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.

The study tracks children’s development and life course trajectories in today’s economic, social and political environment. A major aim of the project is to identify policy opportunities for improving support for children and their families, and identifying opportunities for early intervention.

The study investigates the effect of children's social, economic and cultural environments on their wellbeing over the life course. It has a broad multi-disciplinary base and examines policy-relevant questions about development and wellbeing. The research questions span parenting, family relationships, education, child care and health. By tracking children over time, the study will be able to determine the factors associated with consistency and change in developmental pathways.

Details about the various waves of the study are available 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 two 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. Data is collected every two years. Study participants include the child (when of an appropriate age) and parents (both resident and non-resident), carers and teachers.

Information regarding sample sizes and response rates for each of the Centre studies is available.

LSAC Child Health Checkpoint

In 2014-15, a special one-off physical health assessment is being offered to the 11  - 12 year old children. The assessment aims to learn more about the health of young people as they grow from children to teenagers. This information helps to inform how a child’s first decade determines their health, as they approach teenage years. More information can be found on the LSAC Child Health Checkpoint website.

ABC Life @ series

The ABC's Life series, inspired by the study, follows 11 children and their families over time. Information is provided by the children's families, and child development experts, with reference to findings from the study. The series explores the different developmental pathways of the 11 children and asks what it takes to give a child the best start in life.


LSAC is conducted through a partnership between the Department of Social Services, the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A group of leading researchers from universities around Australia provide content and methodology advice.

Information regarding the governance of each of the Centre studies is available.

LSAC data access

The LSAC data is available to approved researchers from government, academic institutions and non-profit organisations. For more details, please refer to Access to DSS Longitudinal Datasets.

LSAC research

Information about research and publications using LSAC data is available from FloSse Research and Centre research and publications.


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