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Educational attainment, Costa Rica

Codes and Frequencies

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EDUCCR indicates the person's educational attainment in Costa Rica in terms of the level of schooling completed and the number of years completed at that level.

Comparability — General

Costa Rica has a 6-3-2 or 6-3-3 system, comprising 6 years of primary education, 3 years of lower secondary, and either 2 years of academic upper secondary or 3 years of technical upper secondary. Before the 1970's, the country had a 6-5 system, with 6 years of primary and 5 years of secondary. Post-secondary education includes both technical (duration of 2 to 3 years) and university degrees.

Apart from the change in universes, no major comparability issues arise in Costa Rica. Note that the introduction of the 6-year technical secondary level in the 1970s is not reflected in separate codes in the 1973 and 1984 samples. However, the 2000 and 2011 censuses explicitly distinguish between this and the 5-year academic secondary education.

The 2000 and 2011 samples distinguish persons with technical college educations.

Rather than simply the number of years completed, the 1963 and 1973 samples identify persons who actually received a university degree, while the 2011 sample identifies both technical college and university graduates. The 1963 and 2011 samples also record the number of years of study completed by persons who received such degrees.

Special education is separately coded only in the 2011 sample. The 2000 sample documentation indicates to record persons who completed special education as "no level completed". No explicit instructions for this type of education are included in previous samples.


  • Costa Rica 1963: Persons age 7+
  • Costa Rica 1973: Persons age 6+
  • Costa Rica 1984: Persons age 5+
  • Costa Rica 2000: Persons age 5+
  • Costa Rica 2011: Persons age 5+


  • Costa Rica: 1963, 1973, 1984, 2000, 2011