Full census data

I need help and advice again. Basically I need to get the foreign-born people’s education level with country of birth in each MSA. I need census data of 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020.

I tried NHGIS, however, I cannot get education attainment together with place of birth. So I am thinking about going directly to the main database to select relevant variables and create my own data and analyze it on my own. But it looks like I can only choose sample data from a maximum of 5%( 1980, 1990, 2000), or ACS data ( 2000, 2010, and 2020). Do I understand right? How can I get full data to create my data to do analysis? And what is your suggestion to fulfill such a task? What is your suggestion for the best way to extract the data to fulfill my task?

I really appreciate your help and advice.

U.S. Census and American Community Survey data at the metropolitan statistical area level are only available through IPUMS NHGIS. IPUMS USA provides microdata, or person-level data, which includes significantly less geographic detail due to privacy requirements. The lowest level geography available in the microdata is PUMA (public use microdata area), a geographic area of at least 100,000 inhabitants. Our IPUMS geographers can sometimes infer county and MSA from PUMA when boundaries overlap, but MSA is not explicitly identified in the microdata. From the description section of the METAREA variable:

In the 1980 5% sample and all later samples, the populations of many metro areas are only partially identified by METAREA codes, and in many cases, the unidentified portion is considerably large. Users should consult the Incompletely Identified Metropolitan Areas page, which lists the percent of each metro area’s population that resided in excluded areas for each sample.

The reason for incomplete coverage is that the source data for these samples include no specific information about metro areas. The most detailed geographic information available is for 1980 county groups or for 1990 or 2000 PUMAs, areas which occasionally straddle official metro area boundaries. If any portion of a straddling area’s population resided outside a single metro area, the METAREA variable uses a conservative assignment strategy and identifies no metro area for all residents of the straddling area.

The data available through IPUMS USA are samples of the data collected by the Census Bureau for the decennial Census and ACS. The Census Bureau releases a product called the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) to the public, which is a sample of the survey data they collect, and which has been edited to protect privacy. Full count data from these surveys are able to be released [72 years after the surveys take place](The "72-Year Rule" - History - U.S. Census Bureau. We are legally allowed to provide full count data from the decennial Censuses from 1790 to 1950. Analyzing sample data is very common. Using weights (such as HHWT for household-level analysis and PERWT for person-level analysis) make estimates using sample data representative of the total population.

IPUMS NHGIS offers precise delineation of MSAs, but I believe you are correct that it does not offer a table disaggregating educational attainment by country of birth. The closest table I am able to find is Table B06009 Place of Birth by Educational Attainment in the United States, which distinguishes between individuals born in the U.S. versus outside of the U.S., but does not specify country of birth. IPUMS USA does not precisely identify MSAs due to the geographic detail included in the public use microdata, but has the advantage of including detailed information about birthplace and educational attainment for each respondent. Depending on the purposes of your research, IPUMS NHGIS or IPUMS USA may be more suitable.