Data Dictionary: Census 1990
you are here: choose a survey survey data set table details
Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: P14. Race By Sex By Age [326]
Universe: Persons
Table Details
P14. Race By Sex By Age
Universe: Persons
Variable Label
P014_001
P014_002
P014_003
P014_004
P014_005
P014_006
P014_007
P014_008
P014_009
P014_010
P014_011
P014_012
P014_013
P014_014
P014_015
P014_016
P014_017
P014_018
P014_019
P014_020
P014_021
P014_022
P014_023
P014_024
P014_025
P014_026
P014_027
P014_028
P014_029
P014_030
P014_031
P014_032
P014_033
P014_034
P014_035
P014_036
P014_037
P014_038
P014_039
P014_040
P014_041
P014_042
P014_043
P014_044
P014_045
P014_046
P014_047
P014_048
P014_049
P014_050
P014_051
P014_052
P014_053
P014_054
P014_055
P014_056
P014_057
P014_058
P014_059
P014_060
P014_061
P014_062
P014_063
P014_064
P014_065
P014_066
P014_067
P014_068
P014_069
P014_070
P014_071
P014_072
P014_073
P014_074
P014_075
P014_076
P014_077
P014_078
P014_079
P014_080
P014_081
P014_082
P014_083
P014_084
P014_085
P014_086
P014_087
P014_088
P014_089
P014_090
P014_091
P014_092
P014_093
P014_094
P014_095
P014_096
P014_097
P014_098
P014_099
P014_100
P014_101
P014_102
P014_103
P014_104
P014_105
P014_106
P014_107
P014_108
P014_109
P014_110
P014_111
P014_112
P014_113
P014_114
P014_115
P014_116
P014_117
P014_118
P014_119
P014_120
P014_121
P014_122
P014_123
P014_124
P014_125
P014_126
P014_127
P014_128
P014_129
P014_130
P014_131
P014_132
P014_133
P014_134
P014_135
P014_136
P014_137
P014_138
P014_139
P014_140
P014_141
P014_142
P014_143
P014_144
P014_145
P014_146
P014_147
P014_148
P014_149
P014_150
P014_151
P014_152
P014_153
P014_154
P014_155
P014_156
P014_157
P014_158
P014_159
P014_160
P014_161
P014_162
P014_163
P014_164
P014_165
P014_166
P014_167
P014_168
P014_169
P014_170
P014_171
P014_172
P014_173
P014_174
P014_175
P014_176
P014_177
P014_178
P014_179
P014_180
P014_181
P014_182
P014_183
P014_184
P014_185
P014_186
P014_187
P014_188
P014_189
P014_190
P014_191
P014_192
P014_193
P014_194
P014_195
P014_196
P014_197
P014_198
P014_199
P014_200
P014_201
P014_202
P014_203
P014_204
P014_205
P014_206
P014_207
P014_208
P014_209
P014_210
P014_211
P014_212
P014_213
P014_214
P014_215
P014_216
P014_217
P014_218
P014_219
P014_220
P014_221
P014_222
P014_223
P014_224
P014_225
P014_226
P014_227
P014_228
P014_229
P014_230
P014_231
P014_232
P014_233
P014_234
P014_235
P014_236
P014_237
P014_238
P014_239
P014_240
P014_241
P014_242
P014_243
P014_244
P014_245
P014_246
P014_247
P014_248
P014_249
P014_250
P014_251
P014_252
P014_253
P014_254
P014_255
P014_256
P014_257
P014_258
P014_259
P014_260
P014_261
P014_262
P014_263
P014_264
P014_265
P014_266
P014_267
P014_268
P014_269
P014_270
P014_271
P014_272
P014_273
P014_274
P014_275
P014_276
P014_277
P014_278
P014_279
P014_280
P014_281
P014_282
P014_283
P014_284
P014_285
P014_286
P014_287
P014_288
P014_289
P014_290
P014_291
P014_292
P014_293
P014_294
P014_295
P014_296
P014_297
P014_298
P014_299
P014_300
P014_301
P014_302
P014_303
P014_304
P014_305
P014_306
P014_307
P014_308
P014_309
P014_310
P014_311
P014_312
P014_313
P014_314
P014_315
P014_316
P014_317
P014_318
P014_319
P014_320
P014_321
P014_322
P014_323
P014_324
P014_325
P014_326
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.
 
