1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) is a multidisciplinary national longitudinal birth cohort study. Original aims were to examine the social and biological characteristics of the mother in relation to neonatal morbidity, and to compare the results with the 1958 National Child Development Study. With each successive sweep, the scope of the enquiry has broadened from a strictly medical focus at birth, to encompass physical, educational, social and economic development.
Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) - Institute of Education (IoE), UCL
Geographic coverage - Nations
England, Scotland, Wales
Geographic coverage - Regions
All people born in England, Scotland and Wales in one particular week of 1970, including stillbirths. Children born in this week in Northern Ireland were included in birth sweep only. Each cross-sectional target sample also includes all those born anywhere in the world in the same week as the longitudinal sample, who are living in Britain at the time of the sweep and who joined the BCS70 sample during the school years (at least one survey instrument partially completed).
Sample size at recruitment
Sample size at most recent sweep
9,841 (BCS 2012)
Age at recruitment
Cohort year of birth
UK Data Service
Genetic data collected
Linkage to administrative data
Health data Income/tax and benefits
Previously known as the British Births Survey
Covid-19 data collection, Biomarkers, Cognitive measures, Diet and nutrition, Education, Sexuality and gender identity, Housing, Socioeconomic status and deprivation, Language and literacy, Migration and immigration, Neighbourhood, Personality, Physical health assessment, Political and social attitudes, Victimisation and life events, Puberty, Reproductive health, Work and employment, Parenting and family, Sleep problems, Social care - receipt, Social care - provision, Social care - need
Elliott J & Shepherd P. (2006). Cohort Profile: 1970 British birth cohort (BCS70). International Journal of Epidemiology, 35, 836-843.
Mental health measures timeline
Cohort member age:
Data collection period:
Physical health measures: