Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: H27. Tenure By Year Structure Built [19]
Universe: Occupied housing units
Table Details
H27. Tenure By Year Structure Built
Universe: Occupied housing units
Variable Label
H027_001
H027_002
H027_003
H027_004
H027_005
H027_006
H027_007
H027_008
H027_009
H027_010
H027_011
H027_012
H027_013
H027_014
H027_015
H027_016
H027_017
H027_018
H027_019
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.
 
Tenure
The data for tenure were obtained from questionnaire item H4, which was asked at all occupied housing units. All occupied housing units are classified as either owner occupied or renter occupied.

Owner Occupied
A housing unit is owner occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for. The owner or co-owner must live in the unit and usually is the person listed in column 1 of the questionnaire. The unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan" if it is being purchased with a mortgage or some other debt arrangement such as a deed of trust, trust deed, contract to purchase, land contract, or purchase agreement. The unit is also considered owned with a mortgage if it is built on leased land and there is a mortgage on the unit.

A housing unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage)" if there is no mortgage or other similar debt on the house, apartment, or mobile home including units built on leased land if the unit is owned outright without a mortgage. Although owner-occupied units are divided between mortgaged and owned free and clear on the questionnaire, census data products containing 100-percent data show only total owner-occupied counts. More extensive mortgage information was collected on the long-form questionnaire and are shown in census products containing sample data. (For more information, see the discussion under "Mortgage Status.")

Renter Occupied
All occupied housing units which are not owner occupied, whether they are rented for cash rent or occupied without payment of cash rent, are classified as renter occupied. "No cash rent" units are separately identified in the rent tabulations. Such units are generally provided free by friends or relatives or in exchange for services such as resident manager, caretaker, minister, or tenant farmer. Housing units on military bases also are classified in the "No cash rent" category. "Rented for cash rent" includes units in continuing care, sometimes called life care arrangements. These arrangements usually involve a contract between one or more individuals and a health services provider guaranteeing the individual shelter, usually a house or apartment, and services, such as meals or transportation to shopping or recreation.

Comparability
Data on tenure have been collected since 1890. In 1970, the question on tenure also included a category for condominium and cooperative ownership. In 1980, condominium units and cooperatives were dropped from the tenure item, and since 1980, only condominium units are identified in a separate question. For 1990, the response categories were expanded to allow the respondent to report whether the unit was owned with a mortgage or free and clear (without a mortgage). The distinction between units owned with a mortgage and units owned free and clear was added in 1990 to improve the count of owner-occupied units. Research after the 1980 census indicated some respondents did not consider their units owned if they had a mortgage.

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.
 
Year Structure Built
The data on year structure built were obtained from questionnaire item H17, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. Data on year structure built refer to when the building was first constructed, not when it was remodeled, added to, or converted. For housing units under construction that met the housing unit definition--that is, all exterior windows, doors, and final usable floors were in place--the category "1989 or March 1990" was used. For a houseboat or a mobile home or trailer, the manufacturer's model year was assumed to be the year built. The figures shown in census data products relate to the number of units built during the specified periods that were still in existence at the time of enumeration.

Median Year Structure Built
The median divides the distribution into two equal parts. The median is rounded to the nearest calendar year. Median age of housing can be obtained by subtracting median year structure built from 1990. For example, if the median year structure built is 1957, the median age of housing in that area is 33 years (1990 minus 1957).

Limitation of the Data--Data on year structure built are more susceptible
to errors of response and nonreporting than data on many other items because respondents must rely on their memory or on estimates by persons who have lived in the neighborhood a long time. Available evidence indicates there is underreporting in the older-year-structure- built categories, especially "Built in 1939 or earlier." The introduction of the "Don't know" category (see the discussion on "Comparability") may have resulted in relatively higher allocation rates. Data users should refer to the discussion in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data, and to the allocation tables.
Comparability--Data on year structure built were collected for the first
time in the 1940 census. Since then, the response categories have been modified to accommodate the 10-year period between each census. In 1990, the category, "Don't Know," was added in an effort to minimize the response error mentioned in the paragraph above on limitation of the data.