Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: H55. Mortgage Status And Selected Monthly Owner Costs for Hispanic origin [14]
Universe: Specified owner-occupied housing units with householder of Hispanic origin
Table Details
H55. Mortgage Status And Selected Monthly Owner Costs for Hispanic origin
Universe: Specified owner-occupied housing units with householder of Hispanic origin
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.
 
Mortgage Status
The data on mortgage status were obtained from questionnaire items H23a and H24a, which were asked at owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. "Mortgage" refers to all forms of debt where the property is pledged as security for repayment of the debt. It includes such debt instruments as deeds of trust, trust deeds, contracts to purchase, land contracts, junior mortgages and home equity loans.

A mortgage is considered a first mortgage if it has prior claim over any other mortgage or if it is the only mortgage on the property. All other mortgages, (second, third, etc.) are considered junior mortgages. A home equity loan is generally a junior mortgage. If no first mortgage is reported, but a junior mortgage or home equity loan is reported, then the loan is considered a first mortgage.

In most census data products, the tabulations for "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." The category "not mortgaged" is comprised of housing units owned free and clear of debt.

Comparability
A question on mortgage status was included in the 1940 and 1950 censuses, but not in the 1960 and 1970 censuses. The item was reinstated in 1980 along with a separate question dealing with the existence of second or junior mortgages. In 1980, the mortgage status questions were asked at owner-occupied one-family houses on less than 10 acres. Excluded were mobile homes, condominiums, houses with a business or medical office, houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings. In 1990, the questions were asked of all one-family owner-occupied housing units, including houses on 10 or more acres. They were also asked at mobile homes, condominiums, and houses with a business or medical office.

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.
 
Selected Monthly Owner Costs
The data on selected monthly owner costs were obtained from questionnaire items H20 through H26 for a sample of owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. Selected monthly owner costs is the sum of payments for mortgages, deeds of trust, contracts to purchase, or similar debts on the property (including payments for the first mortgage, second or junior mortgages, and home equity loans); real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property; utilities (electricity, gas, and water); and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). It also includes, where appropriate, the monthly condominium fee for condominiums and mobile home costs (personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees) for mobile homes.

In certain tabulations, selected monthly owner costs are presented separately for specified owner-occupied housing units (owner-occupied one-family houses on fewer than 10 acres without a business or medical office on the property), owner-occupied condominiums, and owner-occupied mobile homes. Data usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged."

Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs
This measure is rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

Comparability
The components of selected monthly owner costs were collected for the first time in 1980. The 1990 tabulations of selected monthly owner costs for specified owner-occupied housing units are virtually identical to 1980, the primary difference was the amounts of the first and second mortgages were collected in separate questions in 1990, while the amounts were collected in a single question in 1980. The component parts of the item were tabulated for mobile homes and condominiums for the first time in 1990.

In 1980, costs for electricity and gas were collected as average monthly costs. In 1990, all utility and fuel costs were collected as yearly costs and divided by 12 to provide an average monthly cost.

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.
 
Hispanic Origin
The data on Spanish/Hispanic origin were derived from answers to questionnaire item 7, which was asked of all persons. Persons of Hispanic origin are those who classified themselves in one of the specific Hispanic origin categories listed on the questionnaire--"Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban"--as well as those who indicated that they were of "other Spanish/Hispanic" origin. Persons of "Other Spanish/Hispanic" origin are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic, or they are persons of Hispanic origin identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. Write-in responses to the "other Spanish/Hispanic" category were coded only for sample data.

Origin can be viewed as the ancestry, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Some tabulations are shown by the Hispanic origin of the householder. In all cases where households, families, or occupied housing units are classified by Hispanic origin, the Hispanic origin of the householder is used. (See the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")

During direct interviews conducted by enumerators, if a person could not provide a single origin response, he or she was asked to select, based on self-identification, the group which best described his or her origin or descent. If a person could not provide a single group, the origin of the person's mother was used. If a single group could not be provided for the person's mother, the first origin reported by the person was used.

If any household member failed to respond to the Spanish/Hispanic origin question, a response was assigned by the computer according to the reported entries of other household members by using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. In the processing of sample questionnaires, responses to other questions on the questionnaire, such as ancestry and place of birth, were used to assign an origin before any reference was made to the origin reported by other household members. If an origin was not entered for any household member, an origin was assigned from another household according to the race of the householder. This procedure is a variation of the general imputation process described in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.

Comparability
There may be differences between the total Hispanic origin population based on 100-percent tabulations and sample tabulations. Such differences are the result of sampling variability, nonsampling error, and more extensive edit procedures for the Spanish/Hispanic origin item on the sample questionnaires. (For more information on sampling variability and nonsampling error, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)

The 1990 data on Hispanic origin are generally comparable with those for the 1980 census. However, there are some differences in the format of the Hispanic origin question between the two censuses. For 1990, the word "descent" was deleted from the 1980 wording. In addition, the term "Mexican-Amer." used in 1980 was shortened further to "Mexican-Am." to reduce misreporting (of "American") in this category detected in the 1980 census. Finally, the 1990 question allowed those who reported as "other Spanish/Hispanic" to write in their specific Hispanic origin group.

Misreporting in the "Mexican-Amer." category of the 1980 census item on Spanish/Hispanic origin may affect the comparability of 1980 and 1990 census data for persons of Hispanic origin for certain areas of the country. An evaluation of the 1980 census item on Spanish/Hispanic origin indicated that there was misreporting in the Mexican origin category by White and Black persons in certain areas. The study results showed evidence that the misreporting occurred in the South (excluding Texas), the Northeast (excluding the New York City area), and a few States in the Midwest Region. Also, results based on available data suggest that the impact of possible misreporting of Mexican origin in the 1980 census was severe in those portions of the above-mentioned regions where the Hispanic origin population was generally sparse. However, national 1980 census data on the Mexican origin population or total Hispanic origin population at the national level was not seriously affected by the reporting problem. (For a more detailed discussion of the evaluation of the 1980 census Spanish/Hispanic origin item, see the 1980 census Supplementary Reports.)

The 1990 and 1980 census data on the Hispanic population are not directly comparable with 1970 Spanish origin data because of a number of factors: (1) overall improvements in the 1980 and 1990 censuses, (2) better coverage of the population, (3) improved question designs, and (4) an effective public relations campaign by the Census Bureau with the assistance of national and community ethnic groups.

Specific changes in question design between the 1980 and 1970 censuses included the placement of the category "No, not Spanish/Hispanic" as the first category in that question. (The corresponding category appeared last in the 1970 question.) Also, the 1970 category "Central or South American" was deleted because in 1970 some respondents misinterpreted the category; furthermore, the designations "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" were added to the Spanish/Hispanic origin question in 1980. In the 1970 census, the question on Spanish origin was asked of only a 5-percent sample of the population.