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Educational attainment, Pakistan

Codes and Frequencies

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Explore how IPUMS created this variable


      class Educpk:public Editor {

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

        long a = getRecoded();
        switch (dataSet) {
        case dataset_id::pk1973a:
            if (PK1973A_0411() == 99 && PK1973A_0403() >= 5 && PK1973A_0410() <= 4)
                a = 999;
            if (PK1973A_0411() == 99 && PK1973A_0403() >= 5 && PK1973A_0410() > 4)
                a = 100;
        case dataset_id::pk1981a:
            if (PK1981A_0408() == 99 && PK1981A_0403() >= 5)
                a = 100;




EDUCPK indicates the person's educational attainment in Pakistan in terms of the level of schooling completed.

Comparability — General

The variable is largely comparable across samples. Pakistan has a 5-3-2-2 system, comprising 5 years of primary school, 3 years of middle school, 2 years of high school, and 2 years of intermediate school.

Elementary education consists of primary (classes I to V) and middle school (classes VI to VIII). Primary school typically begins at age five.

The 1973 and 1998 samples identify persons with less than primary education completed; such persons appear to be included with "none" in 1981.

Secondary education includes high school (classes IX and X) and intermediate school or higher secondary (classes XI and XII). Students take the secondary school certificate ("matric") examination and the higher secondary school certification examination by the end of high school and intermediate school, respectively.

Tertiary education includes bachelor's degrees (B.A., B.Sc., or equivalent) and post-graduate studies (master's and professional degrees). Tertiary education is the least comparable of the categories, as groupings differ among samples.

Vocational education can be received after class VIII at vocational institutes or technical training colleges or after class X at polytechnics or commercial institutes, leading to the award of certificates or diplomas, respectively. The category of diploma or certificate seems to refer to vocational or technical training, but no information is provided by census' documentation.

In 1973, the B.A. and B.Sc. are identified by the category "degree passed, but less than higher degree." The variable does not distinguish between categories of post-graduate studies, but it defines that group as including professional arts and master's degrees. This sample also includes a category for oriental education, which is grouped under "others". Oriental education indicates traditional methods of education, but no detail is provided by census' documentation.

In 1981, the variable distinguishes between several types of post-graduate studies: M.A. / M.Sc. and above, B.Sc. and above (Engineering), M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) and B.D.S. (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), and LL.B. (Bachelor of Law). Notice that the category of B.Sc. and above (Engineering) was considered a post-graduate level, following the coding structure in the 1981 census, but it might include some of the B.Sc. cases identified in 1972 or 1998.

In 1998, tertiary education only distinguishes between B.A. and B.Sc. equivalent and M.A. and M.Sc. equivalent or above.


  • Persons age 5+


  • Pakistan: 1973, 1981, 1998