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National Longitudinal Surveys

The NLSY Geocode

Geographic Information For the Youth Cohort: Information collected about the NLSY79 respondent's geographic location is not part of the public release version of the youth tape. Due to the usefulness of this information for certain analyses, however, variables which identify geographic location have been put on a separate data tape available to researchers willing to ensure its confidentiality. The geocode data tape contains the following:
  • County and state (or country if outside the U.S.) at birth, at age 14, at 1979 interview data, and at each county lived in since 1-1-78.
  • County and state location of current job.
  • State of residence of parents if respondent is still "attached" to parental home.
  • Identification code to allow merging with youth data tape.
  • Selected environmental variables for county of residence.
The 50 states, the District of Columbia, and outlying areas of the United States (e.g., Puerto Rico, Guam) were coded using the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 5-1. Counties were coded using FIPS 6-1. These standardized codes allow the researcher the opportunity to merge easily other data bases such as the City and County Data Book which use the same coding scheme as the youth data. Countries other than U.S. were coded using a set of codes designed by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC).

Note to persons ordering the NLSY geocode data: Persons interested in acquiring the NLSY geocode data files should contact the National Longitudinal Surveys for instructions. Distribution occurs only after proper submission of the BLS non-disclosure affidavit and a standard letter of agreement. Final approval rests with the Commissioner of BLS.


Last Modified Date: March 25, 2021