The DHS Program User Forum
Discussions regarding The DHS Program data and results
Home » Topics » General » Educational attainment classification
Educational attainment classification [message #22532] Fri, 26 March 2021 10:55 Go to next message
Leonardo_ICEH is currently offline  Leonardo_ICEH
Messages: 5
Registered: May 2017
Location: Brazil

I was looking for more information on how DHS classifies different educational systems into the 5 standard groups presented in v149. I could not find any manuals or documents in the DHS website.
Does DHS provide any guides/manuals and is it based on the ISCED classification for all surveys?

My only reference so far is the answer below from a related question.

Bridgette-DHS wrote on Thu, 28 June 2018 16:44
Following is a response from Senior DHS Specialist, Gulnara Semenov:

Thank you for your questions and your interest with The DHS Program and the 2012 Kyrgyz Republic DHS.

Standard recode V106 has the same categories across DHS surveys.

0-No education

In the 2012 Kyrgyz DHS for educational categories we used the 1997 National educational system classification according to the UNESCO International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED or MCKO in Russian) that was provided to us by the implementing agency. This classification is available at

In this classification, Professional Primary and Professional Middle are classified as post-secondary levels. Professional Primary is higher than Secondary general level, but is considered as a non-tertiary level. Professional Middle, University degree (i.e. bachelor's degree) and Master's degree are all considered as First stage of tertiary education. Ph.D. is the Secondary stage of tertiary level. So according to this classification, in the standard recode file, any level of education attained/completed that is higher than Secondary (basically >grade 11) have been combined together under variable "higher".

The Standard Recode variable is there for purposes of comparing across countries, but you can choose to group them how you find it necessary for your research purpose. For example, In the 2012 Kyrgyz Republic DHS final report, educational categories are standardized according to the levels of education used in country classification and country specific needs, kindly see below. You can download the full report from our website at S-Final-Reports.cfm.


Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions and let me know if you have any further questions.

Re: Educational attainment classification [message #22644 is a reply to message #22532] Thu, 15 April 2021 10:30 Go to previous message
Trevor-DHS is currently offline  Trevor-DHS
Messages: 781
Registered: January 2013
Senior Member
V149 is constructed using the education levels and grades found in v106 and v107, using the following function:

  function AttnEduc( edlevel, edgrade )
    numeric z;
    box edlevel : edgrade => z;
        notappl :         => notappl;
        missing :         => missing;
              8 :         => 8;
              0 :         => 0;    { Preschool and no education counted as 0 years }
              1 :    6    => 2;    { !! 6 = years of primary school !! }
              1 :         => 1;
              2 :    6    => 4;    { !! 6 = years of secondary school !! }
              2 :         => 3;
              3 :         => 5;
    AttnEduc = z;

V149 = AttnEduc( V106, V107 );
The 6 years of primary and 6 years of secondary above are examples and are replaced by the highest grade for primary and the highest grade for secondary. These are typically based on the ISCED classification, but sometimes are adapted, especially when an education system has changed in a substantive way.
Previous Topic: Active relationship
Next Topic: Young Adult Reproductive Health Survey
Goto Forum:

Current Time: Wed Oct 4 02:50:11 Coordinated Universal Time 2023