Data Dictionary: Census 2000
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Survey: Census 2000
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: P38. Armed Forces Status By School Enrollment By Educational Attainment By Employment Status For The Population 16 To 19 Years [22]
Universe: Population 16 to 19 years
Table Details
P38. Armed Forces Status By School Enrollment By Educational Attainment By Employment Status For The Population 16 To 19 Years
Universe: Population 16 to 19 years
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Labor force
All people classified in the civilian labor force (i.e., "employed" and "unemployed" people), plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (people on active duty with the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
School Enrollment and Type of School
Data on school enrollment were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Items 8a and 8b, which were asked of a sample of the population. People were classified as enrolled in school if they reported attending a "regular" public or private school or college at any time between February 1, 2000, and the time of enumeration. The question included instructions to "include only nursery school or preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, and schooling which leads to a high school diploma or a college degree" as regular school or college. Respondents who did not answer the enrollment question were assigned the enrollment status and type of school of a person with the same age, sex, and race/Hispanic or Latino origin whose residence was in the same or a nearby area.

Public and private school
Public and private school includes people who attended school in the reference period and indicated they were enrolled by marking one of the questionnaire categories for either "public school, public college" or "private school, private college." Schools supported and controlled primarily by a federal, state, or local government are defined as public (including tribal schools). Those supported and controlled primarily by religious organizations or other private groups are private.
Comparability
School enrollment questions have been included in the census since 1840; highest grade attended was first asked in 1940; type of school was first asked in 1960. Before 1940, the enrollment question in various censuses referred to attendance in the preceding 6 months or the preceding year. In 1940, the reference was to attendance in the month preceding the census, and in the 1950 and subsequent censuses, the question referred to attendance in the 2 months preceding the census date.

Until the 1910 census, there were no instructions limiting the kinds of schools in which enrollment was to be counted. Starting in 1910, the instructions indicated that attendance at "school, college, or any educational institution" was to be counted. In 1930 an instruction to include "night school" was added. In the 1940 instructions, night school, extension school, or vocational school were included only if the school was part of the regular school system. Correspondence school work of any kind was excluded. In the 1950 instructions, the term "regular school" was introduced, and it was defined as schooling which "advances a person towards an elementary or high school diploma or a college, university, or professional school degree." Vocational, trade, or business schools were excluded unless they were graded and considered part of a regular school system. On-the-job training was excluded, as was nursery school. Instruction by correspondence was excluded unless it was given by a regular school and counted towards promotion. In 1960, the question used the term "regular school or college" and a similar, though expanded, definition of "regular" was included in the instruction, which continued to exclude nursery school. Because of the use of mailed questionnaires in the 1960 census, it was the first census in which instructions were written for the respondent as well as enumerators. In the 1970 census, the questionnaire used the phrase "regular school or college" and included instructions to "count nursery school, kindergarten, and schooling that leads to an elementary school certificate, high school diploma, or college degree." Instructions in a separate document specified that to be counted as regular school, nursery school must include instruction as an important and integral phase of its program, and continued the exclusion of vocational, trade, and business schools. The 1980 census question was very similar to the 1970 question, but the separate instruction booklet did not require that nursery school include substantial instructional content in order to be counted. Instructions included in the 1990 respondent instruction guide, which was mailed with the census questionnaire, further specified that enrollment in a trade or business school, company training, or tutoring were not to be included unless the course would be accepted for credit at a regular elementary school, high school, or college. The instruction guide defines a public school as "any school or college controlled and supported by a local, county, state, or federal government." Schools supported and controlled primarily by religious organizations or other private groups were defined as private. In Census 2000 there was no separate instruction guide. The questionnaire reference book used by enumerators and telephone assistance staff contained these definitions for those who asked questions.

