UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

National Child Development Study Deaths Dataset, 1958-2016: Special Licence Access

Title details

SN: 7717
Title: National Child Development Study Deaths Dataset, 1958-2016: Special Licence Access
Alternative title: NCDS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7717-3
Series: National Child Development Study [National Child Development Study: Special Licence Access]
Depositor: University of London. Institute of Education. Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Principal investigator(s): University of London. Institute of Education. Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: RES-597-28-5001
Other acknowledgements: The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) would like to thank all the cohort members who generously gave their time to participate in this project and without whom this survey would not have been possible.


The citation for this study is:

University of London. Institute of Education. Centre for Longitudinal Studies. (2018). National Child Development Study Deaths Dataset, 1958-2016: Special Licence Access. [data collection]. 3rd Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7717,

Select the text above to add data citation in your outputs.

Select citation format: 
XML citation formats:  CSL  EndNote

Subject Categories

Morbidity and mortality - Population, vital statistics and censuses


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a continuing longitudinal study that seeks to follow the lives of all those living in Great Britain who were born in one particular week in 1958. The aim of the study is to improve understanding of the factors affecting human development over the whole lifespan.

The NCDS has its origins in the Perinatal Mortality Survey (PMS) (the original PMS study is held at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) under SN 2137). This study was sponsored by the National Birthday Trust Fund and designed to examine the social and obstetric factors associated with stillbirth and death in early infancy among the 17,000 children born in England, Scotland and Wales in that one week. Selected data from the PMS form NCDS sweep 0, held alongside NCDS sweeps 1-3, under SN 5565.

To date there have been seven attempts to trace all members of the birth cohort in order to monitor their physical, educational and social development. The first three sweeps were carried out by the National Children's Bureau, in 1965, when respondents were aged 7, in 1969, aged 11, in 1974, aged 16 (these sweeps form NCDS1-3, held together with NCDS0 under SN 5565). The fourth sweep, NCDS4, was conducted in 1981, when respondents were aged 23 (held under SN 5566). In 1985 the NCDS moved to the Social Statistics Research Unit (SSRU) - now known as the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) - and the fifth sweep was carried out in 1991, when respondents were aged 33, (NCDS5, held under SN 5567). For the sixth wave, conducted in 1999-2000, when respondents were aged 41-42 (NCDS6, held under SN 5578), fieldwork was combined with the 1999-2000 wave of the 1970 Birth Cohort Study (BCS70), which is also conducted by CLS (and held at the UKDA under GN 33229).

Response datasets:
Two separate datasets covering response to NCDS over all nine waves are available. National Child Development Deaths Dataset, 1958-2014: Special Licence Access (SN 7717) covers deaths and National Child Development Study Response Dataset, 1958-2005 (SN 5560) covers all other responses and outcomes. Users are advised to order these studies alongside the other waves of NCDS.

Additional studies:
In addition to the main NCDS sweeps, some further studies have also been conducted. In 1978, a postal survey was conducted of the schools attended by members of the birth cohort at the time of the third follow-up of 1974, in order to obtain details of public examination entry and performance. Similar details were also sought from sixth-form and further education colleges etc., where these were identified by schools. Also, a 37-year sample survey of the NCDS cohort, focusing on basic skills, is held under SN 4992.

The UKDA also holds a number of NCDS-related files (for example, of data collected in the course of a special study of handicapped school-leavers, at age 18 (held under SN 2024) and the data from a 5% feasibility study, conducted at age 20 (held under SN 2025), which preceded NCDS4. A parent migration dataset, based on NCDS5, is held under SN 4324, and a study detailing partnership histories, compiled from NCDS sweeps 5 and 6, is held under SN 5217.

Further information about the full NCDS series can be found on the Centre for Longitudinal Studies website.

How to access genetic and/or bio-medical sample data from a range of longitudinal surveys:
A useful overview of the governance routes for applying for genetic and bio-medical sample data, which are not available through the UK Data Service, can be found at Governance of data and sample access on the METADAC (Managing Ethico-social, Technical and Administrative issues in Data Access) website.

