Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: P25. Age Of Household Members By Household Size And Household Type [11]
Universe: Households
Table Details
P25. Age Of Household Members By Household Size And Household Type
Universe: Households
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Age
The data on age were derived from answers to questionnaire item 5, which was asked of all persons. The age classification is based on the age of the person in completed years as of April 1, 1990. The age response in question 5a was normally used to represent a person's age. However, when the age response was unacceptable or unavailable, a person's age was derived from an acceptable year of birth response in question 5b.

Data on age are used to determine the applicability of other questions for a person and to classify other characteristics in census tabulations. Age data are needed to interpret most social and economic characteristics used to plan and examine many programs and policies. Therefore, age is tabulated by single years of age and by many different groupings, such as 5-year age groups.

Some tabulations are shown by the age of the householder. These data were derived from the age responses for each householder. (For more information on householder, see the discussion under "Household Type and Relationship.")

Median Age
This measure divides the age distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median value and one-half above the value. Generally, median age is computed on the basis of more detailed age intervals than are shown in some census publications; 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. (For more information on medians, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")

Limitation of the Data
Counts in 1970 and 1980 for persons 100 years old and over were substantially overstated. Improvements were made in the questionnaire design, in the allocation procedures, and to the respondent instruction guide to attempt to minimize this problem in 1990.

Review of detailed 1990 information indicated that respondents tended to provide their age as of the date of completion of the questionnaire, not their age as of April 1, 1990. In addition, there may have been a tendency for respondents to round their age up if they were close to having a birthday. It is likely that approximately 10 percent of persons in most age groups are actually 1 year younger. For most single years of age, the misstatements are largely offsetting. The problem is most pronounced at age 0 because persons lost to age 1 may not have been fully offset by the inclusion of babies born after April 1, 1990 and because there may have been more rounding up to age 1 to avoid reporting age as 0 years. (Age in completed months was not collected for infants under age 1.)

The reporting of age 1 year older than age on April 1, 1990 is likely to have been greater in areas where the census data were collected later in 1990. The magnitude of this problem was much less in the three previous censuses where age was typically derived from respondent data on year of birth and quarter of birth. (For more information on the design of the age question, see the section below that discusses "Comparability.")

Comparability
Age data have been collected in every census. For the first time since 1950, the 1990 data are not available by quarter year of age. This change was made so that coded information could be obtained for both age and year of birth. In each census since 1940, the age of a person was assigned when it was not reported. In censuses before 1940, with the exception of 1880, persons of unknown age were shown as a separate category. Since 1960, assignment of unknown age has been performed by a general procedure described as "imputation." The specific procedures for imputing age have been different in each census. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Household Type and Relationship
Household
A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit. A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements.

In 100-percent tabulations, the count of households or householders always equals the count of occupied housing units. In sample tabulations, the numbers may differ as a result of the weighting process.

Persons Per Household
A measure obtained by dividing the number of persons in households by the number of households (or householders). In cases where persons in households are cross-classified by race or Hispanic origin, persons in the household are classified by the race or Hispanic origin of the householder rather than the race or Hispanic origin of each individual.

Relationship to Householder
Householder
The data on relationship to householder were derived from answers to questionnaire item 2, which was asked of all persons in housing units. One person in each household is designated as the householder. In most cases, this is the person, or one of the persons, in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented and who is listed in column 1 of the census questionnaire. If there is no such person in the household, any adult household member 15 years old and over could be designated as the householder.

Households are classified by type according to the sex of the householder and the presence of relatives. Two types of householders are distinguished: a family householder and a nonfamily householder. A family householder is a householder living with one or more persons related to him or her by birth, marriage, or adoption. The householder and all persons in the household related to him or her are family members. A nonfamily householder is a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only.

Spouse
Includes a person married to and living with a householder. This category includes persons in formal marriages, as well as persons in common-law marriages.
The number of spouses is equal to the number of "married-couple families" or "married-couple households" in 100-percent tabulations. The number of spouses, however, is generally less than half of the number of "married persons with spouse present" in sample tabulations, since more than one married couple can live in a household, but only spouses of householders are specifically identified as "spouse." For sample tabulations, the number of "married persons with spouse present" includes married-couple subfamilies and married-couple families.

Child
Includes a son or daughter by birth, a stepchild, or adopted child of the householder, regardless of the child's age or marital status. The category excludes sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and foster children.

Natural-Born or Adopted Son/Daughter
A son or daughter of the householder by birth, regardless of the age of the child. Also, this category includes sons or daughters of the householder by legal adoption, regardless of the age of the child. If the stepson/stepdaughter of the householder has been legally adopted by the householder, the child is still classified as a stepchild.

Stepson/Stepdaughter
A son or daughter of the householder through marriage but not by birth, regardless of the age of the child. If the stepson/stepdaughter of the householder has been legally adopted by the householder, the child is still classified as a stepchild.