The age range for which enrollment data have been obtained and published has varied over the censuses. Information on enrollment was recorded for people of all ages in the 1930 and 1940 censuses and 1970 through 2000 censuses; for people under 30 years old in 1950; and for people 5 to 34 years old in 1960. Most of the published enrollment figures referred to people 5 to 20 years old in the 1930 census, 5 to 24 in 1940, 5 to 29 in 1950, 5 to 34 in 1970, and 3 years old and over in 1980 and later years. This growth in the age group whose enrollment was reported reflects increased interest in the number of children in preprimary schools and in the number of older people attending colleges and universities. In the 1950 and subsequent censuses, college students were enumerated where they lived while attending college; whereas, in earlier censuses, they generally were enumerated at their parental homes. This change should not affect the comparability of national figures on college enrollment since 1940; however, it may affect the comparability over time of enrollment figures at subnational levels.

Type of school was first introduced in the 1960 census, where a separate question asked the enrolled person whether he/she was in a "public" or "private" school. Beginning with the 1970 census, the type of school was incorporated into the response categories for the enrollment question and the terms were changed to "public," "parochial," and "other private." In the 1980 census, "private, church related" and "private, not church related" replaced "parochial" and "other private." In 1990 and 2000, "public" and "private" were used. Data on school enrollment also were collected and published by other federal, state, and local government agencies. Where these data were obtained from administrative records of school systems and institutions of higher learning, they were only roughly comparable to data from population censuses and household surveys because of differences in definitions and concepts, subject matter covered, time references, and enumeration methods. At the local level, the difference between the location of the institution and the residence of the student may affect the comparability of census and administrative data. Differences between the boundaries of school districts and census geographic units may also affect these comparisons.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Educational Attainment
Data on educational attainment were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 9, which was asked of a sample of the population. Data on attainment are tabulated for the population 25 years old and over. However, when educational attainment is cross-tabulated by other variables, the universe may change. (For example, when educational attainment is crossed by disability status, the data are tabulated for the civilian noninstitutionalized population 18 to 34 years old.) People are classified according to the highest degree or level of school completed.

The order in which degrees were listed on the questionnaire suggested that doctorate degrees were "higher" than professional school degrees, which were "higher" than master's degrees. The question included instructions for people currently enrolled in school to report the level of the previous grade attended or the highest degree received. Respondents who did not report educational attainment or enrollment level were assigned the attainment of a person of the same age, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, occupation and sex, where possible, who resided in the same or a nearby area. Respondents who filled more than one box were edited to the highest level or degree reported.

The question included a response category that allowed respondents to report completing the 12th grade without receiving a high school diploma. It allowed people who received either a high school diploma or the equivalent, for example, passed the Test of General Educational Development (G.E.D.) and did not attend college, to be reported as "high school graduate(s)." The category "Associate degree" included people whose highest degree is an associate degree, which generally requires 2 years of college level work and is either in an occupational program that prepares them for a specific occupation, or an academic program primarily in the arts and sciences. The course work may or may not be transferable to a Bachelor's degree. master's degrees include the traditional MA and MS degrees and field-specific degrees, such as MSW, MEd, MBA, MLS, and MEng. Some examples of professional degrees include medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, law, and theology. Vocational and technical training, such as barber school training; business, trade, technical, and vocational schools; or other training for a specific trade, are specifically excluded.

High school graduate or higher
This category includes people whose highest degree was a high school diploma or its equivalent, people who attended college but did not receive a degree, and people who received a college, university, or professional degree. People who reported completing the 12th grade but not receiving a diploma are not high school graduates.

Not enrolled, not high school graduate
This category includes people of compulsory school attendance age or above who were not enrolled in school and were not high school graduates. These people may be referred to as "high school dropouts." However, there is no criterion regarding when they "dropped out" of school, so they may have never attended high school.

Comparability
From 1840 to 1930, the census measured educational attainment by means of a basic literacy question. In 1940, a single question was asked on highest grade of school completed. In the 1950 to 1980 censuses, a two-part question was used to construct highest grade or year of school completed. The question asked (1) the highest grade of school attended and (2) whether that grade was finished. For people who have not attended college, the response categories in the current educational attainment question should produce data that are comparable to data on highest grade completed from earlier censuses. For people who attended college, there is less comparability between years of school completed and highest degree.

