Codes and Frequencies
EDUC99 reports the respondent's highest level of educational attainment. Respondents without high school diplomas were to indicate the highest school grade they had completed, while those with high school diplomas were to indicate the highest diploma or degree they had obtained.
This variable is completely comparable across years.
The CPS followed the pattern set by the 1990 census in adopting this mode of recording educational attainment. Prior to 1992, information was collected about the highest grade of school attended and completed; this can be found in HIGRADE. Researchers who wish to study educational attainment both before and after 1992 should use the EDUC variable.
The original CPS data distinguish between those who completed "fifth or sixth grade" and those who completed "seventh or eighth grade." To maximize comparability with IPUMS-USA, these two groups are combined in the EDUC99 variable.
Comparability with IPUMS-USA
The EDUC99 variable in IPUMS-USA includes respondents categorized as "Associate degree, type of program not specified". There are no respondents in the CPS with this value, but the code scheme is comparable to the EDUC99 variable in IPUMS-USA. The 1990 and 2000 censuses and the ACS collected information on the education of persons age 3 and above, while the CPS queried only those age 15 and above about their educational attainment. Information on nursery school and kindergarten was collected in the census and the ACS but not for the adult respondents in the CPS.
- Persons age 15+.
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