Data Dictionary: ACS 2007 -- 2009 (3-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Occupied housing units
Variable Details
B25042. Tenure By Bedrooms
Universe: Occupied housing units
Aggregation method:
Addition
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2007-2009 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Tenure
The data for tenure were obtained from Housing Question 14 in the 2009 American Community Survey. The question was asked at occupied housing units. Occupied housing units are classified as either owner occupied or renter occupied.

Tenure provides a measurement of home ownership, which has served as an indicator of the nations economy for decades. These data are used to aid in the distribution of funds for programs such as those involving mortgage insurance, rental housing, and national defense housing. Data on tenure allows planners to evaluate the overall viability of housing markets and to assess the stability of neighborhoods. The data also serve in understanding the characteristics of owner occupied and renter occupied units to aid builders, mortgage lenders, planning officials, government agencies, etc., in the planning of housing programs and services.

Owner Occupied
A housing unit is owner occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for. The owner or co-owner must live in the unit and usually is Person 1 on the questionnaire. The unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan" if it is being purchased with a mortgage or some other debt arrangement such as a deed of trust, trust deed, contract to purchase, land contract, or purchase agreement. The unit also is considered owned with a mortgage if it is built on leased land and there is a mortgage on the unit. Mobile homes occupied by owners with installment loan balances also are included in this category.

A housing unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)" if there is no mortgage or other similar debt on the house, apartment, or mobile home including units built on leased land if the unit is owned outright without a mortgage.

Renter Occupied
All occupied housing units which are not owner occupied, whether they are rented or occupied without payment of rent, are classified as renter occupied. "No rent paid" units are separately identified in the rent tabulations. Such units are generally provided free by friends or relatives or in exchange for services such as resident manager, caretaker, minister, or tenant farmer. Housing units on military bases also are classified in the "No rent paid" category. "Rented" includes units in continuing care, sometimes called life care arrangements. These arrangements usually involve a contract between one or more individuals and a health services provider guaranteeing the individual shelter, usually a house or apartment, and services, such as meals or transportation to shopping or recreation. (For more information, see "Meals Included in Rent.")

Question/Concept History
From 1996-2007 the American Community Survey questions were the same. Starting in 2008, the instruction "Mark (X) ONE box." was added following the question, and the instruction Include home equity loans. was added following the response category "Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan?" Additional changes introduced in 2008 included revising the wording of two of the response categories from "Rented for cash rent?" to "Rented?" and "Occupied without payment of cash rent?" to "Occupied without payment of rent?"

Comparability
Data on tenure in the American Community Survey can be compared to previous ACS and Census 2000 tenure data.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2007-2009 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Bedrooms
The data on bedrooms were obtained from Housing Question 7b in the 2009 American Community Survey. The question was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. The number of bedrooms is the count of rooms designed to be used as bedrooms, that is, the number of rooms that would be listed as bedrooms if the house, apartment, or mobile home were on the market "for sale" or "for rent". Included are all rooms intended to be used as bedrooms even if they currently are being used for some other purpose. A housing unit consisting of only one room is classified, by definition, as having no bedroom.

Bedrooms provide the basis for estimating the amount of living and sleeping spaces within a housing unit. These data allow officials to evaluate the adequacy of the housing stock to shelter the population, and to determine any housing deficiencies in neighborhoods. The data also allow officials to track the changing physical characteristics of the housing inventory over time.

Question/Concept History
The 1996-1998 American Community Survey question provided a response category for "None" and space for the respondent to enter a number of bedrooms. From 1999-2007, the question provided pre-coded response categories from "No bedroom" to "5 or more bedrooms." Starting in 2008, the question became the second part of a two-part question that linked the number of "rooms" and number of "bedrooms" questions together. In addition, the wording of the question was changed to ask, "How many of these rooms are bedrooms?" Additional changes introduced in 2008 included removing the pre-coded response categories and adding a write-in box for the respondent to enter the number of bedrooms, providing the rule to use for defining a bedroom as an instruction, and providing an additional instruction addressing efficiency and studio apartments - "If this is an efficiency/studio apartment, print '0'."

Limitation of the Data
The Census Bureau tested the changes introduced to the 2008 version of the bedrooms question in the 2006 ACS Content Test. 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 2007 to 2008, see "2006 ACS Content Test Evaluation Report Covering Rooms and Bedrooms" on the ACS website (www.census.gov/acs).

Comparability
Caution should be used when comparing American Community Survey data on bedrooms from the years 2008 and after with both pre-2008 ACS and Census 2000 data. Changes made to the bedrooms question between the 2007 and 2008 ACS involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in an inconsistency in the ACS data. This inconsistency in the data was most noticeable as an increase in "No bedroom" responses and as a decrease in "1 bedroom" to "3 bedrooms" responses.