Population censuses collect data on literacy and educational attainment, along with other demographic and economic characteristics of the individuals and their living conditions. Censuses are providing benchmark statistics on education, including at the level of small areas and small population groups, which are essential for the development of educational policies.
Household surveys can collect data on literacy and educational attainment. Some surveys are specialized. For example, there are dedicated literacy surveys that can measure in-depth basic reading and writing skills, or, in some contexts, functional literacy. In European countries, the European Union Labour Force Survey is an important source of data for educational attainment. In addition, the ad hoc module on transition from school to work (conducted in 2000 and 2009) provides a framework for analysing how graduates of different education levels perform on the labour market.