Beginning in 1990, the response categories for people who have attended college were modified from earlier censuses because there was some ambiguity in interpreting responses in terms of the number of years of college completed. For instance, it was not clear whether "completed the fourth year of college," "completed the senior year of college," and "college graduate" were synonymous. Research conducted shortly before the 1990 census suggests that these terms were more distinct than in earlier decades, and this change may have threatened the ability to estimate the number of "college graduates" from the number of people reported as having completed the fourth or a higher year of college. It was even more difficult to make inferences about post-baccalaureate degrees and "Associate" degrees from highest year of college completed. Thus, comparisons of post-secondary educational attainment in the 2000 and 1990 censuses with data from the earlier censuses should be made with great caution.

Changes between 1990 and Census 2000 were slight. The two associate degree categories in 1990 were combined into one for Census 2000. "Some college, no degree" was split into two categories, "Some college credit, but less than 1 year," and "1 or more years of college, no degree." Prior to 1990, the college levels reported began with "Completed 1 year of college." Beginning in 1990, the first category was "Some college, no degree," which allowed people with less than 1 year of college to be given credit for college. Prior to 1990, they were included in "High school, 4 years." The two revised categories will accommodate comparisons with either data series and allow the tabulation of students who completed at least 1 year of college, as some data users wish. This will not change the total number who completed some college.

The category "12th grade, no diploma" was counted as high school completion or "Completed high school, 4 years" prior to 1990 and as "Less than high school graduate" in 1990 and 2000. In the 1960 and subsequent censuses, people for whom educational attainment was not reported were assigned the same attainment level as a similar person whose residence was in the same or a nearby area. In the 1940 and 1950 censuses, people for whom educational attainment was not reported were not allocated.

In censuses prior to 1990, "median school years completed" was used as a summary measure of educational attainment. Using the current educational attainment question, the median can only be calculated for groups of which less than half the members have attended college. "Percent high school graduate or higher" and "percent Bachelor's degree or higher" are summary measures that can be calculated from the present data and offer quite readily interpretable measures of differences between population subgroups.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Employment Status
The data on employment status (referred to as labor force status in previous censuses), were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Items 21and 25, which were asked of a sample of the population 15 years old and over. The series of questions on employment status was designed to identify, in this sequence: (1) people who worked at any time during the reference week; (2) people who did not work during the reference week, but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent (excluding people on layoff); (3) people on temporary layoff who expected to be recalled to work within the next 6 months or who had been given a date to return to work, and who were available for work during the reference week; and (4) people who did not work during the reference week, who had looked for work during the reference week or the three previous weeks, and who were available for work during the reference week. (For more information, see "Reference Week.")

The employment status data shown in Census 2000 tabulations relate to people 16 years old and over. In the 1940, 1950, and 1960 censuses, employment status data were presented for people 14 years old and over. The change in the universe was made in 1970 to agree with the official measurement of the labor force as revised in January 1967 by the U.S. Department of Labor. The 1970 census was the last to show employment data for people 14 and 15 years old.

Employed
All civilians 16 years old and over who were either (1) "at work" - those who did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or (2) were "with a job but not at work" - those who did not work during the reference week, but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are people whose only activity consisted of work around their own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework) or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations. Also excluded are all institutionalized people and people on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.

Civilian employed
This term is defined exactly the same as the term "employed" above.

Unemployed
All civilians 16 years old and over were classified as unemployed if they were neither "at work" nor "with a job but not at work" during the reference week, were looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and were available to start a job. Also included as unemployed were civilians 16 years old and over who: did not work at all during the reference week, were on temporary layoff from a job, had been informed that they would be recalled to work within the next 6 months or had been given a date to return to work, and were available to return to work during the reference week, except for temporary illness. Examples of job seeking activities were:
  • Registering at a public or private employment office
  • Meeting with prospective employers
  • Investigating possibilities for starting a professional practice or opening a business
  • Placing or answering advertisements
  • Writing letters of application
  • Being on a union or professional register


Civilian labor force
Consists of people classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above.

