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Educational attainment, Nigeria

Codes and Frequencies

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Explore how IPUMS created this variable


      class Educng:public Editor {

    Educng(VarPointer varInfo) : Editor(varInfo) {}
    void edit() {

        long a = getRecoded();
        switch (dataSet) {
        case dataset_id::ng2010a:
            if (NG2010A_0437() == 99 && NG2010A_0404() < 5)
                a = 0;




EDUCNG indicates the person's educational attainment in Nigeria in terms of the level of schooling completed.

Comparability — General

The changes in Nigeria's education system structure are reflected in the educational attainment variable:

  • Before the 90's, the structure was 6-5-2, with 6 years in primary, 5 years of secondary, and 2 years of higher secondary (or 6th form), which leaded to the Primary School Leaving Certificate, the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary level, and the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced level, respectively.
  • After the 90's, the structure progressively changed to a 6-3-3, with 6 years of primary, 3 years of junior secondary, and 3 years of senior secondary, which lead to the First School Leaving Certificate, the Junior School Certificate, and the Senior School Certificate, respectively.

Vocational education is offered to graduates from primary or junior secondary. Higher education currently includes several options: colleges of education offering the National Certificate in Education (NCE); polytechnics and colleges of technology offering the National Diploma (2 years of study), the Higher National Diploma (requiring additional 2 years of study), and other Professional Diplomas; and universities offering bachelor (4 years of study or more), master, and doctoral degrees. Teacher training education was also available in the past at the secondary level.

The variable is comparable across samples but it has additional categories in the 2010 census. For this sample, "lower 6" refers to six years of primary education, "modern schooling" to three years in secondary, and "upper 6" to six years of secondary education, all of these under the old education system; in addition, the category for polytechnic or professional education was considered equivalent to the National Diploma (ND).

The Nigeria 2006 to 2009 samples do not specify what types of study are included under the "other" category. Quranic or Quranic integrated schools in 2010 refer to religious based education.

There is a minor change in the universe for this variable: all persons in Nigeria 2006 to 2009 and persons age 5+ in Nigeria 2010.

In addition to EDUCNG, the 2010 sample include a related unharmonized source variable indicating the highest qualification attained.

A harmonized international classification of educational attainment is available in EDATTAIN, which imposes a number of compromises to regularize the data across countries. Conversely, EDUCNG retains the full detail on educational attainment for the Nigeria samples.

The number of years of schooling completed is available separately in YRSCHOOL.


  • Nigeria 2006: All persons
  • Nigeria 2007: All persons
  • Nigeria 2008: All persons
  • Nigeria 2009: All persons
  • Nigeria 2010: Persons age 5+


  • Nigeria: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010