Birth cohorts in Understanding Society: a description

Publication type

Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Alina Pelikh

Publication date

Series Number



studies are designed to be employed to describe and analyse societal changes
over time. The overall purpose of Understanding Society is to provide
high quality longitudinal data about subjects such as health, work, education,
income, family, and social life to help understand the long term effects of
social and economic change, as well as policy interventions designed to impact
upon the general well-being of the UK population. This paper showcases the
opportunities that Understanding Society
opens up for rigorous longitudinal cohort analysis of various life course
trajectories and is structured as follows. Section 2 describes data and
methods. Section 3 presents findings on the sample sizes of birth cohorts in Understanding Society and is organised
in three parts. Section 3.1 provides overview on the number of respondents in
both adult and youth samples. Section 3.2 focuses on discussing younger cohorts
born after 1990s who joined the Study as children (including in BHPS) and their
transition to adult sample. Section 3.3 covers event histories collected
retrospectively and provides examples of the cohort analysis of some of the
first life course transitions (e.g. transition to first job and transition to
first partnership). Additionally, Section 4 presents the review of research
papers that use the Study for various cohort analyses.

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