Data Dictionary: ACS 2006 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: B18041. Median Earnings In The Past 12 Months (In 2006 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) By Sensory Disability By Sex For The Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population 16 Years And Over With Earnings [7]
Universe: Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population 16 years and over with earnings in the past 12 months
Table Details
B18041. Median Earnings In The Past 12 Months (In 2006 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) By Sensory Disability By Sex For The Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population 16 Years And Over With Earnings
Universe: Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population 16 years and over with earnings in the past 12 months
Variable Label
B18041001
B18041002
B18041003
B18041004
B18041005
B18041006
B18041007
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Median Earnings
The median divides the earnings distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median and one-half above the median. Median earnings is restricted to individuals 16 years old and over with earnings and is computed on the basis of a standard distribution. (See the "Standard Distributions" section under "Derived Measures.") Median earnings figures are calculated using linear interpolation if the width of the interval containing the estimate is $2,500 or less. If the width of the interval containing the estimate is greater than $2,500, Pareto interpolation is used. (For more information on medians and interpolation, see "Derived Measures.")
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Adjusting Income for Inflation
Income components were reported for the 12 months preceding the interview month. Monthly Consumer Price Indices (CPI) factors were used to inflation-adjust these components to a reference calendar year (January through December). For example, a household interviewed in March 2006 reports their income for March 2006 through February 2006. Their income is adjusted to the 2006 reference calendar year by multiplying their reported income by 2006 average annual CPI (January-December 2006) and then dividing by the average CPI for March 2006-February2006.
In order to inflate income amounts from previous years, the dollar values on individual records are inflated to the latest years dollar values by multiplying by a factor equal to the average annual CPI-U-RS factor for the current year, divided by the average annual CPI-U-RS factor for the earlier/earliest year.
Limitation of the Data
Since answers to income questions are frequently based on memory and not on records, many people tend to forget minor or sporadic sources of income and, therefore, underreport their income. Underreporting tends to be more pronounced for income sources that are not derived from earnings, such as public assistance, interest, dividends, and net rental income.
Extensive computer editing procedures were instituted in the data processing operation to reduce some of these reporting errors and to improve the accuracy of the income data. These procedures corrected various reporting deficiencies and improved the consistency of reported income questions associated with work experience and information on occupation and class of worker. For example, if people reported they were self employed on their own farm, not incorporated, but had reported only wage and salary earnings, the latter amount was shifted to self-employment income. Also, if any respondent reported total income only, the amount was generally assigned to one of the types of income questions according to responses to the work experience and class-of-worker questions. Another type of problem involved non-reporting of income data. Where income information was not reported, procedures were devised to impute appropriate values with either no income or positive or negative dollar amounts for the missing entries. (For more information on imputation, see "Accuracy of the Data.")
In income tabulations for households and families, the lowest income group (for example, less than $10,000) includes units that were classified as having no income in the past 12 months. Many of these were living on income "in kind," savings, or gifts, were newly created families, or were families in which the sole breadwinner had recently died or left the household. However, many of the households and families who reported no income probably had some money income that was not reported in the American Community Survey.
Users should exercise caution when comparing income and earnings estimates for individuals from the 2006, or 2006 ACS to earlier years because of the introduction of group quarters. Household and family income estimates are not affected by the inclusion of group quarters.

Comparability
The income data shown in ACS tabulations are not directly comparable with those that may be obtained from statistical summaries of income tax returns. Income, as defined for federal tax purposes, differs somewhat from the Census Bureau concept. Moreover, the coverage of income tax statistics is different because of the exemptions for people having small amounts of income and the inclusion of net capital gains in tax returns. Furthermore, members of some families file separate returns and others file joint returns; consequently, the tax reporting unit is not consistent with the census household, family, or person units. The earnings data shown in ACS tabulations are not directly comparable with earnings records of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The earnings record data for SSA excludes the earnings of some civilian government employees, some employees of nonprofit organizations, workers covered by the Railroad Retirement Act, and people not covered by the program because of insufficient earnings. Because ACS data are obtained from household questionnaires, they may differ from SSA earnings record data, which are based upon employers reports and the federal income tax returns of self-employed people.
The Commerce Departments Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) publishes annual data on aggregate and per-capita personal income received by the population for states, metropolitan areas, and selected counties. Aggregate income estimates based on the income statistics shown in ACS products usually would be less than those shown in the BEA income series for several reasons. The ACS data are obtained from a household survey, whereas the BEA income series is estimated largely on the basis of data from administrative records of business and governmental sources. Moreover, the definitions of income are different. The BEA income series includes some questions not included in the income data shown in ACS publications, such as income" in kind," income received by nonprofit institutions, the value of services of banks and other financial intermediaries rendered to people without the assessment of specific charges, and Medicare payments. On the other hand, the ACS income data include contributions for support received from people not residing in the same household if the income is received on a regular basis.
