Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)


Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is a major study following the development of 10,000 children and families across Australia.

LSAC tracks children’s development and life course trajectories in today’s economic, social and political environment. A major aim is to identify opportunities for early intervention and improving support for children and their families.

The study investigates the effect of children's social, economic and cultural environments on their wellbeing over the life course. LSAC has a broad multi-disciplinary base. It examines policy-relevant questions about development and wellbeing. The research questions span:

  • parenting
  • family relationships
  • education
  • child care
  • health.

By tracking children over time, the study can determine factors associated with consistency and change in developmental pathways.

Find the details about the various waves of the study at Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

Growing up in Australia (LSAC) fact sheet

Study participants

LSAC commenced in 2004 with 2 cohorts of 5,000 children each, aged 4-5 and 0-1 years. Participants are a representative sample of children of these ages across Australia at the time. We collect data every 2 years. Parents (both residents and non-residents), carers and teachers of the children take part in the study. The children participate in the study when they reach an appropriate age.

Sample size and response rates

Persons In-Scope Population
Wave response rate
Retention rate of wave 1
Wave 1 - 10,090 - -
Wave 2 9,960 9,070 91.1 89.9
Wave 3 9,800 8,717 89.0 86.4
Wave 4 9,703 8,411 86.7 83.3
Wave 5 9,619 8,041 83.6 79.7
Wave 6 8,878 7,301 82.2 72.4
Wave 7 8,494 6,470 76.2 64.1
Wave 8 7,973 6,164 77.3 61.1
Wave 9C1 7,658 3,806 49.7 37.7


  1. Response rates are calculated as a percentage of the in-scope participants at the commencement of fieldwork for each wave. Response rates are not provided for wave 1.
  2. Retention rates are calculated as a percentage of the Wave 1 participants who completed each wave. They do not account for participants who are no longer in-scope (e.g. moved overseas, passed away) or new sample members recruited in subsequent waves. Therefore, they only partially reflect the full response picture.

LSAC Child Health Checkpoint

In 2014-15, we offered a special one-off physical health assessment to the 11–12 year-olds and their parents. The assessment aimed to learn more about the health of young people, as they become teenagers. This information informs how a child’s first decade determines their health as they approach teenage years. Find more information on the LSAC Child Health Checkpoint website.

ABC Life At series

The ABC's Life At series, inspired by the study, followed 11 children and their families over time. The children's families and child development experts provided the information. The program referenced findings from the study throughout. The series explored the different developmental pathways of the 11 children and asked what it takes to give a child the best start in life.


The Australian Institute of Family Studies coordinates the design and content of the study. They prepare research and statistical reports on the data.

A consortium of leading researchers provides ongoing advice and technical expertise. The researchers are from a diverse range of disciplines including:

  • education
  • psychology
  • economics
  • paediatrics.

The Data Expert Reference Group provides technical advice to the study. It consists of statistical experts not involved in the study and representatives from the three government agencies.

LSAC data access

Data is available to approved researchers from government, academic institutions and non-profit organisations.

Access the LSAC data through Dataverse.

LSAC research

LSAC data has improved our understanding of the issues facing children in Australia.

Research summary

Snapshot series

LSAC Snapshot Series

Research reports

LSAC Research reports

Statistical reports

Annual Statistical Reports

Technical reports

Technical Reports

Annual reports

Annual Reports

Conference presentations

Conference Presentations

See FloSse Research for more research publications.


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