Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T102. Poverty Status In 1979 (for Persons Of Spanish Origin) [3]
Universe: Persons Of Spanish Origin For Whom Poverty Status Is Determined
Table Details
T102. Poverty Status In 1979 (for Persons Of Spanish Origin)
Universe: Persons Of Spanish Origin For Whom Poverty Status Is Determined
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
 
Poverty Status In 1979
Families and unrelated individuals are classified as above or below the poverty level by comparing their total 1979 income to an income cutoff or "poverty threshold." The income cutoffs vary by family size, number of children, and age of the family householder or unrelated individual. Poverty status is determined for all families (and, by implication, all family members). Poverty status is also determined for persons not in families, except for inmates of institutions, members of the Armed Forces living in barracks, college students living in dormitories, and unrelated individuals under 15 years old. Poverty status is derived on a sample basis.

The 1980 census definition of poverty reflects revisions recommended by a Federal interagency committee in 1979 to a definition adopted in 1969. The index is based on the Department of Agriculture's 1961 Economy Food Plan and reflects the different consumption requirements of families based on their size and composition. It was determined from the Department of Agriculture's 1955 survey of food consumption that families .of three or more persons spend approximately one-third of their income on food; the poverty level for these families was, therefore, set at three times the cost of the economy food plan. For smaller families and persons living alone, the cost of the economy food plan was multiplied by factors that were slightly higher in order to compensate for the relatively larger fixed expenses of these smaller households. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Cutoffs for 1979 income used in poverty statistics in the 1980 census are presented below. As an example, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two related children under 18 can be found in the chart below to be $7,356 in 1979.



Poverty thresholds are computed on a national basis only. No attempt has been made to adjust these thresholds for regional, State, or other local variations in the cost of living.

The poverty status of a person who is a family member is determined by the family income and its relationship to the appropriate poverty threshold for that family. The poverty status of an unrelated individual is determined by his or her own income in relation to the appropriate poverty threshold. Thus, two unrelated individuals living together may not have the same poverty status.

Households below the poverty level are defined as households in which the total income of the family or the householder of a nonfamily household is below the poverty level. The incomes of persons in the household other than members of the family or other than the householder in a nonfamily household are not taken into account when determining poverty status of a household.

Because the poverty levels currently in use by the Federal Government do not meet all the needs of the analysts of the data, variations of the poverty definition are available in terms of various multiples of the official poverty levels. The one most frequently tabulated is 125 percent of the poverty level, where a family or person may have up to 25 percent more income than normally allowed under the poverty threshold appropriate for the family size, etc.

Below poverty level ("poor")
Families or persons whose total family income or unrelated individual income in 1979 was less than the poverty threshold specified for the applicable family size, age of householder, and number of related children under 13 present. In certain tabulations, this group is further subdivided into those with income "below 75 percent of poverty level" and "between 75 and 99 percent of poverty level."

Above poverty level ("nonpoor")
Families or persons whose total family income or unrelated individual income in 1979'was equal to or greater than the poverty threshold specified for the applicable family size, etc. In certain tabulations, this group is further subdivided into those with income "between 100 and 124 percent of poverty level," "between 125 and 149 percent of poverty level," "between 150 and 174 percent of poverty level, "between 175 and 199 percent of poverty level," and "200 percent of poverty level and above."

Limitations
The team "poverty" connotes a complex set of economic, social, and psychological conditions. The standard statistical definition provides only estimates of economic poverty based on the receipt of money income before taxes. Excluded from the income concept is a measure of the benefits derived from the receipt of in-kind government transfers, such as food stamps, medicaid, and public housing; private transfers such as health insurance premiums paid by employers; the value of the services obtained from the ownership of assets, such as owner-occupied housing units; and the receipt of money from the sale of property, withdrawal of bank deposits, gifts and money borrowed. A comprehensive review of the current poverty definition and its limitations can be found in The Mea sure of Poverty, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, April 1976. See also the discussion of limitations under Income In 1979.

Historical comparability
Poverty statistics were first included in a decennial census in 1970. Prior to 1980 the poverty thresholds did not distinguish among families with 7, 8, and 9 or more persons; on the other hand, the cutoffs were further differentiated by the sex of the family head or unrelated individual and by farm/nonfarm residence. In the 1970 census, the thresholds for farm residents were set at 85 percent of the thresholds for nonfarm residents. 1979 income thresholds used in the 1980 census represent a weighted average of the nonfarm thresholds used in the past male headed and female headed families. The elimination of the 85-percent threshold for farm families increased the farm population classified as poor by about 174,000 persons or about one-fifth nationwide. The net effect of all three changes on the total number of poor persons is to increase it approximately 380,000 or 1.5 percent.

Since the poverty income cutoffs have been adjusted each year for changes in the CPI, and since the overall impact of the definitional changes is minimal, 1980 census poverty figures for the total and nonfarm population should be reasonably comparable to the 1970 poverty figures. However, because of the definitional changes cited, comparisons involving the farm population should be made with caution.

See also: "Income Deficit".

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
 
Spanish Origin
Determined by a complete-count question which asks respondents to self-identify whether they are of Spanish origin or descent. If, when interviewed, the person reported a multiple origin and could not provide a single origin, the origin of the person's mother was used. If a single response was not provided for the person's mother, the first reported origin of the person was used.

Counts of the population by Spanish origin in complete-count tabulations are provisional. Final counts for Spanish origin will be determined after the sample data have been processed. The sample counts will first appear on the tape in STF 3 and in print in Characteristics of Population, General Social and Economic Characteristics, PC80-1-C reports.

Persons marking any one of the four "Spanish" categories, i.e., Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or other Spanish, are collectively referred to as "persons of Spanish origin."

In certain tabulations, persons of Spanish origin are further classified by type:

Mexican
Persons who indicated "Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano," or wrote in an entry such as "La Raza."

Puerto Rican
Persons who indicated "Puerto Rican" or wrote in an entry such as "Boricua."

Persons who indicated "Cuban."

Other Spanish
Persons who filled the circle for "other Spanish/Hispanic"; or persons who wrote in an origin or descent associated with Spain, the Dominican Republic, or any Central or South America country except Brazil or a nonspecific Spanish group such as "Spanish surnamed" or "Spanish speaking."

Preliminary evaluations of 1980 census data suggest some limited misreporting of Spanish origin.
Available evidence indicates that the misreporting mw have occurred only in selected areas with relatively small Spanish-origin populations, such as in some Southern States, but it is not apparent in those areas with the largest concentrations of Spanish-origin persons. For a fuller discussion of the reporting in the Spanish-origin item, see the forthcoming 1980 census Supplementary Report, "Persons of Spanish Origin by State: 1980" (PC80-Sl).

Historical comparability
The Spanish-origin question was asked on a l00-percent basis for the first time in 1980. A similar question was asked on the 1970 5-percent sample questionnaire. For 1980, the category "No, not Spanish/Hispanic" appeared first (the corresponding category appeared last in 1970). Also, the terms "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" are added to the term "Mexican." The category "Central or South American," included in 1970, was dropped.

Although a question on Spanish origin was included in 1970, it was not the major identifier used to classify the Hispanic population in the 1970 census as it is in 1980. Depending on the section of the country, 1970 census data for "Persons of Spanish Heritage" were variously defined as "Persons of Puerto Rican Birth or Parentage" (in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), as "Persons of Spanish language or Spanish Surname" (in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas), and as "Persons of Spanish Language" (in the remaining 42 States and the District of Columbia). "Spanish Language" referred to those persons who in 1970 reported Spanish as their mother tongue, as well as persons in families in which the household head or spouse reported Spanish as his or her mother tongue.