Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth

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

The LSAY aims to better understand 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 years.

LSAY collects information on various 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 focusing on the reasons behind youth experiences and transitions, as well as what those experiences are and when they occur.

LSAY provides an evidence base that is used by governments 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.

Since it began in 1995, LSAY has enabled important research into youth transitions. Research reports using LSAY data have looked at post-school educational pathways, identifying 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.

Want to know more?

The LSAY website provides more information on the program.

The Five million minutes website provides information for current and prospective LSAY participants.