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Highest grade of school


This variable is not available for any of the currently selected samples.


HIGRADE reports the highest grade of school completed by the respondent.

Respondents were asked the highest grade of school they attended and whether they completed that grade. Those who attended kindergarten only were treated as having no schooling.

For years after 1991, information about educational attainment is available in the EDUC99 variable. Users who wish to study educational attainment for the entire span of CPS data should use the EDUC variable.


This variable is largely comparable across years. Samples from 1964-1967 are top-coded at 5 or more years of college, while other years are top-coded at 6 or more years of college. HIGRADE is not available in 1963; the original codebook indicates that the variable should be in the dataset, but the relevant columns are blank for all cases in 1963.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

Though IPUMS-CPS and IPUMS-USA use the same coding scheme for HIGRADE, there are a number of differences between the CPS and the census data. Information about schooling of young children was collected by the census, but not by the CPS. The census, unlike the CPS, contains information about current school attendance in the HIGRADE variable. More detail is available from the census for early schooling (e.g., on nursery school and kindergarten) and at the highest educational levels (7 and 8 or more years of college) than in the CPS.


  • 1962, 1964-1979 (ASEC): Persons age 14+ (pre-1968 samples do not include persons under age 14).
  • 1976-1991: Persons age 15+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1964 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 1991 X X X X X X X X X X X X X