Data Dictionary: ACS 2008 (1-Year Estimates)
you are here: choose a survey survey data set table details
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: B18101H. Age By Disability Status (White Alone, Not Hispanic Or Latino) [10]
Universe: White alone, not Hispanic or Latino civilian noninstitutionalized population
Table Details
B18101H. Age By Disability Status (White Alone, Not Hispanic Or Latino)
Universe: White alone, not Hispanic or Latino civilian noninstitutionalized population
Variable Label
B18101H001
B18101H002
B18101H003
B18101H004
B18101H005
B18101H006
B18101H007
B18101H008
B18101H009
B18101H010
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Age
The data on age were derived from answers to Question 4. 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 2008. 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 2008 ACS. For example, Baby Boomers were age 36 to 54 in Census 2000 while they were age 44 to 62 in the 2008 ACS. Therefore, the age group 55 to 59 would show a considerable increase in population when comparing Census 2000 data with the 2008 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 2008, 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.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 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 2008 American Community Survey, there are three disability questions, two with subparts totaling six questions in all, as described below.
Limitation of the Data
The 2008 American Community Survey questions on disability represent a conceptual and empirical break from earlier years of the ACS. Hence, the Census Bureau does not recommend any comparisons to disability data from the 2007 ACS and earlier. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).

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 a discussion of the effect of group quarters data has on estimates of disability status, see "Disability Status and the Characteristics of People in Group Quarters: A Brief Analysis of Disability Prevalence among the Civilian Noninstitutionalized and Total Populations in the American Community Survey" (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/GQdisability.pdf).
Hearing and Vision Limitations
The data on hearing and vision limitations were derived from answers to Questions 16a and 16b. Question 16a asked respondents if they were "deaf or ... [had] serious difficulty hearing." Question 16b asked if respondents were "blind or ... [had] serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no" for each question. Question 16a is labeled as "Hearing difficulty" and Question 16b as "Vision difficulty" for some of the disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the questionnaire change.
Question/Concept History
The 2008 American Community Survey marks a break in the series of disability data. In the 1999 - 2007 American Community Surveys, hearing and vision limitations were captured with one question, referred in data products as "Sensory disability." As such, parsing out which limitation respondents identified with was impossible. In addition, research has showed that combining the two new measures to replicate a similar measure as the old one proved not comparable. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Limitations in Cognitive Functioning
The data on cognitive functioning were derived from answers to Question 17a, which was asked of people 5 years old and over. The question asked respondents if due to physical, mental, or emotional condition, they had "serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 17a is labeled as "Cognitive difficulty" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the questionnaire change.
Question/Concept History
The 2008 American Community Survey marks a break in the series of disability data. In prior American Community Surveys, a similar question about difficulty "learning, remembering, and concentrating" was asked. However, the change in activities on which cognitive limitations are based suggest that the 2008 measure is not comparable with the "Mental disability" estimates from prior years. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Ambulatory Limitations
The data on ambulatory functioning were derived from answers to Question 17b, which was asked of people 5 years old and over. The question asked respondents if they had "serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 17b is labeled as "Ambulatory difficulty" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the questionnaire change.
Question/Concept History
The 2008 American Community Survey marks a break in the series of disability data. In prior American Community Surveys, a similar question about "conditions that limit one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying" was asked However, the changes to the wording and tailoring of the list of activities on which the limitation is based suggest that the 2008 measure is not comparable with the "Physical disability" estimates from prior years. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Self-Care Limitations
The data on self-care limitations were derived from answers to Question 17c, which was asked of people 5 years and over. The question asked respondents if they had "difficulty dressing or bathing." Respondents were instructed to mark yes or no. Question 17c is labeled as "Self-care difficulty" for some disability data products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the questionnaire change.
Question/Concept History
The 2008 American Community Survey marks a break in the series of disability data. In prior American Community Surveys, a similar question about difficulty "dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home" was asked. However, the changes to the wording and tailoring of the list of activities on which the limitation is based suggest that the 2008 measure is not comparable with the "Self-care disability" estimates from prior years. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Independent Living Limitations
The data on independent living limitations were derived from answers to Question 18, asked of people 15 years and over. The question asked respondents if due to a physical, mental, or emotional condition, they had difficulty "doing errands alone such as visiting a doctors office or shopping." Respondents were instructed to mark "yes" or "no." Question 18 is labeled as "Independent living difficulty" for some disability products such as the ACS Detailed Tables.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the questionnaire change.
Question/Concept History
The 2008 American Community Survey marks a break in the series of disability data. In prior American Community Surveys, a similar question about difficulty "going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor's office" was asked. However, the changes to the wording of the question suggest that the 2008 measure is not comparable with the "Going-outside-home disability" estimates from prior years. For additional information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Disability Status
The Census Bureau uses the six disability questions above to determine an individuals disability status in some of its data products such as in the ACS Detailed Tables and the Disability Profile. People under 5 years were classified as having a disability if they were reported to have either a hearing or vision difficulty. People aged 5 to 14 were classified as having a disability if they were reported to have any one of the five limitations: hearing difficulty, vision difficulty, cognitive difficulty, ambulatory difficulty, or self-care difficulty. People aged15 and over were classified as having a disability if they reported any one of the six limitations described above.
Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau does not recommend trend analysis using the 2008 data with years prior to 2008 due to the 2008 questionnaire change. For information on the differences between the 2008 ACS disability questions and prior ACS disability questions, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Disability" (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P4_Disability.pdf).
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "White" or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Hispanic or Latino Origin
The data on the Hispanic or Latino population, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to Question 5. The terms "Hispanic," "Latino," and "Spanish" are used interchangeably. Some respondents identify with all three terms, while others may identify with only one of these three specific terms. Hispanics or Latinos who identify with the terms "Hispanic," "Latino," or "Spanish" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are of "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. People who do not identify with one of the specific origins listed on the questionnaire but indicate that they are of "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic, or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. Up to two write-in responses to the "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish" category were coded.

Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

Some tabulations are shown by the origin of the householder. In all cases where the origin of households, families, or occupied housing units is classified as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish, the origin of the householder is used. (For more information, see the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")

Coding of Hispanic Origin Write-in Responses
The coding of Hispanic write-in entries included an automated review, computer edit, and coding operation. There were two types of coding operations: (1) automated coding where a write-in response was automatically coded if it matched a write-in response already contained in a database known as the "master file," and (2) expert coding, which took place when a write-in response did not match an entry already on the master file, and was sent to expert coders familiar with the subject matter. During the coding process, subject-matter specialists reviewed and coded written entries from a single write-in response category on the Hispanic origin question: "Yes, Another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin."
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have Hispanic or Latino origin distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the Hispanic or Latino origin distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
Beginning in 1996, the American Community Survey question was worded "Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?" In 2008, the question wording changed to "Is this person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?" From 1999 to 2007, the Hispanic origin question provided an instruction, "Mark (X) the "No" box if not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." The 2008 question, as well as the 1996 to 1998 questions, did not have this instruction. In addition, in 2008, the "Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish" category provided examples of other Hispanic origin groups (such as "Argentinean," "Dominican," "Salvadoran"). Results from the 2003 National Census Test showed that adding the term "origin" to the Hispanic origin question and adding examples to the "Other Hispanic" category reduced reporting of generic responses such as Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish thus improving the reporting of detailed Hispanic origins. The percentage identifying as Hispanic was not affected, see "2003 National Census Test" http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/rsm2007-34.pdf