Volume 42 - Article 15 | Pages 441–460  

Assessing the quality of education reporting in Brazilian censuses

By Marília R. Nepomuceno, Cássio M. Turra


Background: In developing countries, improving access to schooling has been and remains a priority. At the same time, a growing body of research relates education to demographic variables. It is therefore essential to measure the educational variable accurately. In Brazil, although the high degree of inaccuracy in age reporting is known, previous research has neglected that problems of misreporting may affect other variables such as education.

Objective: To fill this gap, we calculate mortality levels by education as implied by intercensal survivorship ratios to investigate the quality of self-reported education among adults in Brazil between the 1991 and 2000 censuses.

Results: Our findings show evidence of inaccurate educational data in the censuses. Analysis by single year of schooling weakly reflects the known educational gradient in mortality. After categorization of age and years of schooling into groups, a positive relationship between education and survival does appear, although some implausible patterns remain.

Contribution: This study is an important step in demonstrating and assessing potential errors in census education data in Brazil. We highlight the importance of efforts to improve the quality of data on education, particularly in countries where an educational expansion is underway and where deficiencies in data quality are a potential issue of concern.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Age reporting for the oldest old in the Brazilian COVID-19 vaccination database: What can we learn from it?
Volume 48 - Article 28

World population aging as a function of period demographic conditions
Volume 48 - Article 13

Mortality selection among adults in Brazil: The survival advantage of Air Force officers
Volume 37 - Article 41

The number of centenarians in Brazil: Indirect estimates based on death certificates
Volume 20 - Article 20

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Which definition of migration better fits Facebook ‘expats’? A response using Mexican census data
Volume 50 - Article 39    | Keywords: census data, Facebook, international migration, Mexico, social media

Racial classification as a multistate process
Volume 50 - Article 17    | Keywords: Brazil, demography, increments to life, life expectancy, life table, mortality, multistate, race/ethnicity

The vanishing advantage of longevity in Nicoya, Costa Rica: A cohort shift
Volume 49 - Article 27    | Keywords: adult mortality, blue zones, extreme longevity, long-lived populations, median life, old-age survival

The quality of fertility data in the web-based Generations and Gender Survey
Volume 49 - Article 3    | Keywords: accuracy, data quality, fertility, Generations and Gender Survey (GGS)

Age reporting for the oldest old in the Brazilian COVID-19 vaccination database: What can we learn from it?
Volume 48 - Article 28    | Keywords: age misreporting, Brazil, COVID-19, mortality crossover, oldest old, population aging, vaccinations