Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

What can the SLS be used for?

The SLS includes a range of variables describing cultural, demographic, economic, health, education, ecological, housing and social data. The potential uses are considerable.

If we look only at the example of health, we can get an idea of just some of the possibilities:

  • The inclusion of socio-demographic data from censuses and other sources allows the analysis of health variations and inequalities.
  • Social differentials in health and mortality can be explored using such measures as deprivation indices, NSSEC, occupation, housing tenure, overcrowding and lack of amenities in housing, ethnicity, educational achievement and gender.
  • Effects of geography and migration on health can also be analysed.
  • The linkage of data from more than one census allows health changes over time to be investigated with reference to a person’s later health or their cause of death.

The SLS has been used to research an extremely wide range of important questions including: fertility changes, neighbourhood effects, environmental impacts on health, economic implications of ageing on healthcare, social mobility, and many more. Work has fed into policy as well as wider academic debate.

More information about the datasets included can be found in our Guides and Resources section.
For more detail about all SLS variables, use the search box on the right to begin exploring our Data Dictionary.
To get a flavour of how the SLS has been used to date, see our Outputs database.

Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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