Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Stockholm Birth Cohort
Stockholm Birth Cohort

Health and Performance
Relevance for this Topic
Country Sweden
More Topics


Contact information

Sten-Åke Stenberg / Institute for social research
University of Stockholm
106 91 Stockholm
Phone: +46 8 16 26 55
Email: sten-ake.stenberg(at)

Timeliness, transparency

Type of data


Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Data gathering method


Self-administered questionnaire

Access to data

Available for the scientific community in line with Swedish laws and agreement with Statistics Sweden.

Conditions of access

Available for the scientific community in line with Swedish laws and agreement with Statistics Sweden. Please contact the Data Manager for SBC, Reidar Österman at the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS) via phone: +46 8 674 79 68 or email rron(at)

Not applicable

Data set is compatible: Excel, SAS, SPSS, STATA, Text, etc.

Data set is only available in Swedish. General information and most publications are also available in English.


The Stockholm Birth Cohort Study (SBC) was created in 2004/2005 by a probability matching of two comprehensive and longitudinal datasets. The first, the Stockholm Metropolitan study 1953–1985, consists of all children born in 1953 and living in the Stockholm metropolitan area in 1963. The second, The Swedish Work and Mortality Database 1980–2002 (WMD), consists of all individuals living in Sweden in 1980 or 1990, and born before 1985. The initiative to create the database was taken by Denny Vågerö at the Centre for Health Equity Studies, CHESS, of Stockholm University/Karolinska Institute and Sten-Åke Stenberg at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University (SOFI). The resulting database provides a 50 year long follow-up of the original 1953 birth cohort.


Stockholm larger area – individuals born 1953

Registry/ Official Statistics

Living in Stockholm larger area 1963


The Stockholm Birth Cohort Study (SBC) is a new anonymous data base created in 2004/2005 by a probability matching of two comprehensive data sets. The SBC is a collaboration project between the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) and the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Its major strength is its rich information on individual characteristics, such as attitudes, behaviours, health and school performance, as well as social circumstances, such as family situation and neighbourhood characteristics, during childhood. Data on birth size and foetal growth are also included. Research topics covered have included criminality, education, mental health, welfare dependence, sibling position, suicide, peer status, child rearing, drug abuse, and much more.

Forthcoming • Nilsson, A., Beckman, O., & Estrada, F. “Involvement in crime, individual resources and structural constraints. Processes of cumulative (dis)advantage in a Stockholm birth cohort.” British Journal of Criminology (Forthcoming). • Almquist, Y. B., & Östberg, V. “Social relationships and subsequent health-related behaviours: Linkages between adolescent peer status and levels of adult smoking in a Stockholm cohort.” Addiction(Forthcoming). 2013 • Almquist, Y. B. “School performance as a precursor of adult health: Exploring associations to disease-specific hospital care and their possible explanations.” Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 41 (1) (2013):81-91. 2012 • Almquist, Y. B., & Brännström, L. ” Childhood peer status and the clustering of adverse living conditions in adulthood.” SOFI Working Papers 1/2012. Stockholm University, Stockholm, 2012. • Andersson, F., Levander, S., Svensson, R., & Torstensson Levander, M. ”Sex differences in offending trajectories in a Swedish cohort.” Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 22 (2) (2012):108-121.
• Estrada, F., & Nilsson, A. "Does it cost more to be a female offender? A life-course study of childhood circumstances, crime, drug abuse, and living conditions.” Feminist Criminology 7 (2012): 196-219. DOI: 10.1177/1557085111429783 • Hjalmarsson, R., & Lindquist, M. J. “Like godfather, like son: exploring the intergenerational nature of crime.” Journal of Human Resources 47 (2) (2012):550-582. • Torstensson Levander, M., Andersson, F., & Levander, S. “A Life Course Perspective on Girls’ Criminality.” In: Andershed, A-K. (Ed.), “Girls at risk: Swedish Longitudinal Research on Adjustment.” Springer, New York (2012): 119-137. 2011 • Ahrén, J. C., Chiesa, F., af Klinteberg, B., & Koupil, I. “Psychosocial determinants and family background in anorexia nervosa. Results from the Stockholm Birth Cohort Study.” International Journal of Eating Disorders 45 (3) (2011):362-369. DOI: 10.1002/eat.20953 • Almquist, Y. “Social isolation in the classroom and adult health: A longitudinal study of a 1953 cohort.” Advances in Life Course Research 16 (1) (2011):1-12. • Bäckman, O., &Nilsson, A. “Pathways to Social Exclusion - A Life-Course Study.” European Sociological Review 27 (1) (2011):107-123. • Bäckman, O., & Nilsson, A. ”Social exkludering i ett livsförloppsperspektiv.” In: Alm, S., Bäckman, O., Gavanas, A. and Nilsson, A. (Reds.) Serie framtider, Institutet för framtidsstudier, Dialogos Förlag, Stockholm (2011): 143-161.. • Bäckman, O., & Nilsson, A. ”Ung och utanför.” In: Alm, S., Bäckman, O., Gavanas, A. and Nilsson, A. (Reds.) Serie framtider, Institutet för framtidsstudier, Dialogos Förlag, Stockholm (2011): 163-183. • Estrada, F., & Nilsson, A. ”Fattigdom, segregation och brott.” In: Alm, S., Bäckman, O., Gavanas, A. and Nilsson, A. (Reds.) Serie framtider, Institutet för framtidsstudier, Dialogos Förlag, Stockholm (2011): 251-271. • Halleröd, B. “What Do Children Know About Their Futures: Do Children’s Expectations Predict Outcomes in Middle Age?” Social Forces 90(1) (2011):65–84. • af Klinteberg, B., Almquist, Y., Beijer, U., & Rydelius, P-A. “Family psychosocial characteristics influencing criminal behaviour and mortality - possible mediating factors: A longitudinal study of male and female subjects in the Stockholm Birth Cohort.” BMC Public Health 11 (2011):751. • Koskinen, J., & Stenberg, S.-Å. “Bayesian analysis of multilevel probit models for data with friendship dependencies.” Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics 37(2) (2011): 203-230. DOI: 10.3102/1076998611402504 • Modin, B., Östberg, V., & Almquist, Y. “Childhood peer status and adult susceptibility to anxiety and depression. A 30-year hospital follow-up.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 39 (2011):187-199. • Nilsson, A. & Estrada, F. “Established or excluded? A longitudinal study of criminality, work and family formation.” European Journal of Criminology 8(3) (2011):229-245. • Rojas, Y. “Self-directed and interpersonal male violence in adolescence and young adulthood - a 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort.” Sociology of Health and Illness 34(1) (2011): 16-30. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01359.x


ISCED and social class and occupational classification systems

In addition, the content consists of data from a variety of records, including birth records, income and professional duties, welfare, health, causes of death, education and information about the family from social registers. This study material consists of data from several sources of information that have been linked to each other. This information has been organized into a total of six codebooks: the first five describes the data from Metropolitan Project and the sixth describes the follow-up data from the database Health Disease Work and Income (HSIA).

Data quality


This is a valuable cohort study, which as also influenced discussions on policies, ethical issues and legislation in the field. One problem is that the data from the original study from 1963 has been made un-identifiable in 1986. New statistical methods, however, are developed to make semi-comparisons. The new database provides excellent opportunities for life-course studies on health and social outcomes. It allows for studies that have not previously been possible in Sweden or elsewhere. Further, it provides an opportunity for collaborative work with similar databases in Copenhagen and Aberdeen.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Kenneth Abrahamsson
  • (see Partners)