Why are birth cohort studies so valuable?

Our society is changing fast. Findings from cohort studies are used to chart and understand how society has changed over the years, and how life experiences are different for each generation. They help understand the impact of societal trends such as our ageing population and the growth in lone-parent and step-families, and changes such as growing employment insecurity.
Cohort studies help understand that change. Evidence from cohort studies have contributed to many policy decisions in diverse areas – such as increasing the duration of maternity leave, raising the school leaving age, updating breast feeding advice given to parents.