The generation born in 1958 has experienced some of the most significant changes to everyday life in the UK.

When you were born, modern conveniences that we take for granted today were rare, including home refrigerators, flushing toilets and telephones. As you went through school, you saw some of the biggest changes to the British education system, including the abolishment of the 11-plus exam. You were also the first generation to all stay on at school until the age of 16. Many of you entered the workforce in the mid-1970s, during some of the more significant changes in the labour market that the country has ever seen. For example, traditional industries like coal and steel were declining, and women were becoming more likely to go out to work.

Through each stage of your life, you have adapted to a changing Britain – making your generation a very special one. The purpose of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) is to document your experiences and the lessons they teach us, so we can help improve the lives of future generations.

By following you throughout your lives, researchers are able to understand:

  • how our experiences as children affect how we turn out as adults
  • how different areas of our lives, such as health, wealth, family, education and employment, are linked
  • how these aspects of life vary for people from different walks of life.

We share what we learn from your experiences with government and service providers. Our aim is to inform policies and services that will help make life better for your generation and younger ones too.

NCDS is the second in a long line of cohort studies, following generations of Britons born in 1946, 1958 (you), 1970, 1989-90, and 2000-01. By comparing the experiences of different generations, we can track how life in the UK is changing.