Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T151. Aggregate Contract Rent And Rent Asked By Occupancy Status [3]
Universe: Specified Renter-Occupied Paying Cash Rent and Vacant-For-Rent Housing Units
Table Details
T151. Aggregate Contract Rent And Rent Asked By Occupancy Status
Universe: Specified Renter-Occupied Paying Cash Rent and Vacant-For-Rent Housing Units
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.
 
Rent, Gross
Contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (water, electricity, gas) and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.)to the extent that these are paid for by the renter (or paid for by a relative, welfare agency, or friend) in addition to the rent. Gross rent is calculated for "specified renter-occupied" housing units, which excludes one-family houses on 10 acres or mops. Gross rent is sometimes preferred to contract rent in comparing costs since contract rent may or may not include utilities.

While public-use microdata show gross rent in dollar amounts (up to $l, 000), the data are not that precise. One reason is that the basic component, contract rent, is reported by the respondent in terms of intervals. To calculate gross rent, the respondent report is converted to a dollar amount by taking the midpoint of the interval; for example, $55 is used for the interval "$50 to $59" ($35 is taken as the value for "less than $50"; $550 is taken as the value for "$500 or more"). To that figure is added the reported average monthly cost of electricity and gas, and one-twelfth of the reported yearly cost of water and fuels. Gross rent data are typically tabulated in the same intervals as are used for contract rent. A unit classified as "no cash rent" in contract rent is also classified that way in gross rent, even if the unit's occupants pay for utilities themselves. Gross rent is calculated on a sample basis.

Gross rent as a percentage of income
The ratio of gross rent to household income in 1979, converted to percentage form, reported for "specified renter-occupied" units, which excludes one-family homes on 10 acres or more. Data are reported as medians and in terms of the number of units in categories such as "less than 20 percent, "20 to 24 percent," "25 to 34 percent," and "35 percent or more" ', and these figures are typically cross-classified with household income. No-cash-rent units and units occupied by households reporting no income or a net loss are assigned to a "not computed" category. This item was computed on a sample basis.

Limitations
In addition to the effect of using interval midpoints, noted above, gross rent data are affected by the tendency of respondents to overstate utility costs.

Historical comparability
Gross rent data have been derived since 1940. In 1970, gross rent figures were somewhat more precise since exact dollar figures were available for contract rent. Also, in reporting a rent-to-income relationship, gross rent was computed as a percentage of family or primary individual income, not household income.

See also: "Energy Costs, Monthly Residential;" "Rent, Contract".

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.
 
Value
For owner-occupied housing units, the respondent's estimate of the current dollar worth of the property. For vacant units, value is the price asked for the property. A property is defined as the house and land on which it stands. Respondents estimated the value of house and land even if they only owned the house or owned the property jointly.

Statistics on value are shown only for owner-occupied condominium units and for "specified owner-occupied" units, i.e., one-family houses on less than 10 acres and with no business on the property. Value tabulations exclude renter-occupied units, mobile homes or trailers, houses on 10 or more acres, houses with a commercial establishment or medical office on the property, and noncondominium units in multi-family buildings (e.g., cooperatives).

When value data are presented solely for vacant units for sale only, the term "sale price asked" is substituted. In the computation of aggregate and mean value, $7,500 is taken as the average of the interval "less than $10,000." and $250,000 is taken as the average of the interval "$200,000 or more." This item was asked on a complete-count basis.

Limitations
A 1970 census evaluation study found that respondents tended to report a higher value of home in a reinterview survey, with more detailed questions, than in the census. On the other hand, a comparison of 1970 census reports of value with subsequent actual sale prices of a sample of homes sold one to two years later found that the census understated the median market value of those homes by only three percent (compared to the sale prices adjusted for inflation between the census and sale date). This result cannot be generalized to all census value data, however, since the sample was restricted to metropolitan areas, and since census respondents who were about to sell their homes may have been more aware of market values.

Historical comparability
Similar data have been collected since 1930 (and in 1920 for mortgaged nonfarms only), but value for condominiums is new for 1980. For historical comparability, tables will show condominiums and noncondominiums separately. Values for 1980 reflect increased housing prices: the highest category in 1970 was "$50,000 or more," for 1980, $200,000 or more. Also, the number of categories increased from 11 in 1970 to 24 in 1980.

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.
 
Occupancy Status
The classification of all housing units as either occupied or vacant. This item was determined on a complete-count basis.

Occupied
A housing unit occupied as the usual place of residence of a person or group of Persons living in it at the time of enumeration, or by occupants only temporarily absent such as on vacation. A household consists of all the persons who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence. If all the persons staying in the unit at the time of enumeration have their usual place of residence elsewhere, the unit is classified as vacant. Complete count figures on households and occupied housing units should match--although sample estimates of households and occupied housing units may differ because of weighting.

Vacant
A housing unit with no one living in it at the time of enumeration, unless its occupants are only temporarily absent. If, at the time of enumeration, the unit is temporarily occupied solely by persons who have a usual residence elsewhere, it is also classified as vacant.

New units not yet occupied are classified as vacant housing units if construction has reached a point where all exterior windows and doors are installed and final usable floors are in place.

Vacant units are excluded if open to the elements; that is, if the roof, walls, windows, or doors no longer protect the interior from the elements, or if there is positive evidence (such as a sign on the house or in the block) that the unit is to be demolished or is condemned. Also excluded are quarters being used entirely for nonresidential purposes, such as a store or an office, or quarters used for the storage of business supplies or inventory, machinery, or agricultural products.

Historical comparability
Similar data have been collected since 1940.

See also: "Vacancy Status".