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What About Youth Study

(previously known as the Local Health and Wellbeing Survey for Younger People)

What is this survey?

The What About Youth? study has been launched as part of a new Government pledge to make improvements to the health of young people. It's the first in what we hope will be a series of studies of young people across England. By spending just a short time answering questions about their life, your child will be helping to make a difference to other young people.

Further information on the study 

Why are we doing this survey?

The overall purpose of the survey would be to collect robust local level data on a range of topics relating to young people to drive improvement in outcomes. The key users and stakeholders would be local authority commissioners, policy makers, service providers and third-sector organisations.

The project has received approval from all the appropriate ethical channels to contact 15-year-olds directly.

Who is doing the survey?

The What About Youth? study is being undertaken by NHS Digital on behalf of the Department of Health. We have asked Ipsos MORI, an independent research agency, to run the study.

How do you choose who takes part?

15-year-olds have been randomly selected from the Department for Education's National Pupil Database (NPD) which contains details of every pupil in England. The NPD has been used as it is a reliable source of details such as name, address and date of birth.

We have received approval to use your details for this study. We won't be using them for any other purpose, nor will we share them with anyone else. Information about the NPD can be found at

What does taking part involve?

The selected 15-year-olds are invited to complete a questionnaire about their health and well-being on paper or online. Filling in the questionnaire should take you around 15 minutes but, depending on your answers, it may be quicker than this.

What data items are collected?

Data will be collected on topics including smoking, emotional wellbeing, diet, physical activity, drugs, alcohol and bullying.

What happens to the answers?

The answers will not include names or address on, your identity will be kept anonymous. The answers from the questionnaire will then be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England.

The answers will be completely confidential and we will make sure that no-one can be identified from the results we publish.

The results collected are used for research purposes only and the findings won't identify anyone who took part. 

You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.

Latest findings and report

The Smoking prevalence results for the Public Health Outcomes Framework were published on our website (and are also available on the PHE website ) on 8th December 2015 and are available in the NHS Digital publication catalogue.

The WAY report and key findings were published on our website on 8 December 2015 and are available in the NHS Digital publication catalogue.  A full anonymised dataset will be available in the UK Data Services Catalogue.

In order to gather the views of potential users of WAY data on the planned outputs of the report, we ran a short questionnaire survey between 18 February and 6 March 2015. The results of this survey have now been collated and analysed and are available in the pdf icon outcome paper [175kb] (Opens in a new window).

NHS Digital undertook a public consultation on the survey in winter 2016 to ensure that any future survey continues to be relevant and meet users' needs. The findings from the consultation are available in the pdf icon What About Youth consultation outcomes paper [642kb]. NHS Digital would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation.

The results for the main indicators in the report are also available in a purpose built data visualisation tool developed by PHE which can be found at:

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