Race
The data on race were derived from answers to questionnaire item 4, which was asked of all persons. The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification; it does not denote any clear-cut scientific definition of biological stock. The data for race represent self-classification by people according to the race with which they most closely identify. Furthermore, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include both racial and national origin or socio-cultural groups.

During direct interviews conducted by enumerators, if a person could not provide a single response to the race question, he or she was asked to select, based on self-identification, the group which best described his or her racial identity. If a person could not provide a single race response, the race of the mother was used. If a single race response could not be provided for the person's mother, the first race reported by the person was used. In all cases where occupied housing units, households, or families are classified by race, the race of the householder was used.

The racial classification used by the Census Bureau generally adheres to the guidelines in Federal Statistical Directive No. 15, issued by the Office of Management and Budget, which provides standards on ethnic and racial categories for statistical reporting to be used by all Federal agencies. The racial categories used in the 1990 census data products are provided below.

Includes persons who indicated their race as "White" or reported entries such as Canadian, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.

Includes persons who indicated their race as "Black or Negro" or reported entries such as African American, Afro-American, Black Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Nigerian, West Indian, or Haitian.

American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut
Includes persons who classified themselves as such in one of the specific race categories identified below.

American Indian
Includes persons who indicated their race as "American Indian," entered the name of an Indian tribe, or reported such entries as Canadian Indian, French-American Indian, or Spanish-American Indian.

American Indian Tribe
Persons who identified themselves as American Indian were asked to report their enrolled or principal tribe. Therefore, tribal data in tabulations reflect the written tribal entries reported on the questionnaires. Some of the entries (for example, Iroquois, Sioux, Colorado River, and Flathead) represent nations or reservations.
The information on tribe is based on self-identification and therefore does not reflect any designation of Federally- or State-recognized tribe. Information on American Indian tribes is presented in summary tape files and special data products. The information is derived from the American Indian Detailed Tribal Classification List for the 1990 census. The classification list represents all tribes, bands, and clans that had a specified number of American Indians reported on the census questionnaire.

Eskimo
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Eskimo" or reported entries such as Arctic Slope, Inupiat, and Yupik.

Includes persons who indicated their race as "Aleut" or reported entries such as Alutiiq, Egegik, and Pribilovian.

Asian or Pacific Islander
Includes persons who reported in one of the Asian or Pacific Islander groups listed on the questionnaire or who provided write-in responses such as Thai, Nepali, or Tongan. A more detailed listing of the groups comprising the Asian or Pacific Islander population is presented in figure 2 below. In some data products, information is presented separately for the Asian population and the Pacific Islander population.

Includes "Chinese," "Filipino," "Japanese," "Asian Indian," "Korean," "Vietnamese," and "Other Asian." In some tables, "Other Asian" may not be shown separately, but is included in the total Asian population.

Chinese
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Chinese" or who identified themselves as Cantonese, Tibetan, or Chinese American. In standard census reports, persons who reported as "Taiwanese" or "Formosan" are included here with Chinese. In special reports on the Asian or Pacific Islander population, information on persons who identified themselves as Taiwanese are shown separately.

Filipino
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Filipino" or reported entries such as Philipino, Philipine, or Filipino American.

Japanese
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Japanese" and persons who identified themselves as Nipponese or Japanese American.

Asian Indian
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Asian Indian" and persons who identified themselves as Bengalese, Bharat, Dravidian, East Indian, or Goanese.

Korean
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Korean" and persons who identified themselves as Korean American.

Vietnamese
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Vietnamese" and persons who identified themselves as Vietnamese American.

