Data Dictionary: ACS 2012 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Universe: Occupied housing units
Variable Details
B25014. Tenure By Occupants Per Room
Universe: Universe: Occupied housing units
B25014004 0.51 To 1.00 Occupants Per Room
Aggregation method:
Addition
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2012 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Tenure
The data for tenure were obtained from Housing Question 14 in the 2012 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 nation's 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 2012 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 2012 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Occupants Per Room
Occupants per room is obtained by dividing the reported number of current residents in each occupied housing unit by the number of rooms in the unit. The figures show the number of occupied units having the specified ratio of current residents per room. Occupants per room is rounded to the nearest hundredth.
This data is the basis for estimating the amount of living and sleeping spaces within a housing unit. The data also serve to aid in planning for future services and infrastructure, such as home energy assistance programs and the development of waste treatment facilities.

Comparability

Caution should be used when comparing American Community Survey data on occupants per room from the years 2008 and after with both pre-2008 data. Changes made to the rooms 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 in a 2006 content test with the revised question showing an increase in "1 room" responses, decrease in "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" responses, and increases in "7 rooms" and "9 or more" room responses, with an overall increase in the median number of rooms reported using the revised question.

Data on occupants per room in the American Community Survey should be compared with great caution to Census 2000 data due to: 1) differences in residence rules and the absence of population controls used to adjust for undercoverage in the reported number of current residents in the ACS used in this measure and 2) differences in the reported number of rooms due to changes in the rooms question between the 2007 and 2008 ACS.