Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY)

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) is a research program funded by the Department of Education and Training that follows young Australians over a 10 year period as they move from secondary school to adulthood.

The purpose of LSAY is to increase understanding of key transitions and pathways in the lives of young people, particularly from compulsory schooling to further education, training and employment. The surveys involve large nationally representative samples of young people who are surveyed annually from ages 15 to 25.

LSAY collects information on a broad range of areas relevant to youth transitions including educational participation and achievement, labour force status, student background and social development. While the focus is on education and employment, LSAY also collects information on important factors such as wellbeing, financial security, and personal goals and aspirations. Its strength lies in focussing on the ‘why’ of youth experiences and transitions, as well as the ‘what’ and the ‘when’.

LSAY provides an evidence base that is used by government and researchers to better understand the experiences of young people and support policies and programs in the areas of youth, schooling, post-school education and training, and employment.

The LSAY program has enabled a broad range of research into youth transitions to be undertaken since its commencement in 1995. Research reports using LSAY data have examined areas such as post-school educational pathways, the identification of ‘at risk’ youth, and the role of aspirations.Summary data and publications are available on the LSAY website. Unit record datasets can be accessed through the Australian Data Archive (ADA).

Want to know more?

Visit the LSAY website for further information on the program.

Information for current and prospective LSAY participants can be found at the Five Million Minutes website.