Statistical coherence of primary schooling in IPUMS-international integrated population samples for China, India, Vietnam and ten other Asia-Pacific countries

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IPUMS-International disseminates harmonized census microdata for more than 80 countries at no cost, although access is restricted to bona-fide researchers and students who agree to the stringent conditions-of-use license. Currently over 270 samples are available, totaling more than 600 million person records. Each year, 15–20 additional samples are released, as more countries cooperate with the IPUMS initiative and the integration of 2010 round census samples is completed. With so much microdata so readily available, questions of data quality naturally arise. This article focusses on the concept of statistical coherence over time for a single concept, primary schooling completed. From an analysis of the percentage completing primary schooling by birth year for pairs of samples for 13 Asia-Pacific countries, outstanding coherence is found for four countries – China, Mongolia, Vietnam and Indonesia – with mean differences of less than 0.5 percentage points, regression coefficient (b) ranging from 0.93 to 1.07 and R2=0.99. For the 13 countries as a group there is considerable variation overall with mean absolute difference as high as 16 percentage points, b ranging from 0.62–1.44 and R2=0.65–0.99. As a whole, statistical coherence of primary schooling is outstanding. Nonetheless, to make expert use of the harmonized microdata, researchers are cautioned to carefully study the IPUMS integrated metadata as well as the original source documentation. National Statistical Offices not currently cooperating or that have not yet entrusted 2010 round census microdata are invited to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-355
Number of pages23
JournalChinese Journal of Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research for this paper was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health of the United States of America grant HD047283 European and Asian census microdata harmonization project (IPUMS-EurAsia). The authors express gratitude to the statistical offices that entrusted the original source microdata for integration into the IPUMS-International database and for rights to disseminate extracts to researchers worldwide at no cost without regard to nationality, country of birth or residence. The Asia-Pacific statistical offices are: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; National Institute of Statistics, Cambodia; National Bureau of Statistics, China; Bureau of Statistics, Fiji Islands; Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, India; BPS Statistics Indonesia; National Statistical Committee, Kyrgyz Republic; Department of Statistics, Malaysia; National Statistical Office, Mongolia; Statistics Division, Pakistan; National Statistics Office, Philippines; National Statistical Office, Thailand; and General Statistics Office, Vietnam. The reviewers are thanked for their many helpful comments and suggestions. The authors alone are solely responsible for errors of analysis or interpretation. A version of this paper was presented at the 27th Population Census Conference (ANCSDAAP), Tokyo, Japan, 5–7 November 2014.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Fiji Islands
  • IPUMS-International
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Integrated microdata
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Microdata access
  • Mongolia
  • Pacific
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Population census samples
  • Primary schooling
  • Statistical coherence
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam


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