Labor force
All people classified in the civilian labor force (i.e., "employed" and "unemployed" people), plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (people on active duty with the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).

Not in labor force
All people 16 years old and over who are not classified as members of the labor force. This category consists mainly of students, individuals taking care of home or family, retired workers, seasonal workers enumerated in an off-season who were not looking for work, institutionalized people (all institutionalized people are placed in this category regardless of any work activities they may have done in the reference week), and people doing only incidental unpaid family work (fewer than 15 hours during the reference week).

Worker
The terms "worker" and "work" appear in connection with several subjects: employment status, journey-to-work, class of worker, and work status in 1999. Their meaning varies and, therefore, should be determined by referring to the definition of the subject in which they appear.

When used in the concepts "Workers in Family," "Workers in Family in 1999," and "Full-Time,
Full-time, year-round workers
See "Work status in 1999."

Limitation of the data
The census may understate the number of employed people because people who have irregular, casual, or unstructured jobs sometimes report themselves as not working. The number of employed people "at work" is probably overstated in the census (and conversely, the number of employed "with a job, but not at work" is understated) since some people who were on vacation or sick leave erroneously reported themselves as working. This problem has no effect on the total number of employed people. The reference week for the employment data is not the same calendar week for all people. Since people can change their employment status from 1 week to another, the lack of a uniform reference week may mean that the employment data do not reflect the reality of the employment situation of any given week. (For more information, see "Reference Week.")

Note: The Census Bureau is aware there may be a problem or problems in the employment-status data of Census 2000 Summary File 3 (including tables P38, P43-P46, P149A-I, P150A-I, PCT35, PCT69A-I, and PCT70A-I). The labor force data for some places where colleges are located appear to overstate the number in the labor force, the number unemployed, and the percent unemployed, probably because of reporting or processing error. The exact cause is unknown, but the Census Bureau will continue to research the problem.

Comparability
The questionnaire items and employment status concepts for Census 2000 are essentially the same as those used in the 1970 to 1990 censuses. However, these concepts differ in many respects from those associated with the 1950 and 1960 censuses. Since employment data from the census are obtained from respondents in households, they differ from statistics based on reports from individual business establishments, farm enterprises, and certain government programs. People employed at more than one job are counted only once in the census and are classified according to the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the reference week. In statistics based on reports from business and farm establishments, people who work for more than one establishment may be counted more than once. Moreover, some establishment-based tabulations may exclude private household workers, unpaid family workers, and self-employed people, but may include workers less than 16 years old. Census tabulations count people who had a job but were not at work among the employed, but these people may be excluded from employment figures based on establishment payroll reports. Furthermore, census employment tabulations include people on the basis of place of residence regardless of where they work; whereas, establishment data report people at their place of work regardless of where they live. This latter consideration is particularly significant when comparing data for workers who commute between areas.

For several reasons, the unemployment figures of the Census Bureau are not comparable with published figures on unemployment compensation claims. For example, figures on unemployment compensation claims exclude people who have exhausted their benefit rights, new workers who have not earned rights to unemployment insurance, and people losing jobs not covered by unemployment insurance systems (including some workers in agriculture, domestic services, and religious organizations, and self-employed and unpaid family workers). In addition, the qualifications for drawing unemployment compensation differ from the definition of unemployment used by the Census Bureau. People working only a few hours during the week and people with a job, but not at work are sometimes eligible for unemployment compensation but are classified as "employed" in the census. Differences in the geographical distribution of unemployment data arise because the place where claims are filed may not necessarily be the same as the place of residence of the unemployed worker.

The figures on employment status from the decennial census are generally comparable with similar data collected in the Current Population Survey, which is the official source of the monthly national unemployment rate. However, some differences may exist because of variations between the two data sources in enumeration and processing techniques.