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Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T52. School Enrollment, Years Of School Completed And Labor Force Status [13]
Universe: Persons 16 to 19 Years Old
Table Details
T52. School Enrollment, Years Of School Completed And Labor Force Status
Universe: Persons 16 to 19 Years Old
Variable Label
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
School Enrollment
Persons 3 years old or over are classified as enrolled in school if they attended regular school or college at any time since February 1, 1980. This question was asked on a sample basis.

Schooling included
As indicated on the questionnaire and in instructions to respondents, regular school or college includes nursery school, kindergarten, elementary school and schooling which leads to a high school diploma or college degree. Attendance can be either by day or night, full time or part time, to be counted as regular schooling. Enrollment in a trade or business school, company training, or tutoring was counted if the course would be accepted for credit at a regular elementary school, high school, or college.

Schooling excluded
Persons were excluded from the enrollment figures if the only schools they bad been attending at any time since February 1, 1980, were not "regular" (unless courses taken at such schools could have been counted for credit at a regular school). Schools regarded as not "regular" may include nursery schools which simply provide custodial day care; specialized vocational, trade, or business schools outside the "regular" system, such as television repair schools, barber's colleges, or typist's training schools; on-the-job training; and correspondence courses.

Historical comparability
Questions on schooling have been included since 1930, although the time reference varied until 1950 when February 1 to the time of enumeration was adopted as the reference period. Most tabulations of school enrollment in 1970 were restricted to persons 3 to 34 years old, whereas most 1980 tabulations do not have an upper age limit.

See also: "School Level;" "School Type;" "School Years Completed".

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
School Years Completed
Data on years of school completed are derived from two questions, one identifying the highest grade attended in regular school (see School Enrollment); the second determining whether the respondent finished the grade specified. These data were collected on a sample basis.

Those persons who passed a high school equivalency examination (such as GED) were marked "12" under the highest grade attended (if they had not completed or were not enrolled in a higher grade). Schooling received in foreign schools was to be reported as the equivalent grade or year in the regular American school system.

The number tabulated in each category of years of school completed includes (a) persons who reported that they had attended the indicated grade and had finished it, (b) those who had attended but did not complete the next higher grade and (c) those still attending the next higher grade. Most tabulations of years of school completed are restricted to persons 25 years old and over, although some include persons 18 to 24 years old. Tabulations include persons in school as well as those who have completed their schooling. A typical way of reporting years of school completed is as follows:

       0 to 4 years
       5 to 7 years
       8 years

High School:
       1 to 3 years
       4 years

       1 to 3 years
       4 or more years

High school graduates
Persons who have completed 4 years of high school (grade 12) or any higher level of education. Therefore, to obtain a count of high school graduates from the breakdown illustrated above, the categories "High school: 4 years, "College: 1 to 3 years," and "College: 4 or more years" are to be ridded together.

Median school years completed
Calculated as divides the value which the population in half. Years-of-school-completed statistics are converted into a continuous series: the first year of high school becomes grade 9, the first year of college, grade 13, etc. Persons who have completed a given year are assumed to be evenly distributed from .O to .9 of the year. For example, persons rho have completed the 12th grade are assumed to be evenly distributed between 12.0 and 12.9. Note that this assumption is different than that applicable to other discrete variables. Actually, at the time of enumeration, most of the enrolled persons had attended at least three-fourths of a school year beyond the highest grade completed, whereas a large majority of persons who were not enrolled had not attended any part of a grade beyond the highest one completed. The effect of the assumption is to place the median for younger persons slightly below, and for older persons, slightly above, the true median.

Historical comparability
Questions on years of school completed have been asked in censuses since 1940, as a replacement for the literacy question which had been asked from 1840 to 1930.

See also: "School Enrollment;" "School Level".

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
Labor Force Status
Persons 16 years old and over were classified as to their status in the labor force based on replies to several questions relating to work activity and status during the reference week. These items were asked on a sample basis.

Data on labor force status refer to the calendar week prior to the date on which respondents completed their questionnaires or were interviewed by enumerators. Since the week of enumeration was not the same for all persons, the reference week for labor force data is not entirely uniform. For many persons, however, the reference week for answering the 1980 census employment questions was the last week in March, 1980.

Labor force
Members of the Armed Forces and the civilian labor force as defined below.

Armed Forces
Persons 16 years old and over on active duty in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, (indicated in responses to the question on industry). Members of the merchant marine and civilian employees of the Department of Defense are not members of the Armed Forces. Service in a National Guard or reserve unit for short periods of active duty for training does not count as active duty in the Armed Forces.

Civilian labor force
Employed and unemployed civilians.

Civilians 16 years old and over who were either (a) "at work"--those who did any work at all as Paid employees or in their own business or profession, or on their own farm, or who worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or (b) "with a job but not at work"-those who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are persons whose only activity consisted of work around the house or volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations.

Employed persons are sometimes further classified as full time or part time based on whether they worked 35 or more hours during the reference week. (See Hours Worked Last Week.)

Civilians 16 years old and over who were neither "at work" nor "with a job, but not at work" and who were:

a) Looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and b) available to accept a job.

Examples of jobseeking activities are: (1) registering at a public or private employment office, (2) meeting with prospective employers, (3) checking with friends or relatives, (4) placing or answering advertisements, (5) writing letters of application, and (6) being on a union or professional register.

Also included as unemployed are persons who did not work at all during the reference week and were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off.

The concept of experienced unemployed is discussed below under Experienced Civilian Labor Force.

Not in labor force
Persons 16 years old and over who are not classified as members of the labor force. This category consists mainly of students, housewives, retired workers, seasonal workers enumerated in an "off" season who were not looking for work, inmates of institutions, disabled persons, and persons doing only incidental unpaid family work (fewer than 15 hours during the reference week). Also included are so called "discouraged workers" who do not have a job and have not been actively looking for work during the last four weeks. Inmates of institutions are occasionally presented as a subcategory within "not in labor force." Tasks performed by inmates of institutions are not considered "work" for the purposes of the census.

In addition to the above classification, the concept of Experienced Civilian Labor Force appears in certain detailed tabulations.

Experienced Civilian Labor Force
Employed persons and those unemployed persons who have worked at any time in the past, i.e., "experienced unemployed." (See Year Last Worked.) This concept serves as the universe for certain tabulations of occupation and industry where unemployed persons are to be included. (Occupation and industry data were not collected for persons who have never worked, or who have not worked since 1974.)

Comparability with data from other sources
Because 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. Persons 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, persons who work for more than one establishment may be counted more than once. Moreover, other series, unlike those presented here, may exclude private household workers, unpaid family workers, and self-employed persons, but may include workers less than 16 years of age.

Historical comparability
In 1940, 1950, and 1960, labor force data were published for persons 14 years old and over. In 1970, most labor force data were for persons 16 years old and over to comply with the official Government definition of employed and unemployed instituted in 1967, although data on 14- and 15-year olds were furnished in 1970 to provide a comparability bridge with earlier censuses.

See also: "Hours Worked Last Week;" "Industry;" "Occupation;" "Labor Force Status In 1979," "Year Last Worked".