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Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T55. Years Of School Completed (Persons Of Spanish Origin) [8]
Universe: Persons Of Spanish Origin 25 Years Old and Over
Table Details
T55. Years Of School Completed (Persons Of Spanish Origin)
Universe: Persons Of Spanish Origin 25 Years Old and Over
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 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.
Spanish Origin
Determined by a complete-count question which asks respondents to self-identify whether they are of Spanish origin or descent. If, when interviewed, the person reported a multiple origin and could not provide a single origin, the origin of the person's mother was used. If a single response was not provided for the person's mother, the first reported origin of the person was used.

Counts of the population by Spanish origin in complete-count tabulations are provisional. Final counts for Spanish origin will be determined after the sample data have been processed. The sample counts will first appear on the tape in STF 3 and in print in Characteristics of Population, General Social and Economic Characteristics, PC80-1-C reports.

Persons marking any one of the four "Spanish" categories, i.e., Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or other Spanish, are collectively referred to as "persons of Spanish origin."

In certain tabulations, persons of Spanish origin are further classified by type:

Persons who indicated "Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano," or wrote in an entry such as "La Raza."

Puerto Rican
Persons who indicated "Puerto Rican" or wrote in an entry such as "Boricua."

Persons who indicated "Cuban."

Other Spanish
Persons who filled the circle for "other Spanish/Hispanic"; or persons who wrote in an origin or descent associated with Spain, the Dominican Republic, or any Central or South America country except Brazil or a nonspecific Spanish group such as "Spanish surnamed" or "Spanish speaking."

Preliminary evaluations of 1980 census data suggest some limited misreporting of Spanish origin.
Available evidence indicates that the misreporting mw have occurred only in selected areas with relatively small Spanish-origin populations, such as in some Southern States, but it is not apparent in those areas with the largest concentrations of Spanish-origin persons. For a fuller discussion of the reporting in the Spanish-origin item, see the forthcoming 1980 census Supplementary Report, "Persons of Spanish Origin by State: 1980" (PC80-Sl).

Historical comparability
The Spanish-origin question was asked on a l00-percent basis for the first time in 1980. A similar question was asked on the 1970 5-percent sample questionnaire. For 1980, the category "No, not Spanish/Hispanic" appeared first (the corresponding category appeared last in 1970). Also, the terms "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" are added to the term "Mexican." The category "Central or South American," included in 1970, was dropped.

Although a question on Spanish origin was included in 1970, it was not the major identifier used to classify the Hispanic population in the 1970 census as it is in 1980. Depending on the section of the country, 1970 census data for "Persons of Spanish Heritage" were variously defined as "Persons of Puerto Rican Birth or Parentage" (in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), as "Persons of Spanish language or Spanish Surname" (in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas), and as "Persons of Spanish Language" (in the remaining 42 States and the District of Columbia). "Spanish Language" referred to those persons who in 1970 reported Spanish as their mother tongue, as well as persons in families in which the household head or spouse reported Spanish as his or her mother tongue.