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Education Data and Statistics

The Education Data and Statistics guide lists frequently used popular sources of quantitative summary data and microdata from the United States and the world.

U.S. Census Bureau

  • Decennial Census
    • Educational Attainment data from the 1940 to 2019 Decennial Censuses. 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.
    • School enrollment data from 1840+ is also available. The decennial census included a question on school enrollment since 1840. In 1940, school enrollment was collected for every person enumerated in the census (i.e., 100% data) and on a sample basis thereafter.
    • For census education maps and data, also try Social Explorer.
    • For microdata, use IPUMS-USA

(Note: The Decennial Census long form questionnaire was discontinued with the 2010 Decennial Census; the long form was replaced by the American Community Survey in 2010.)

  • American Community Survey (ACS)
    • Educational attainment data in the ACS are reported annually. These data provide estimates of educational attainment from 2000 to present, and are available for the U.S., states, metropolitan area, and more specific geographic areas that meet minimum population sizes for the given survey year. There are over 20 recurring tables on school enrollment available from data.census.gov since 2000. Single year estimates for areas sized 65,000 and larger are available beginning in 2006 (for data year 2005). Five-year estimates for census groups and larger are available beginning in 2010 (for data years 2005-9).
    • Data on School Enrollment characteristics are available for the U.S., states, counties, selected metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and selected zip codes from 2000 to present. There are over a thousand detailed tables in data.census.gov, of which over 20 are school enrollment tables.
    • The ACS also provides school district level data (in data.census.gov), select School District as the geographic type). 
    • For ACS microdata, use IPUMS-USA
  • Current Population Survey (CPS)
    • Educational attainment data is collected annually in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC, formerly the March Supplement). These data provide national estimates of educational attainment from 1947 to present, with limited detail for states and some metropolitan areas.
    • School enrollment data is collected annually in the October CPS since 1947 for the nation. The school enrollment statistics from the CPS are based on replies to the interviewer’s inquiry whether the person was enrolled in regular school.
    • For microdata, use IPUMS-CPS

"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."