Cambodian
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Cambodian or Cambodia.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Hmong, Laohmong, or Mong.
Laotian
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Laotian, Laos, or Lao.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Thai, Thailand, or Siamese.
Other Asian
Includes persons who provided a write-in response of Bangladeshi, Burmese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Amerasian, or Eurasian. See figure 2 for other groups comprising "Other Asian."
Pacific Islander
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Pacific Islander" by classifying themselves into one of the following groups or identifying themselves as one of the Pacific Islander cultural groups of Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian.

Hawaiian
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Hawaiian" as well as persons who identified themselves as Part Hawaiian or Native Hawaiian. Samoan--Includes persons who indicated their race as "Samoan" or persons who identified themselves as American Samoan or Western Samoan.

Guamanian
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Guamanian" or persons who identified themselves as Chamorro or Guam. Other Pacific Islander--Includes persons who provided a write-in response of a Pacific Islander group such as Tahitian, Northern Mariana Islander, Palauan, Fijian, or a cultural group such as Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian. See figure 2 for other groups comprising "Other Pacific Islander."

Other Race
Includes all other persons not included in the "White," "Black," "American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut," and the "Asian or Pacific Islander" race categories described above. Persons reporting in the "Other race" category and providing write-in entries such as multiracial, multiethnic, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Spanish/Hispanic origin group (such as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican) are included here.

Written entries to three categories on the race item--"Indian (Amer.)," "Other Asian or Pacific Islander (API)," and "Other race"--were reviewed, edited, and coded by subject matter specialists. (For more information on the coding operation, see the section below that discusses "Comparability.")

The written entries under "Indian (Amer.)" and "Other Asian or Pacific Islander (API)" were reviewed and coded during 100-percent processing of the 1990 census questionnaires. A substantial portion of the entries for the "Other race" category also were reviewed, edited, and coded during the 100-percent processing. The remaining entries under "Other race" underwent review and coding during sample processing. Most of the written entries reviewed and coded during sample processing were those indicating Hispanic origin such as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican.

If the race entry for a member of a household was missing on the questionnaire, race was assigned based upon the reported entries of race by other household members using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. For example, if race was missing for the daughter of the householder, then the race of her mother (as female householder or female spouse) would be assigned. If there was no female householder or spouse in the household, the daughter would be assigned her father's (male householder) race. If race was not reported for anyone in the household, the race of a householder in a previously processed household was assigned. This procedure is a variation of the general imputation procedures described in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.

Limitation of the Data
In the 1980 census, a relatively high proportion (20 percent) of American Indians did not report any tribal entry in the race item. Evaluation of the pre-census tests indicated that changes made for the 1990 race item should improve the reporting of tribes in the rural areas (especially on reservations) for the 1990 census. The results for urban areas were inconclusive. Also, the precensus tests indicated that there may be overreporting of the Cherokee tribe. An evaluation of 1980 census data showed overreporting of Cherokee in urban areas or areas where the number of American Indians was sparse.

In the 1990 census, respondents sometimes did not fill in a circle or filled the "Other race" circle and wrote in a response, such as Arab, Polish, or African American in the shared write-in box for "Other race" and "Other API" responses. During the automated coding process, these responses were edited and assigned to the appropriate racial designation. Also, some Hispanic origin persons did not fill in a circle, but provided entries such as Mexican or Puerto Rican. These persons were classified in the "Other race" category during the coding and editing process. There may be some minor differences between sample data and 100- percent data because sample processing included additional edits not included in the 100-percent processing.

