1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS)

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The 1958 National Child Development Study is a multidisciplinary national longitudinal birth cohort study following the lives of over 17,000 people born in 1958. The study aims to improve understanding of the factors affecting human development over the whole lifespan. Follows histories of health, wealth, education, family and employment from early life with linked biomedical and examination performance data integrated into the study.

Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) - Institute of Education (IoE), UCL

Geographic coverage - Nations
England, Scotland, Wales

Geographic coverage - Regions

Start date

Catalogue record last updated


Sample type
Birth cohort

Sample details
The NCDS follows the lives of all people born in England, Scotland and Wales in one particular week of March 1958. In the first three sweeps (at ages 7, 11 and 16), the target sample was augmented to include people who migrated to the UK born in the same week. The cross-sectional sample only includes immigrants who moved to Britain before the age of 16, as there were no attempts to include further members beyond the age 16 survey in 1974.

Sample size at recruitment

Sample size at most recent sweep
9,137 (2014 - NCDS9)
9,337 with biological samples


Age at recruitment

Cohort year of birth


Data access
UK Data Service

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data
Environmental data
Mortality data

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Additional information


Originally known as the Perinatal Mortality Survey

Related themes
Covid-19 data collection, Biomarkers, Cognitive measures, Diet and nutrition, Education, Sexuality and gender identity, Housing, Socioeconomic status and deprivation, Language and literacy, Loneliness and social isolation, Migration and immigration, Physical health assessment, Political and social attitudes, Victimisation and life events, Reproductive health, Work and employment, Parenting and family, Sleep problems, Social care - receipt, Social care - provision, Social care - need

Key Papers

Reference paper
Cohort Profile: 1958 British birth cohort (National Child Development Study).

Impactful papers using study data
Annual research review: the persistent and pervasive impact of being bullied in childhood and adolescence: implications for policy and practice. doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12841

Life course trajectories of alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom using longitudinal data from nine cohort studies. dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0273-z

Childhood and adulthood psychological ill health as predictors of midlife affective and anxiety disorders: the 1958 British Birth Cohort. doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.64.6.668

Economic and Social Research Council
Medical Research Council
National Institutes of Health
Department for Work and Pensions
Wellcome Trust

National Birthday Trust Fund
Mental health measures timeline

Sweep name:

Cohort member age:

Data collection period:


Physical health measures:

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