Age 11 essays

In 1969, more than 10,000 11-year-olds, taking part in the National Child Development Study (NCDS), were asked to write an essay imagining what their lives would be like at 25.

On the eve of their 60th birthdays, we spoke to a number of study members, to see how their lives have unfolded. For most, this was the first time they had seen their essay since they wrote it some 50 years ago.

We found out whether they’d fulfilled, or even surpassed, their dreams, and asked them to reflect on their amazingly imaginative and vivid stories.

With their consent, we have published their stories:

The cohort members featured above gave their permission to be named.

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL