National Centre for Longitudinal Data (NCLD)


"We have to see evidence of success as points of light all around us and join them up to create a universe of opportunity for our children. These results from the Footprints in Time data provide more points of light."  Professor Mick Dobson AM Director National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University

Our mission

To promote a longitudinal evidence base that informs policies and practices to improve the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia.

To achieve our mission the NCLD will:

  • develop a national framework (or architecture) for government investment in longitudinal data
  • produce and manage quality longitudinal data sets and encourage their use
  • foster collaboration between longitudinal survey developers, researchers and policy makers
  • facilitate broader use of longitudinal data

About longitudinal data

Longitudinal data is data collected from the same individuals (or households, businesses or other entities) repeatedly over time. The data is able to show how actions and events can affect outcomes later in life.

The Longitudinal Studies and the National Centre for Longitudinal Data (NCLD) fact sheet explains the value of longitudinal data, and particularly how it can support decision makers to address critical questions.

The NCLD's studies

The NCLD brings together longitudinal surveys managed within the Department of Social Services.

The four active longitudinal surveys managed in the NCLD are:

These studies each follow their own cohort of people through various stages of their lives, charting social change and exploring the reasons behind it.

Access to DSS longitudinal datasets

The NCLD provides access to new release of data for our four longitudinal studies through the Australian Data Archive Dataverse platform. Dataverse provides no cost data access and allows authorised data users to download the datasets to their password-protected PC, secure network or approved cloud.

All four NCLD studies are now available on Dataverse:

For further information please visit the NCLD Dataverse page or contact

Why the change?

The new arrangements allow for the longitudinal data sets to be stored and accessed through the Australian Data Archive (ADA) based at the Centre for Social Research Methods at the Australian National University. It is also consistent with the Australian Government’s open data agenda and its requirements regarding appropriate data governance including security, privacy and confidentiality.

Research and publications

The NCLD is involved in a wide variety of research projects involving the analysis of longitudinal data and the development of longitudinal research methodology.

The Research and publications page details recent research, including Research Summaries, Data Highlights, Technical Reports, Annual Statistical Reports and Study Annual Reports.

News and events

For the latest news and events, and to subscribe to our newsletter, visit The Source.


To contact the NCLD please email

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