|The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) is a large-scale linkage study which has been created by using data available from current Scottish administrative and statistical sources. These include census data, vital events data (births, deaths, marriages), National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR) data (migration in or out of Scotland) and National Health Service (NHS) data (cancer registrations and hospital discharges). SLS is a 5.3% representative sample of the Scottish population, and began with data from the 1991 census.
An important aspect of the data that are collected relates to SLS sample members and those who live in their households at the time of each census. SLS sample members are those who have one of the 20 birthdays included in this study. For this group, data from the 1991 and 2001 censuses are linked together. Information is collected about those living in the same household at the time of the census, but the data from subsequent censuses are not linked together for these people. Also, the vital events and health data are only linked to the SLS sample members, not their household members. Thus, for many studies, the SLS sample members are of most interest, although variables which describe those living in their household at the time of the censuses may provide valuable additional information.
- 1991 census data for SLS members including data on occupation, economic activity, housing, ethnicity, age, sex, marital status, education and long-standing illness
- 1991 census data for those living in the same household as an SLS member
- 2001 census data for SLS members, similar to 1991 but with additional data on self-rated health, religion and caregiving
- 2001 census data for those living in the same household as an SLS member
- Vital events data, for example, new births into the sample, immigrants into the sample, births to sample mothers, infant mortality, marriages of sample members, deaths of sample members, emigration out of Scotland
- Health events data: cancer registrations, hospital admissions and discharges for sample members