Vietnam Longitudinal Survey, 1995-1998 (ICPSR 33506)

Principal Investigator(s): Hirschman, Charles, University of Washington; Lai, Tuong, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. Institute of Sociology; Bich San, Pham, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. Institute of Sociology


The Vietnam Longitudinal Survey, 1995-1998 (VLS) sought to analyze the impact of changing household economies on demographic phenomena such as marriage, pregnancy, and family composition in Vietnam. The VLS was the first longitudinal sociological survey and one of the largest sociological surveys ever conducted in Vietnam. The study was part of a long-term collaborative research program between the Institute of Sociology (IOS), Hanoi - Vietnam, and Professor Charles Hirschman from the University of Washington-Seattle.

The VLS emerged as the result of extensive exchange between IOS researchers and Charles Hirschman following their first collaborative project, the Vietnam Life History Survey (VLHS), which was conducted in 1991 (ICPSR 31101). During the 1994-95 academic year, Hirschman and IOS jointly developed a detailed plan for the VLS based on their previous experiences from the VLHS. Ten communes in the provinces of Nam Ha and Ninh Binh were selected for the VLS survey using probability sampling methods. In July 1995, the pretest survey was carried out in the Dai Xuyen commune approximately 40km south of Hanoi. Baseline interviews were conducted from September to November of 1995, with 1,855 households and 4,464 individuals surveyed for the first round. The second round of interviewing was carried out from August to September of 1996, with 1,820 households and 4,340 individuals successfully re-interviewed. The third round was carried out in July and August of 1997, with 1811 households and 4309 individuals re-interviewed. The fourth and final round of the survey was conducted in July and August of 1998, with a final household count of 1,795 and 4,222 individual respondents.

Data were collected at the individual and household level for each survey year. Household-level variables measured several household attributes, including size of land and living space, house construction materials, number of rooms and amenities, ownership of appliances, vehicles, and livestock, types and amount of agricultural production. Individual-level variables measured traditional courtship and wedding customs, familial marriage negotiations, marital history, pregnancy and birth history, as well as experiences with abstinence, various contraceptive methods, abortion, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Household-level demographic variables provide information on household composition, including number of members, age, sex, ethnicity, education level, marital status, and occupation of each household member, as well as total household income. Individual-level demographic variables include age, sex, ethnicity, religion, education level, occupation, job history, income, marital status, and information on children of respondents.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, all data files in this collection are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain these restricted files, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


1995-1998 Combined Data
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Hirschman, Charles, Tuong Lai, and Pham Bich San. Vietnam Longitudinal Survey, 1995-1998. ICPSR33506-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-07-14.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R03HD034960)
  • Social Science Research Council. Indochina Scholarly Exchange Program

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    abortion, agricultural production, education, families, family planning, household income, housing conditions, labor (work), marriage, pregnancy

Smallest Geographic Unit:    commune

Geographic Coverage:    Vietnam (Socialist Republic)

Time Period:   

  • 1995--1998

Date of Collection:   

  • 1995-09--1995-11
  • 1996-08--1996-09
  • 1997-07--1997-08
  • 1998-07--1998-08

Unit of Observation:    household, individual

Universe:    Households and resident adults in the Nam Ha and Ninh Binh provinces of Vietnam.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Fieldwork costs for the VLS were supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (for Dr. Hirschman at the University of Washington); the project also received substantial support and leadership from the Institute of Sociology in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Interview date variables in the dataset contain several out-of-range dates that appear to be miscodes; therefore, Collection Dates and Time Frames have been approximated using a combination of interview dates in the dataset and dates provided in the study documentation.

The related data collection, Vietnam Life History Survey, 1991, is available as ICPSR #31101.


Study Purpose:    The aims of the VLS project were to: (1) design an area probability sample survey to collect high quality demographic and social data for a representative sample of households and adults in one region of Vietnam; (2) collect baseline data for approximately 2,000 households and all resident adults in the household with detailed questionnaires on social and economic activities (past and current) and demographic behavior; (3) track all respondents and re-interview them with focused questionnaires annually for four years; (4) construct a clean and organized data file for release to the scholarly community in Vietnam and elsewhere; and (5) analyze the impact of the changing household economy on demographic phenomena in Vietnam.

Sample:    The 1995 baseline survey was designed as a probability sample survey of approximately 2000 households from 10 communes in Nam Ha and Ninh Binh provinces. A two-stage, stratified random sample selection procedure was designed using 1989 census data, which indicated that the two provinces consisted of 471 communes with 773,308 households. For detailed sampling information, please see the Sample Design section of the Original P.I. Documentation, which is contained within the ICPSR Codebook.

Time Method:    Longitudinal

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Data Source:


Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-07-14

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