Name: Draft board data (Uppgifter från Värnpliktsverket)
Period(s): 1971-1973 (SMS)
Code book: II

Information

By Carl-Gunnar Janson (1980) Register Data II. A code book. Project Metropolitan. Research Report No 15. Stockholm.

In principle all male Swedes can be called to serve in the military forces from the age of 17 till the age of 41. After a screening procedure before a draft board, usually at the age of 18 or 19, all who are not exempted are called to a peace-time first military service of some ten months. Those who are selected to be NCOs serve some additional months. After some years the conscripts usually serve for one or two more periods of one month each.

The military induction is preceded by interviews, psychological tests, and medical examinations for three days. Only those who already serve in the military forces, seamen, and the severely physically or mentally handicapped are exempted from appearing before the draft board. In addition the board exempts several of those examined temporarily or indefinitely and allocates others to limited service or to serve as conscientious objectors without weapons.

Data from the inductions are filed by the National Conscript Board. The data set put to the disposal of Project Metropolitan consists of most variables for a sample of persons born in 1953 and induced in 1971-1973. The sample refers to the inductions in the first military district, which contains the Stockholm Metropolitan Area but also extends beyond that area. Just as the data from the 1960 census, the data from the inductions are carefully collected, checked and recorded by a resourceful agency. Many variables in the series are identical with or close to what the project would have chosen to gather itself, had opportunity and resources been available. There are no indications the draft board data are of inferior quality compared to ordinary survey data, rather the contrary may be assumed, e.g. in terms of non-response.

The sample contains 6,928 out of the 7,719 male members of the cohort or 90 per cent. If some of the 503 boys who had left the area on November 1, 1970, are excluded from the cohort, the Draft Board series obviously hold an even larger proportion of the male cohort. In addition to those not registered in the first military district the missing cases are those who were inducted before 1971 or after 1973, or who did not appear at all before the Draft Board. On some variables there are additional missing values.

Data come from questionnaires filled out by the inductees, from interviews with them by psychologists and physicians, and from direct observations and laboratory tests made by the psychologists, physicians, and nurses. The data refer to education, occupation, place of residence, physical and mental health, physical capacity, intelligence, and psychological
characteristics.