Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart
Educational attainment recode

Codes and Frequencies

Can't find the category you are looking for? Try the Detailed codes


EDUC indicates respondents' educational attainment, as measured by the highest year of school or degree completed. Note that completion differs from the highest year of school attendance; for example, respondents who attended 10th grade but did not finish were classified in EDUC as having completed 9th grade. 

EDUC is a combination of two other variables, HIGRADE and EDUC99, which measure educational attainment in different ways. HIGRADE is available for years prior to 1992 and gives the respondent's highest grade of school or year of college completed. EDUC99 is available beginning in 1992 and classifies high school graduates according to their highest degree or diploma attained.

General and detailed codes are not yet available for IPUMS-CPS, but one can construct the general version of EDUC by reading only the first two columns of EDUC.


To maximize comparability across time, users should use only the first two digits of EDUC. In all years, these two digits will indicate the highest grade or year of schooling completed through the end of high school.

Prior to 1992, while it is known how many years of higher education was completed, there is no way to know definitively whether completing these years resulted in a degree.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The census and the ACS collected information on schooling of young children, while the CPS did not. Additionally, there are some differences in the EDUC codes for IPUMS-CPS and IPUMS-USA because of differences in the educational categories measured. In most respects, though, IPUMS-CPS and IPUMS-USA are completely comparable for the EDUC variable.


  • 1962, 1964-1979 (ASEC): Persons age 14+ (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
  • 1976+ (non-ASEC): Persons age 14+.
  • 1980+ (ASEC): Persons age 15+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1964 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X - - - - - - - - -