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Educational attainment data can be found from a variety of sources. These sources are listed below with brief descriptions to help you decide which data source would best suit your needs. Availability of data by time and geography are highlighted in the sections below. The links below will take you to the appropriate page for educational attainment data by survey.
The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual national survey collected monthly which provides communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data every year.
Data on educational attainment are available for the U.S., states, metropolitan areas, and more specific geographic areas that meet minimum population sizes for the given survey year.
There are over a thousand detailed tables in American FactFinder (AFF). There are more than 20 recurring tables on educational attainment. Data are available from 2000 to the present.
The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years. Educational attainment data are collected annually as part of the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).
Data on educational attainment are available for the U.S. from 1947 to the present.
The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a longitudinal panel survey of demographic information, income, labor force characteristics, and program participation in the United States. Supplemental topical modules are included on a rotating basis and include questions on topics such as measures of well-being, field of training, and postsecondary students, costs, and financial aid.
Data on educational attainment are available for the U.S. for each panel starting in 1984.
The Decennial Census occurs every 10 years, in years ending in zero, to count the population and housing units for the entire United States. Its primary purpose is to provide the population counts that determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned.
Data on educational attainment are available for the U.S., states, counties, and subcounty statistical areas (such as zip codes and block groups), from 1940 to 2000.