Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Social Explorer
Table: T26. Marital Status For The Population 15 Years And Over [6]
Universe: Persons 15 Years And Over
Table Details
T26. Marital Status For The Population 15 Years And Over
Universe: Persons 15 Years And Over
Variable Label
T026_001
T026_002
T026_003
T026_004
T026_005
T026_006
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980 [United States]: Summary Tape File 1a [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census [producer], 1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.
 
Marital Status
All persons were asked whether they were "now married," "widowed," "divorced," "separated," or "never married." Marital status data are tabulated only for persons 15 years old and older. This item was asked on a complete-count basis.Couples who live together (unmarried persons, persons in common-law marriages, etc.) were allowed to report tile marital status they considered the most appropriate.

Single
All persons who have never been married, including persons whose only marriage was annulled.

Ever married
Persons married at the time of enumeration, including those separated, plus widowed or divorced persons.

Married, except separated
Persons whose current marriage has ended through widowhood, divorce, or separation (regardless of previous marital history). The category may also include couples who live together or persons in common-law marriages if they consider this category the most appropriate. In certain tabulations based on sample data, currently married persons are further classified as "spouse present" or "spouse absent." See below.

Separated
Persons legally separated or otherwise absent from their spouse because of marital discord. Included are persons who have been deserted or who have parted because they no longer want to live together but who have not obtained a divorce. Separated includes persons with a limited divorce.

Widowed
Widows and widowers who have not remarried.

Divorced
Includes persons who are legally divorced and who have not remarried.In selected sample tabulations, data for married and separated persons are reorganized and combined with information on the presence of the spouse in the same household.

Married
All persons whose current marriage has not ended by widowhood or divorce. Includes persons categorized as separated above.

Married, spouse present
Married persons whose wife or husband was enumerated as a member of the same household, including those whose spouse may have been temporarily absent for such reasons as travel or hospitalization.

Married, spouse absent
Married persons whose wife or husband was not enumerated as a member of the same household, and all married persons living in group quarters.

Separated
Defined above.

Other married, spouse absent
Married persons whose spouse was not enumerated as a member of the same household, excluding separated. Included are those whose spouse was employed and living away from home, absent in the Armed Forces, or an inmate of an institution.

Differences between the number of currently married males and the number of currently married females arise from the fact that some husbands and wives have their usual residence in different areas, and, in sample tabulations, from different weights applied to the data. Any differences between "now married, spouse present" males and females are due solely to sample weighting; by definition the numbers should be the same.

Historical comparability
For 1980, marital status is tabulated for persons 15 years old and older, a change from the period 1950-1970 when marital status was tabulated for persons 14 years old and over. A general marital status question has been asked in every census since 1880.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980 [United States]: Summary Tape File 1a [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census [producer], 1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.
 
Age
Age at last birthday, i.e., number of completed years from birth to April 1, 1980, based on replies to a question on month and year of birth. This item was asked on a complete-count basis.

Because of the central importance of the data on age, the question contains redundancies. The age entry on the basic tape record is derived from the FOSDIC entries of quarter and year of birth. For those persons who do not provide this information but who do provide "age at last birthday," the census enumerator or clerk uses an equivalency table to mark the appropriate FOSDIC circles. The item "age at last birthday" is used only secondarily because of the tendency of some people, in reporting their ages, to round off to "0" or "5" (and to report even rather than odd numbers). The write-in entries of month and year of birth are requested because some people have difficulty with (and therefore skip) the FOSDIC marking system in this question.

Age is tabulated by single years of age and by many different groupings such as 5-year age groups. Basic records identify single years (and quarter years on sample basic records) to 112.

Median age
Calculated as the value which divides the age distribution into two equal parts, one-half the cases falling below this value, one-half above. Median age is computed from the age intervals or groupings shown in the particular tabulation, and thus a median based on a less detailed distribution may differ slightly from a corresponding median for the same population based on a more detailed distribution. If the median falls in the terminal category, e.g., 75 years and over, the median is shown as the initial age of the category with a plus sign, e.g., 75+.

Limitations
In previous censuses, undercoverage of the population has been associated with age. Young adults, especially Black males, were missed at a higher rate than other segments of the population.

Historical comparability
Age data have been collected in each census since 1790. Counts in 1970 and 1980 for persons 100 years old and over were substantially overstated.

See also: "Age of Householder."