staff and the administrator of the appropriate Research Data Center to develop the proposal adequately.

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Last Modified Date: April 4, 2018