In comparing income for the most recent year with income from earlier years, users should note that an increase or decrease in money income does not necessarily represent a comparable change in real income, unless adjusted for inflation.
Question/Concept History
The 1998 ACS questionnaire deleted references to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) because of welfare law reforms.
In 1999, the ACS questions were changed to be consistent with the questions for the Census 2000. The instructions are slightly different to reflect differences in the reference periods. The ACS asks about the past 12 months, and the questions for the decennial census ask about the previous calendar year.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Disability Status
Using models of disability from the Institute of Medicine and the International Classification of Functioning, disability is defined as the restriction in participation that results from a lack of fit between the individual's functional limitations and the characteristics of the physical and social environment. So while the disability is not seen as intrinsic to the individual, the way to capture it in a survey is to measure components that make up the process. The American Community Survey identifies serious difficulty in four basic areas of functioning: vision, hearing, ambulation, and cognition. Described below, the ACS asks respondents about serious difficulty and the resulting data can be used individually or combined. The ACS also includes two questions to identify people with difficulties that might impact their ability to live independently. In the 2006 American Community Survey, there are three disability questions, two with subparts totaling six questions in all, as described below.
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. The universe for most disability data tabulations is the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Some types of GQ populations have disability distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the noninstitutionalized GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the disability distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial noninstitutionalized GQ population. For example, the number of people with a disability may increase in areas having a substantial group home population. In areas having a substantial college dormitory population, the percentage of people with a disability may decrease because the base of the percentage, which now includes the population in college dormitories, is larger.
Sensory and Physical Limitations
The data on sensory and physical limitations were derived from answers to Questions 15a and 15b, which were asked of people 5 years old and over. Questions 15a and 15b asked respondents if they had any of the following two long-lasting conditions: "Blindness, deafness, severe vision or hearing impairment," or "A condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no" for each long-lasting condition. Question 15a is labeled as "Sensory disability" and Question 15b as "Physical disability" for some of the disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Question/Concept History
For the 1996-1998 American Community Survey, the question, which was asked of persons 5 years old and over, instructed the respondents to mark each appropriate box if they had difficulty with any of the following three specific functions: "Difficulty seeing (even with glasses)," "Difficulty hearing (even with a hearing aid)," or "Difficulty walking." The respondents could mark as many as three boxes depending on their functional limitation status. If the respondents did not have difficulty with any of the three specific functions, the question instructed them to mark the box labeled "None of the above." The sensory and physical disability data obtained from the 1996-1998 American Community Survey are not comparable to data collected from the 1999-2006 American Community Surveys.
Limitations in Cognitive Functioning ("Mental Disability")
The data on cognitive functioning were derived from answers to Question 16a, which was asked of people 5 years old and over. The question asked respondents if they had a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more that made it difficult "learning, remembering, or concentrating." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 16a is labeled as "Mental Disability" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Question/Concept History
No comparable data on cognitive functioning were obtained in the 1996-1998 American Community Survey. This question was introduced in the 1999 American Community Survey.
Self-Care Limitations
The data on self-care limitations were derived from answers to Question 16b, which was asked of people 5 years and over. The question asked respondents if they had a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more that made it difficult "dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 16b is labeled as "Self-Care Disability" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Question/Concept History
No comparable data on self-care limitations were obtained in the 1996-1998 American Community Survey. This question was introduced in the 1999 American Community Survey.
Going-Outside-Home Limitations
The data on mobility limitations were derived from answers to Question 17a. Although Question 17a was asked of people 15 years and over, the data products only report this type of disability for people 16 years and over. The question asked respondents if they had a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more that made it difficult "going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor's office." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 17a is labeled as "Go-outside-home Disability" for some disability products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2003-2006 data with years prior to 2003 due to the 2003 questionnaire change. For more information regarding the 2003 questionnaire change, view "Disability Data From the American Community Survey: A Brief Examination of the Effects of a Question Redesign in 2003" ( http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/ACS_disability.pdf).
Question/Concept History
For the 1996-1998 American Community Survey, the data on going-outside-home limitations were derived from answers to Question 16a, which was asked of persons 16 years old and over. The question was slightly different from the 1999-2002 question and asked the respondents if they had a long-lasting physical or mental condition that made it difficult to "go outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor's office." In the 1999-2002 American Community Survey, the going-outside-home question was part of Question 16. The 2003 questionnaire moved go-outside-home limitations to Question 17a and introduced a new skip instruction between Questions 16 and 17.
