Data Dictionary: ACS 2012 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: B25088. Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs (Dollars) By Mortgage Status [3]
Universe: Universe: Owner-occupied housing units
Table Details
B25088. Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs (Dollars) By Mortgage Status
Universe: Universe: Owner-occupied housing units
Relevant Documentation:
Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs
This measure divides the selected monthly owner costs distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median selected monthly owner costs and one-half above the median. Medians are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." Median selected monthly owner costs are computed on the basis of a standard distribution. (See the "Standard Distributions" section in Appendix A.) Median selected monthly owner costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

Question/Concept History

Since 1996, the American Community Survey questions have been the same. The American Community Survey collected the monthly cost of electricity and gas, and the 12-month cost of water and sewer. Since 2004, selected monthly owner costs has been shown for all owner-occupied housing units. In previous years (1996-2003), the question was shown only for specified owner-occupied housing units.

Comparability

Caution should be used when comparing selected monthly owner costs data between the American Community Survey and Census 2000. For Census 2000, tables for both total owner-occupied housing units and specified owner-occupied housing units were released, thus comparisons can be made only when comparing the same universes between the two data sets. Additionally, for Census 2000 tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied housing units but medians were not shown.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2012 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Mortgage Status
The data on mortgage status were obtained from Housing Questions 19a and 20a in the 2012 American Community Survey. The questions were asked at owner-occupied units. "Mortgage" refers to all forms of debt where the property is pledged as security for repayment of the debt, including deeds of trust; trust deeds; contracts to purchase; land contracts; junior mortgages; and home equity loans.

A mortgage is considered a first mortgage if it has prior claim over any other mortgage or if it is the only mortgage on the property. All other mortgages (second, third, etc.) are considered junior mortgages. A home equity loan is generally a junior mortgage. If no first mortgage is reported, but a junior mortgage or home equity loan is reported, then the loan is considered a first mortgage.

In most data products, the tabulations for "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income" usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." The category "not mortgaged" is comprised of housing units owned free and clear of debt.

Mortgage status provides information on the cost of home ownership. When the data is used in conjunction with mortgage payment data, the information determines shelter costs for living quarters. These data can be used in the development of housing programs aimed to meet the needs of people at different economic levels.

Question/Concept History

Since 1996, the American Community Survey for mortgage status questions have been the same.

Comparability

Data on mortgage status in the 2012 American Community Survey can be compared to previous ACS and Census 2000 mortgage status data. For Census 2000, tables for both total owner-occupied housing units and specified owner-occupied housing units were released, thus comparisons can be made only when comparing the same universes between the two data sets.