UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

1970 British Cohort Study: Twenty-Six-Year Follow-Up, 1996: Geographical Identifiers: Secure Access

Title details

SN: 8213
Title: 1970 British Cohort Study: Twenty-Six-Year Follow-Up, 1996: Geographical Identifiers: Secure Access
Alternative title: Title: BCS5; BCS70
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-8213-2
Series: 1970 British Cohort Study [1970 British Cohort Study, 1980-: Secure 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
Office for National Statistics
Department for Education and Skills
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of Health
Welsh Government
Scottish Executive
Northern Ireland Executive
Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources
Grant number: ES/M001660/1


The citation for this study is:

University of London. Institute of Education. Centre for Longitudinal Studies. (2017). 1970 British Cohort Study: Twenty-Six-Year Follow-Up, 1996: Geographical Identifiers: Secure Access. [data collection]. 2nd Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 8213,

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Subject Categories

Child development and child rearing - Social stratification and groupings
Childbearing, family planning and abortion - Health
Family life and marriage - Social stratification and groupings
General - Employment and labour
General - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) began in 1970 when data were collected about the births and families of babies born in the United Kingdom in one particular week in 1970. The first wave, called the British Births Survey, was carried out by the National Birthday Trust Fund in association with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Its aims were to examine the social and biological characteristics of the mother in relation to neonatal morbidity, and to compare the results with those of the National Child Development Study (NCDS), which commenced in 1958 (held separately at the UK Data Archive under GN 33004). Participants from Northern Ireland, who had been included in the birth survey, were dropped from the study in all subsequent sweeps, which only included respondents from Great Britain.

Since BCS70 began, there have been eight further full data collection exercises in order to monitor the cohort members' health, education, social and economic circumstances. These took place when respondents were aged 5, in 1975 (held under SN 2699), aged 10, in 1980 (SN 3723), aged 16, in 1986 (SN 3535), aged 26, in 1996 (SN 3833), aged 30, 1999-2000 (SN 5558), aged 34, in 2004-2005 (SN 5585) and aged 42 in 2012 (SN 7473). The first two sweeps (at 5 and 10 years) were carried out by the Department of Child Health at Bristol University. During these times, the survey was known as the Child Health and Education Study (CHES). The 16-year survey was carried out by the International Centre for Child Studies and named Youthscan. The Social Statistics Research Unit (SSRU) became involved with the BCS70 study at this time, and eventually changed its name to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), based at the Institute of Education, University of London. With each successive attempt, the scope of BCS70 has broadened from a strictly medical focus at birth, to encompass physical and educational development at the age of 5, physical, educational and social development at the ages of 10 and 16, and physical, educational, social and economic development at 26 years and beyond. The most recent sweep of the BCS70 was conducted by TNS-BMRB from 2012-2013. CLS will carry out new surveys of the BCS70 cohort at age 46 in 2016, and age 50 in 2020.

Further information about the BCS70 may 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 1970 British Cohort Study: Twenty-six-Year Follow-Up, 1996: Geographical Identifiers: Secure Access data held under SN 8213 includes detailed sweep 5 geographical variables that can be linked to the main End User Licence data available under SN 3833 - 1970 British Cohort Study: Twenty-six-Year Follow-Up, 1996.

Repair work to the postcode level information held for BCS 1980 was required prior to the production of this dataset, and involved extracting and coding addresses from original forms for this sweep. The work was funded and carried out by the Cohorts and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER). For further information about CLOSER see

For the second edition (December 2017), a replacement file including updated Parliamentary constituency boundaries, which more closely reflect the year of interview, has been deposited.

Main Topics:
The study includes the following variables:
  • Country of Residence at interview
  • Government Office Regions (1996 boundaries)
  • Output Area codes (2001 boundaries)
  • Lower Layer Super Output Areas (2001 boundaries)
  • Middle Layer Super Output Areas (2001 boundaries)
  • Local Authority Districts (2002 boundaries)
  • Parliamentary Constituencies (1997 boundaries)
  • Wards (1998 boundaries)

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1996 - 1996
Dates of fieldwork: BSC5: April 1996 - September 1996
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: Countries
Wards (Electoral)
Government Office Regions
Output Areas
Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies
Super Output Areas (Lower Layer)
Super Output Areas (Middle Layer)
Local Authority Districts
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
All children in England, Scotland and Wales born in one week in 1970.
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: 8,458 cases
Method of data collection: Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Weighting: No weighting used.
Data sources: The following data sources have been used to compile this dataset:
  • ONS Postcode Directory
  • Ordnance Survey Code-Point with Polygons
  • Ordnance Survey Boundary-Line

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 25 August 2017
Latest edition: 19 December 2017 (2nd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Access conditions: Registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor will be informed about usage. Controlled data requirements and conditions also apply. Further information is available from Access to the Secure Lab. In addition, the Service is required to request explicit permission from the data owner prior to providing the researcher with access to the data.

Please note:
Since these data are more sensitive and/or pose a higher risk of disclosure than data made available under the standard End User Licence or under a Special Licence, they are not available for download but may be accessed through the Secure Access. Access requires accreditation as an ESRC Accredited Researcher, completion of face-to-face training, and agreement to the Secure Access User Agreement and the Licence Compliance Policy. This is to ensure that the guarantee of confidentiality given to survey respondents is protected. Applications are screened by the UK Data Archive and the individual or institution having ownership of the data (or their designated authority), and access is only granted to those researchers requiring data for statistical research purposes and who can justify their need for the data. Users who obtain access to these data are required to read and follow the Microdata Handling and Security: Guide to Good Practice.

Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
UK Data Archive Data Dictionary 8213_ukda_data_dictionary.pdf 333
Guide to Geographic Identifiers, 2017, 2nd edition data_note_bcs70_pre_2000_geographically_linked_data.pdf 313
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_8213_Information.htm 7
READ File read8213.htm 11


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