Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: H65. Vacant Plumbing Facilities [3]
Universe: Vacant housing units
Table Details
H65. Vacant Plumbing Facilities
Universe: Vacant housing units
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.
 
Plumbing Facilities
The data on plumbing facilities were obtained from questionnaire item H10, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. Complete plumbing facilities include hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower. All three facilities must be located inside the house, apartment, or mobile home, but not necessarily in the same room. Housing units are classified as lacking complete plumbing facilities when any of the three facilities are not present.

Comparability
The 1990 data on complete plumbing facilities are not strictly comparable with the 1980 data. In 1980, complete plumbing facilities were defined as hot and cold piped water, a bathtub or shower, and a flush toilet in the housing unit for the exclusive use of the residents of that unit. In 1990, the Census Bureau dropped the requirement of exclusive use from the definition of complete plumbing facilities. Of the 2.3 million year-round housing units classified in 1980 as lacking complete plumbing for exclusive use, approximately 25 percent of these units had complete plumbing but the facilities were also used by members of another household. From 1940 to 1970, separate and more detailed questions were asked on piped water, bathing, and toilet facilities. In 1970 and 1980, the data on plumbing facilities were shown only for year-round units.