About LSAY data

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) focus on the progress of young Australians as they move from their mid-teens to their mid-20s. It includes surveys conducted from the mid-1970s through to the mid-1990s: the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS); the Australian Longitudinal Survey (ALS); the Australian Youth Survey (AYS); and the current LSAY collection, which began in 1995.

LSAY uses large, nationally representative samples of students at school to collect information about education and training, work, financial matters, health, social activities and related issues. Since 2003, the initial survey wave has been integrated with the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Data are initially collected through a combination of school achievement tests and a questionnaire administered at school. Subsequent data are gathered through annual telephone interviews. Since 2012, survey participants have had the option to complete their interview online.

Detailed information about the LSAY sample design can be found in the LSAY user guide series. For information on how to access the unit record data see How to access LSAY data.

More information about the range of LSAY data tools and user support and documentation is available from our Data page.

CohortSampling unitSurvey periodAverage age when first surveyedNo. of wavesCommencing sample size
Y95Year 9 in 19951995-200614.5 years12*13,613
Y98Year 9 in 19981998-200914.5 years12*14,117
Y03Age 15 in 20032003-201315.7 years1110,370
Y06Age 15 in 20062006-201615.7 years1114,170
Y09Age 15 in 20092009-201915.7 years1114,251
Y15Age 15 in 20152015-202515.7 years1114,530

* The Y95 and Y98 surveys extended to 12 waves to ensure all respondents had reached 25 years of age

Data linkage

LSAY is conducting a series of data linkage projects aimed at linking data from the most recent LSAY cohort (Y15) to various educational data sets. By ‘linking’ data together we can build a better picture of what life is like for young people in Australia. Current linkage projects include linking LSAY to:

  • linking to senior secondary and NAPLAN results
  • linking to vocational education and training (VET) records
  • linking to higher education (university) records.

See our data linkage page for more information on these projects.