Data Tables Help

Learn how to read data tables from this example

Selecting A Table

You will go through a three-step process to select the data you would like to see:

  1. Choose the data source
  2. Choose the conceptual area
  3. Choose the topic
You will then be able to view your selection by selecting the "View Tables" button.

Reading A Table

The following information is provided to help you use and interpret the data tables.:

  • Your selected data are presented in one single page containing 10 tables (5 data tables and 5 standard error tables). A table of contents frame at the left allows you to quickly move from table to table.
  • The five (5) data tables present your selected topic cross-tabulated by student disability category, gender, age group, family income, and ethnicity/racial group, each in a separate table.
  • The percentages in the data tables are organized by column, so that the number indicates the weighted estimate of respondents nationally who responded in that way. In the example below, 75.6 percent of students with mental retardation were reported to 'use a computer for homework/school assignments.'
  • Following each data table is a table indicating standard errors associated with the data in the preceding table. Standard errors are an indication of the precision of the reported percentage. Small standard errors allow for greater confidence to be placed in the value. Large standard errors, on the other hand, require a greater degree of caution in interpretation.
  • The size of individual standard errors is linked to the unweighted number of respondents in a specific category of students.
  • In NLTS2, there are several groups of students whose numbers in the unweighted sample are comparatively small and are often associated with large standard errors. Among these groups are students classified by the school as deaf-blind, and youth in the following racial/ethnic groups: Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native and Mixed Other. Users should use caution in interpreting results involving these groups.
  • Standard errors can also be higher because certain questions are only asked of a subset of respondents based on their responses to previous questions. Use caution in interpreting results of these items.
  • Tables displaying sample size will show values only if the unweighted subgroup was more than 35. So, it is possible to have valid values for the population, but values for the subgroups may be blank.
  • Use the following format to cite the source of data coming from this site:

    National Longitudinal Transition Study 2. (2003). NLTS2 data tables. Available at:

Finally, we hope that you enjoy working with the tables and find them useful. We are always trying to improve the site so please provide feedback so that we can improve its usefulness.