Information on the educational attainment of the U.S. population has been collected in every decennial census from 1940 to 2000. In 1940, educational attainment was collected for every person enumerated in the census (i.e., 100% data) and on a sample basis thereafter.
A Half-Century Of Learning: Historical Census Statistics On Educational Attainment in the United States, 1940 to 2000
Educational Attainment: 2000
Education and School Enrollment: 2000
We the Americans Our Education
1990 Census of Population: Education in the United States
Educational Attainment by Age, Sex, and Race for the United States: 1970
Educational Characteristics of the Population of the United States: 1970
Educational Attainment of the Population of the United States: 1960
School Enrollment and Educational Attainment, for the United States: 1960
Educational Attainment by Wage or Salary Income: 1940
Educational Characteristics of the Population of the United States By Age: 1940
Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years Old And Over In The United States: 1940
The Earnings Gap by Occupation and Educational Attainment: Findings from Census 2000. Jennifer Cheeseman Day, Nikki Graf and Kurt Bauman. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Minneapolis, Minn., May 1-3, 2003
Decennial census tables on educational attainment are available from American FactFinder for 1990 and 2000.
Tabulations from the most recent and historical censuses are also available from the Census of Population and Housing Publications Web site.