Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: H21. Vacant Units In Structure [11]
Universe: Vacant housing units
Table Details
H21. Vacant Units In Structure
Universe: Vacant housing units
Variable Label
H021_001
H021_002
H021_003
H021_004
H021_005
H021_006
H021_007
H021_008
H021_009
H021_010
H021_011
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Vacant Housing Units
A housing unit is vacant if no one is living in it at the time of enumeration, unless its occupants are only temporarily absent. Units temporarily occupied at the time of enumeration entirely by persons who have a usual residence elsewhere also are classified as vacant. (For more information, see discussion under "Usual Home Elsewhere.")

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 they are open to the elements; that is, the roof, walls, windows, and/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 condemned or is to be demolished. 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.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Units in Structure
The data on units in structure (also referred to as "type of structure") were obtained from questionnaire item H2, which was asked at all housing units. A structure is a separate building that either has open spaces on all sides or is separated from other structures by dividing walls that extend from ground to roof. In determining the number of units in a structure, all housing units, both occupied and vacant, are counted. Stores and office space are excluded. The statistics are presented for the number of housing units in structures of specified type and size, not for the number of residential buildings.

1-Unit, Detached
This is a 1-unit structure detached from any other house; that is, with open space on all four sides. Such structures are considered detached even if they have an adjoining shed or garage. A one-family house that contains a business is considered detached as long as the building has open space on all four sides. Mobile homes or trailers to which one or more permanent rooms have been added or built also are included.

1-Unit, Attached
This is a 1-unit structure that has one or more walls extending from ground to roof separating it from adjoining structures. In row houses (sometimes called townhouses), double houses, or houses attached to nonresidential structures, each house is a separate, attached structure if the dividing or common wall goes from ground to roof.

2 or More Units
These are units in structures containing 2 or more housing units, further categorized as units in structures with 2, 3 or 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 49, and 50 or more units.

Mobile Home or Trailer
Both occupied and vacant mobile homes to which no permanent rooms have been added are counted in this category. Mobile homes or trailers used only for business purposes or for extra sleeping space and mobile homes or trailers for sale on a dealer's lot, at the factory, or in storage are not counted in the housing inventory.

This category is for any living quarters occupied as a housing unit that does not fit the previous categories. Examples that fit this category are houseboats, railroad cars, campers, and vans.

Comparability
Data on units in structure have been collected since 1940 and on mobile homes and trailers since 1950. In 1970 and 1980, these data were shown only for year-round housing units. In 1990, these data are shown for all housing units. In 1980, the data were collected on a sample basis. The category, "Boat, tent, van, etc." was replaced in 1990 by the category "Other." In some areas, the proportion of units classified as "Other" is far larger than the number of units that were classified as "Boat, tent, van, etc." in 1980.