Employment Limitations
The data on employment limitations were derived from answers to Question 17b. Although it was asked of people 15 years and over, the data products only report this type of disability for people aged 16 to 64. The question asked the respondents if they had a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more that made it difficult "working at a job or business." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 17b is labeled as "Employment Disability" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Question/Concept History
For the 1996-1998 American Community Survey, the data on employment limitations were derived from answers to Question 16b, which was asked of persons 16 years old and over. The question was slightly different from the 1999-2003 question and asked the respondents if they had a long-lasting physical or mental condition that "prevents this person from working at a job or business." In the 1999-2002 American Community Survey, the employment limitations question was part of Question 16. The 2003 questionnaire moved the employment limitations to Question 17b and introduced a new skip instruction between Questions 16 and 17.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2003-2006 data with years prior to 2003 due to the 2003 questionnaire change. For more information regarding the 2003 questionnaire change, view "Disability Data From the American Community Survey: A Brief Examination of the Effects of a Question Redesign in 2003" ( http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/ACS_disability.pdf).

Disability Status
The Census Bureau uses the six disability questions above to determine an individual's disability status in some of its data products such as in the ACS Detailed Tables and the Disability Profile. People aged 16 to 64 were classified as having a disability if they reported at least one of the above six limitations. People aged 5 to 15 were classified as having a disability if they reported any one of the four limitations: sensory disability, physical disability, mental disability, or self-care disability. People 65 and over were classified as having a disability if they reported any one of the five limitations: sensory disability, physical disability, mental disability, self-care disability, or going-outside-home disability.
Limitation of the Data
Since two of the six questions used to determine disability status are no longer comparable with those of the prior years, the Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2003-2006 data with years prior to 2003. For more information regarding the 2003 questionnaire change, view "Disability Data from the American Community Survey: A Brief Examination of the Effects of a Question Redesign in 2003" ( http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/ACS_disability.pdf).
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Sex
The data on sex were derived from answers to Question 1. Individuals were asked to mark either "male" or "female" to indicate their sex. For most cases in which sex was not reported, the appropriate entry was determined from the person's given (i.e., first) name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age of the person.
Sex Ratio
The sex ratio represents the balance between the male and female populations. Ratios above 100 indicate a larger male population, and ratios below 100 indicate a larger female population. This measure is derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females and then multiplying by 100. It is rounded to the nearest tenth.
Limitation of the data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have sex distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the sex distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
The Census Bureau tested the changes introduced to the 2006 version of the sex question in the 2006 ACS Grid-Sequential Test (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS-MP-09_Grid-Sequential_Test_Final_Report.pdf). The results of this testing show that the changes may introduce an inconsistency in the data produced for this question as observed from the years 2006 to 2006.
Question/Concept History
The sex question has remained the same.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Age
The data on age were derived from answers to Question 2. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years at the time of interview. Both age and date of birth are used in combination to calculate the most accurate age at the time of the interview. Inconsistently reported and missing values are assigned or imputed based on the values of other variables for that person, from other people in the household, or from people in other households ("hot deck" imputation). Data on age are used to determine the applicability of other questions for a particular individual and to classify other characteristics in tabulations. Age data are needed to interpret most social and economic characteristics used to plan and analyze programs and policies. Therefore, age data are tabulated by many different age groupings, such as 5-year age groups.
Median Age
The median age is the age that divides the population into two equal-size groups. Half of the population is older than the median age and half is younger. Median age is based on a standard distribution of the population by single years of age and is shown to the nearest tenth of a year. (See the sections on "Standard Distributions" and "Medians" under "Derived Measures.")
Age Dependency Ratio
The age dependency ratio is derived by dividing the combined under-18 and 65-and-over populations by the 18-to-64 population and multiplying by 100.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio
The old-age dependency ratio is derived by dividing the population 65 years and over by the 18-to-64 population and multiplying by 100.
Child Dependency Ratio
The child dependency ratio is derived by dividing the population under 18 years by the 18-to-64 population, and multiplying by 100.
Limitation of the Data
Caution should be taken when comparing population in age groups across time. The entire population continually ages into older age groups over time and babies fill in the youngest age group. Therefore, the population of a certain age is made up of a completely different group of people in 2000 and 2006. Since populations occasionally experience booms/increases and busts/decreases in births, deaths, or migration (for example, the postwar Baby Boom from 1946-1964), one should not necessarily expect that the population in an age group in Census 2000 should be similar in size or proportion to the population in the same age group in the 2006 ACS. For example, Baby Boomers were age 36 to 54 in Census 2000 while they were age 44 to 62 in the 2006 ACS. Therefore, the age group 55 to 59 would show a considerable increase in population when comparing Census 2000 data with the 2006 ACS data.
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have age distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the age distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
The 1996-2002 American Community Survey question asked for month, day, and year of birth before age. Since 2003, the American Community Survey question asked for age, followed by month, day, and year of birth. In 2006, an additional instruction was provided with the age and date of birth question on the American Community Survey questionnaire to report babies as age 0 when the child was less than 1 year old. The addition of this instruction occurred after 2005 National Census Test results indicated increased accuracy of age reporting for babies less than one year old.