Own Child
A never-married child under 18 years who is a son or daughter by birth, a stepchild, or an adopted child of the householder. In certain tabulations, own children are further classified as living with two parents or with one parent only. Own children of the householder living with two parents are by definition found only in married-couple families. In a subfamily, an "own child" is a never-married child under 18 years of age who is a son, daughter, stepchild, or an adopted child of a mother in a mother-child subfamily, a father in a father-child subfamily, or either spouse in a married-couple subfamily.

"Related children" in a family include own children and all other persons under 18 years of age in the household, regardless of marital status, who are related to the householder, except the spouse of the householder. Foster children are not included since they are not related to the householder.

Other Relatives
In tabulations, includes any household member related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption, but not included specifically in another relationship category. In certain detailed tabulations, the following categories may be shown:

Grandchild .
The grandson or granddaughter of the householder

Brother/Sister
The brother or sister of the householder, including stepbrothers, stepsisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption. Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are included in the "Other relative" category on the questionnaire.

Parent
The father or mother of the householder, including a stepparent or adoptive parent. Fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law are included in the "Other relative" category on the questionnaire.

Other Relatives
Anyone not listed in a reported category above who is related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption (brother-in-law, grandparent, nephew, aunt, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, cousin, and so forth).
Nonrelatives
Includes any household member, including foster children not related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. The following categories may be presented in more detailed tabulations:

Roomer, Boarder, or Foster Child
Roomer, boarder, lodger, and foster children or foster adults of the householder.

Housemate or Roommate
A person who is not related to the householder and who shares living quarters primarily in order to share expenses.

Unmarried Partner
A person who is not related to the householder, who shares living quarters, and who has a close personal relationship with the householder.

Other Nonrelatives
A person who is not related by birth, marriage, or adoption to the householder and who is not described by the categories given above.
When relationship is not reported for an individual, it is imputed according to the responses for age, sex, and marital status for that person while maintaining consistency with responses for other individuals in the household. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)

Unrelated Individual
An unrelated individual is: (1) a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only, (2) a household member who is not related to the householder, or (3) a person living in group quarters who is not an inmate of an institution.

Family Type
A family consists of a householder and one or more other persons living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All persons in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A household can contain only one family for purposes of census tabulations. Not all households contain families since a household may comprise a group of unrelated persons or one person living alone. Families are classified by type as either a "married couple family" or "other family" according to the sex of the householder and the presence of relatives. The data on family type are based on answers to questions on sex and relationship which were asked on a 100-percent basis.

Married-Couple Family
A family in which the householder and his or her spouse are enumerated as members of the same household.

Other Family:
Male Householder, No Wife Present
A family with a male householder and no spouse of householder present.

Female Householder, No Husband Present
A family with a female householder and no spouse of householder present.

Persons Per Family
A measure obtained by dividing the number of persons in families by the total number of families (or family householders). In cases where the measure, "persons in family" or "persons per family" are cross-tabulated by race or Hispanic origin, the race or Hispanic origin refers to the householder rather than the race or Hispanic origin of each individual.

Subfamily
A subfamily is a married couple (husband and wife enumerated as members of the same household) with or without never-married children under 18 years old, or one parent with one or more never-married children under 18 years old, living in a household and related to, but not including, either the householder or the householder's spouse. The number of subfamilies is not included in the count of families, since subfamily members are counted as part of the householder's family. Subfamilies are defined during processing of sample data. In selected tabulations, subfamilies are further classified by type: married-couple subfamilies, with or without own children; mother-child subfamilies; and father-child subfamilies.

Lone parents include people maintaining either one parent families or one-parent subfamilies. Married couples include husbands and wives in both married-couple families and married-couple subfamilies.

Unmarried-Partner Household
An unmarried-partner household is a household other than a "married-couple household" that includes a householder and an "unmarried partner." An "unmarried partner" can be of the same sex or of the opposite sex of the householder. An "unmarried partner" in an "unmarried partner household" is an adult who is unrelated to the householder, but shares living quarters and has a close personal relationship with the householder.

Unmarried-Couple Household
An unmarried-couple household is composed of two unrelated adults of the opposite sex (one of whom is the householder) who share a housing unit with or without the presence of children under 15 years old.

Foster Children
Foster children are nonrelatives of the householder and are included in the category, "Roomer, boarder, or foster child" on the questionnaire. Foster children are identified as persons under 18 years old and living in households that have no nonrelatives 18 years old and over (who might be parents of the nonrelatives under 18).

Stepfamily
A stepfamily is a "married-couple family" with at least one stepchild of the householder present, where the householder is the husband.

Comparability
The 1990 definition of a household is the same as that used in 1980. The 1980 relationship category "Son/daughter" has been replaced by two categories, "Natural-born or adopted son/daughter" and "Stepson/stepdaughter." "Grandchild" has been added as a separate category. The 1980 nonrelative categories: "Roomer, boarder" and "Partner, roommate" have been replaced by the categories "Roomer, boarder, or foster child," "Housemate, roommate," and "Unmarried partner." The 1980 nonrelative category "Paid employee" has been dropped.