Research and analysis

Gap-year takers: uptake, trends and long-term outcomes

This study examined the characteristics of gap-year takers, their motivations, what they did and what effect it had on their longer-term outcomes.


Gap-year takers: uptake, trends and long-term outcomes


This report provides the first quantitative evidence on the characteristics and outcomes of gap-year takers in the UK. It does so by using 2 rich survey datasets:

  • the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), which follows a cohort of young people as they make decisions about whether or not to enter higher education (HE) and whether or not to take a gap year at the height of the recent recession
  • the British Cohort Study (BCS), which follows the population of individuals born in Great Britain in a particular week of April 1970, who were first eligible to enter HE in September 1988

These 2 datasets together enable an assessment of the intentions, activities and characteristics of a recent cohort of gap-year takers and the long-term consequences of the decision to delay entry into HE for a range of outcomes, with a particular focus on wages and earnings.

Published 29 November 2012