NLSY97 Demo

This example demonstrates how to combine area of interest and survey year to find the highest grade and degree completed as of 2006. If you choose to follow along with this example, make sure you select the NLSY97 survey.

Step 1: Search by area of interest

Under the Variable Search tab, select the search category as "Area of Interest (pick from list)" and then select "equals" in the second drop-down box. Clicking on the third drop-down arrow in the search menu, we can see all of the areas of interest in the NLSY97.

Choose "EDUCATIONAL STATUS & ATTAINMENT (5481)". The number 5481 in the parenthesis indicates that there are 5,481 variables in this area.

Screenshot showing how to pick Ed Status & Attainment area of interest

Picking this item leads us to the following screen:

Screenshot of selected area of interest

Step 2: Add a second search criterion, survey year

Click "Add" at the right of the search menu bar.

Screenshot showing add

Another row of the search menu bar appears and allows us to enter a second search criterion. Choose "Survey Year (pick form list)", then "equals" and then "2006."

Above the search menu bars, on the right, the drop-down allows you to decide how you want the two search criteria to interact with each other -- "AND" or "OR." For this example, make sure "AND" (the default) is selected. Adding the survey year search criteria now shrinks our list to 315 variables.

Screenshot showing second search criterion

Step 3: Click on "Display Variables"

The screen now displays a list of variables with their RNUM, question name, variable title, and survey year, as shown below.

By default, the list includes only the primary variables (as indicated by "Primary Variables" above the variable list), thus 177 of 315 total variables are listed. Choosing "Primary and Secondary Variables" will return 197 of 315 variables, and choosing "All Variables" will result in showing all 315 variables.

Screenshot showing results of search

Step 4: Select (Tag) Variables of Interest

Next, we’ll pick two created variables showing the highest grade completed and highest degree received. Click the check boxes next to S7513600, and S7514300. To check S7505200 and S7505300, click on the [+] in the row with Question Name: CV_ASSOC_CREDITS. These variables should now be checked and highlighted as shown in the screen below.

(Note: We recommend that you always review the actual codebook page for each variable to verify that it does present the desired data.)

Screenshot showing 4 selected variables

Step 5: Review Selected Variables

Move to the Review Selected Variables tab to look at your tagset and make sure you have tagged all of the variables you are interested in. For this example, your list should include ten variables: six preselected ID and demographic variables and the four education variables we tagged in step 4.

Screenshot of Review Selected Variables tab

Step 6: Use the selected variables to generate a frequency distribution

Now we will generate the frequency distribution of NLSY97 respondents' highest grade completed prior to the start of the 2006/2007 academic year. Move to the Save/Download tab and pick the Advanced Download sub-tab. Choose the "Create Frequency/Table" button.

Click on the drop-down arrow at the right of the variable row as shown below to select the variable S75136.00 from the drop-down list.

Screenshot showing how to generate a frequency distribution

Then click on the "Download" button. The "Manage Downloads Tab" will open to show the status of the creation of the table. When the table is ready, it is listed under "All Available Downloads" in the "Manage Downloads Tab." Click on the corresponding "download" will open the table in a new window. The frequency table for S75136.00 should look like this:

Screenshot showing frequency distribution

Step 7: Use "Apply Universe Restrictors" to download the ten selected variables, restricting the data to only the cross-sectional sample of the NLSY97 (R12358.00=1).

As shown below, under the Advanced Download tab, click the check box next to "Apply Universe Restrictors" (1). Either type in the box "R12358.00 = 1".

Screenshot showing how to show universe restrictors equation editor

or click on "Show Equation Editor".

Select "R12358.00" (2), click on "=" (3), click on "1" (4), and click on "Add expression" (5) to enter the restriction.

Screenshot showing how to apply universe restrictors to a download

Now click on "Download" to create your extract. The downloaded dataset will include only 6,748 observations, the number in the cross-sectional sample, out of the total of 8,984 observations from the full NLSY97 sample.