Figure 2. Asian or Pacific Islander Groups Reported in the 1990 Census
Asian Pacific Islander
Chinese Hawaiian
Filipino Samoan
Japanese Guamanian
Asian Indian Other Pacific Islander[1]
Korean   Carolinian
Vietnamese   Fijian
Cambodian   Kosraean [3]
Hmong   Melanesian
Laotian   Micronesian [3]
Thai   Northern Mariana Islander
Other Asian [1]   Palauan
  Bangladeshi   Papua Now Guinean
  Bhutanese   Ponapean (Pohnpeian)
  Borneo   Polynesian
  Burmese   Solomon Islander
  Celebesian   Tahitian
  Ceram   Tarawa Islander
  Indochinese   Tokelauan
  Indonesian   Tongan
  Iwo-Jiman   Trukese (Chuukese)
  Javanese   Yapese
  Malayan   Pacific Islander, not speclied
  Maldivian
  Nepali
  Okinawan
  Pakistani
  Sikkim
  Singaporean
  Sri Lankan
  Sumatran
  Asian, not specified


(1)In some data products, specific groups listed under "Other Asian" or "Other Pacific Islander" are shown separately. Groups not shown are tabulated as "All other Asian" or "All other Pacific Islander," respectively.
(2)Includes entries such as Asian American, Asian, Asiatic, Amerasian, and Eurasian.
(3)Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian are Pacific Islander cultural groups.

Comparability
Differences between the 1990 census and earlier censuses affect the comparability of data for certain racial groups and American Indian tribes. The 1990 census was the first census to undertake, on a 100- percent basis, an automated review, edit, and coding operation for written responses to the race item. The automated coding system used in the 1990 census greatly reduced the potential for error associated with a clerical review. Specialists with a thorough knowledge of the race subject matter reviewed, edited, coded, and resolved inconsistent or incomplete responses. In the 1980 census, there was only a limited clerical review of the race responses on the 100-percent forms with a full clerical review conducted only on the sample questionnaires.

Another major difference between the 1990 and preceding censuses is the handling of the write-in responses for the Asian or Pacific Islander populations. In addition to the nine Asian or Pacific Islander categories shown on the questionnaire under the spanner "Asian or Pacific Islander (API)," the 1990 census race item provided a new residual category, "Other API," for Asian or Pacific Islander persons who did not report in one of the listed Asian or Pacific Islander groups. During the coding operation, write-in responses for "Other API" were reviewed, coded, and assigned to the appropriate classification. For example, in 1990, a write-in entry of Laotian, Thai, or Javanese is classified as "Other Asian," while a write-in entry of Tongan or Fijian is classified as "Other Pacific Islander." In the 1990 census, these persons were able to identify as "Other API" in both the 100-percent and sample operations.

In the 1980 census, the nine Asian or Pacific Islander groups were also listed separately. However, persons not belonging to these nine groups wrote in their specific racial group under the "Other" race category. Persons with a written entry such as Laotian, Thai, or Tongan, were tabulated and published as "Other race" in the 100- percent processing operation in 1980, but were reclassified as "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" in 1980 sample tabulations. In 1980 special reports on the Asian or Pacific Islander populations, data were shown separately for "Other Asian" and "Other Pacific Islander."

The 1970 questionnaire did not have separate race categories for Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Samoan, and Guamanian. These persons indicated their race in the "Other" category and later, through the editing process, were assigned to a specific group. For example, in 1970, Asian Indians were reclassified as "White," while Vietnamese, Guamanians, and Samoans were included in the "Other" category.

Another difference between 1990 and preceding censuses is the approach taken when persons of Spanish/Hispanic origin did not report in a specific race category but reported as "Other race" or "Other." These persons commonly provided a write-in entry such as Mexican, Venezuelan, or Latino. In the 1990 and 1980 censuses, these entries remained in the "Other race" or "Other" category, respectively. In the 1970 census, most of these persons were included in the "White" category.

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.
 
Sex
The data on sex were derived from answers to questionnaire item 3, which was asked of all persons. For most cases in which sex was not reported, it was determined by the appropriate entry from the person's given name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age and marital status of the person. For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.

Sex Ratio
A measure derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females and multiplying by 100.

Comparability
A question on the sex of individuals has been asked of the total population in every census.

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.
 
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 complete years as of April 1, 1990. The age response in question 5a was used normally 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 for the 1990 census.

Review of detailed 1990 census 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 complete 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.)