Inequality in Youth

Inequality in Youth is a qualitative, longitudinal research database on youths in Norway, intended to be a parallel to the quantitative Ungdata surveys (

The main research questions of the project are: How does inequality appear and develop during the years of adolescence in terms of education, health, leisure and risk? How do the individual trajectories unfold intertwined with social change, close relations and institutions?

Fire ungdommer står med ryggen mot kameraet og ser på utsikten
Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

Data and method

Inequality in youth is a qualitative, longitudinal research database on youths in Norway, intended to be a parallel to the quantitative Ungdata surveys. The database will consist of repeated interviews with 80 youths in four different communities in Norway, interviewed every other year from they are 13 to 19 (2018-2024). We also wish to include interviews with their parents.

Longitudinal Qualitative Research (LQR) is a powerful method that investigates lives through time. Following youths as they move from early adolescence to young adulthood, the Inequality in youth project intends to understand more about how adolescents experience central areas of their lives as they get older, as well as how biographical meaning reflects societal change.

The method offers the possibility to understand how change is created, lived and experienced, as well as understanding youths’ agency. We will do this through a prospective tracking in real time, following the same individuals from a young age over a period of time through repeated interviews.

The method lends itself well to policy issues since we can track individuals’ thoughts and behaviour in pace with social changes, and since it enables us to target particular groups that might fall under the radar of traditional large-scale surveys.

First, it is policy relevant as a way to map young people’s values and habits so as to be used as a heads up and a possibility for designing preventive measures in such fields as extremism prevention, educational policy, mental and sexual health issues, etc. Secondly, it is a way to map the impact of policy changes in fields such as education, health and social participations.

The UN sustainable development goals

The overall objectives of the project aim to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals within good health and well-being, gender equality, reduced inequality, and sustainable cities and communities.

Project management

The project is conducted by researchers at the youth research section at NOVA.

  • Project owner: Norwegian Social Research – NOVA, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University.
  • Project leader: Ingunn Marie Eriksen