The National Child Development Deaths Dataset, 1958-2014: Special Licence Access contains data on known deaths among members of the NCDS birth cohort from 1958 to 2013. Information on deaths has been taken from the records maintained by the organisations responsible for the study over the life time of the study: the National Birthday Trust Fund, the National Children's Bureau (NCB), the Social Statistics Research Unit (SSRU) and the CLS. The information has been gleaned from a variety of sources, including death certificates and other information from the National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR), and from relatives and friends during survey activities and cohort maintenance work by telephone, letter and e-mail. It includes all deaths up to 31st December 2013. In only 6 cases are the date of death unknown. By the end of December 8.7 per cent of the cohort were known to have died.

The National Child Development Study Response and Outcomes Dataset, 1958-2013 (SN 5560) covers other responses and outcomes of the cohort members and should be used alongside this dataset.

For the 3rd edition (July 2018) an updated version of the data was deposited. The new edition includes data on known deaths among members of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) birth cohort up to 2016. The user guide has also been updated.

Main Topics:
The study includes the following four variables:
  • NCDS serial number
  • consolidated month of death
  • consolidated year of death
  • source of death information

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: 1958 - 2016
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
NCDS cohort members
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: 18,558 cases
Method of data collection: Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Weighting: No weighting used.

Thesaurus search on keywords

View keywords... Hide keywords...

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 13 May 2015
Latest edition: 25 July 2018 (3rd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. Additional special conditions of use also apply. See terms and conditions for further information. In addition, the UK Data Service is required to request permission from the depositor prior to supplying the data. Available to European Economic Area applicants only.

Please note: Since these data pose a higher risk of disclosure than data made available under the standard End User Licence they have additional special conditions attached to them that take the form of a Special Licence (SL). The SL requires the completion of an additional application form, agreement to the conditions of the SL, the signature(s) of the researcher(s), and the explicit permission of the data owners to release the data to the researcher(s). This is to ensure that the guarantee of confidentiality given to survey respondents is protected. SL applications are screened by the UK Data Service and the data owners and data are only released to those researchers requiring data for statistical research purposes and who can justify their need for the SL data.

Researchers are required to keep the data under conditions of greater security than required under the standard End User Licence. The Microdata Handling and Security: Guide to Good Practice explains how to meet these conditions.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
UK Data Archive Data Dictionary 7717_ukda_data_dictionary.pdf 68
CLS Confidentiality and Data Security Review cls_confidentiality_and_data_security_review.pdf 49
User Guide to the Response and Deaths Datasets user_guide_to_ncds_response_and_deaths_datasets.pdf 870
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7717_Information.htm 6
READ File read7717.htm 10


View publications... Hide publications...

By principal investigator(s):
A searchable bibliography may be found on the Centre for Longitudinal Studies web site.

Resulting from secondary analysis:
Feinstein, L., Lupton, R., Hammond, C., Mujtaba, T., Salter, E., and Sorhaindo, A. (2008) The public value of social housing: a longitudinal analysis of the relationship between housing and life chances, London: The Smith Institute.

Lupton, R., Tunstall, R., Sigle-Rushton, W., Obolenskaya, P., Sabates, R., Meschi, E., Kneale, D., and Salter, E. (2009) Growing up in social housing in Britain: a profile of four generations from 1946 to the present day, London: The Tenant Services Authority.

Taulbut, M. and Walsh, D. (2013) Poverty, parenting and poor health: comparing early years' experiences in Scotland, England and three city regions, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, February. Retrieved August 2, 2013 from


No previously uploaded files

  (login required)

Upload syntax/code file

National Child Development Study Deaths Dataset, 1958-2016: Special Licence Access

I agree to the terms and conditions *

Confirm new syntax/code file version

A previous version of syntax file "" has already been uploaded and approved.

If you continue with this upload, the previous version of the syntax file will be overwritten with this new version.

This new version of the syntax file will be subject to the UK Data Service approval process before it becomes available for download.

Do you want to continue?


Back to top