Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: P41. Group Quarters By Age [9]
Universe: Persons in group quarters
Table Details
P41. Group Quarters By Age
Universe: Persons in group quarters
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.
 
Group Quarters
All persons not living in households are classified by the Census Bureau as living in group quarters. Two general categories of persons in group quarters are recognized:
(1) institutionalized persons and
(2) other persons in group quarters (also referred to as "noninstitutional group quarters").

Institutionalized Persons
Includes persons under formally authorized, supervised care or custody in institutions at the time of enumeration. Such persons are classified as "patients or inmates" of an institution regardless of the availability of nursing or medical care, the length of stay, or the number of persons in the institution. Generally, institutionalized persons are restricted to the institutional buildings and grounds (or must have passes or escorts to leave) and thus have limited interaction with the surrounding community. Also, they are generally under the care of trained staff who have responsibility for their safekeeping and supervision.

Type of Institution
The type of institution was determined as part of census enumeration activities. For institutions which specialize in only one specific type of service, all patients or inmates were given the same classification. For institutions which had multiple types of major services (usually general hospitals and Veterans' Administration hospitals), patients were classified according to selected types of wards. For example, in psychiatric wards of hospitals, patients were classified in "mental (psychiatric) hospitals"; in hospital wards for persons with chronic diseases, patients were classified in "hospitals for the chronically ill." Each patient or inmate was classified in only one type of institution. Institutions include the following types:

Correctional Institutions
Includes prisons, Federal detention centers, military stockades and jails, police lockups, halfway houses, local jails, and other confinement facilities, including work farms.

Prisons
Where persons convicted of crimes serve their sentences. In some census products, the prisons are classified by two types of control:
(1) "Federal" (operated by the Bureau of Prisons of the Department of Justice) and (2) "State." Residents who are criminally insane were classified on the basis of where they resided at the time of enumeration: (1) in institutions (or hospital wards) operated by departments of correction or similar agencies; or
(2) in institutions operated by departments of mental health or similar agencies.

Federal Detention Centers
Operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Bureau of Prisons. These facilities include detention centers used by the Park Police; Bureau of Indian Affairs Detention Centers; INS Centers, such as the INS Federal Alien Detention Facility; INS Processing Centers; and INS Contract Detention Centers used to detain aliens under exclusion or deportation proceedings, as well as those aliens who have not been placed into proceedings, such as custodial required departures; and INS Detention Centers operated within local jails, and State and Federal prisons.

Military Stockades, Jails
Operated by military police and used to hold persons awaiting trial or convicted of violating military laws.

Local Jails and Other Confinement Facilities
Includes facilities operated by counties and cities that primarily hold persons beyond arraignment, usually for more than 48 hours. Also included in this category are work farms used to hold persons awaiting trial or serving time on relatively short sentences and jails run by private businesses under contract for local governments (but not by State governments).

Police Lockups
Temporary-holding facilities operated by county and city police that hold persons for 48 hours or less only if they have not been formally charged in court.

Halfway Houses
Operated for correctional purposes and include probation and restitution centers, pre- release centers, and community-residential centers.

Other Types of Correctional Institutions
Privately operated correctional facilities and correctional facilities specifically for alcohol/drug abuse.

Nursing Homes
Comprises a heterogeneous group of places. The majority of patients are elderly, although persons who require nursing care because of chronic physical conditions may be found in these homes regardless of their age. Included in this category are skilled-nursing facilities, intermediate-care facilities, long-term care rooms in wards or buildings on the grounds of hospitals, or long-term care rooms/nursing wings in congregate housing facilities. Also included are nursing, convalescent, and rest homes, such as soldiers', sailors', veterans', and fraternal or religious homes for the aged, with or without nursing care. In some census products, nursing homes are classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State," "Private not-for-profit," and "Private for profit."

Mental (Psychiatric) Hospitals
Includes hospitals or wards for the criminally insane not operated by a prison, and psychiatric wards of general hospitals and veterans' hospitals. Patients receive supervised medical/nursing care from formally-trained staff. In some census products, mental hospitals are classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State or local," "Private," and "Ownership not known."

Hospitals for Chronically Ill
Includes hospitals for patients who require long-term care, including those in military hospitals and wards for the chronically ill located on military bases; or other hospitals or wards for the chronically ill, which include tuberculosis hospitals or wards, wards in general and Veterans' Administration hospitals for the chronically ill, neurological wards, hospices, wards for patients with Hansen's Disease (leprosy) and other incurable diseases, and other unspecified wards for the chronically ill. Patients who had no usual home elsewhere were enumerated as part of the institutional population in the wards of general and military hospitals. Most hospital patients are at the hospital temporarily and were enumerated at their usual place of residence. (For more information, see "Wards in General and Military Hospitals for Patients Who Have No Usual Home Elsewhere.")

Schools, Hospitals, or Wards for the Mentally Retarded
Includes those institutions such as wards in hospitals for the mentally retarded, and intermediate-care facilities for the mentally retarded that provide supervised medical/nursing care from formally-trained staff. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State or local," "Private," and "Ownership not known." Schools, Hospitals, or Wards for the Physically Handicapped--Includes three types of institutions: institutions for the blind, those for the deaf, and orthopedic wards and institutions for the physically handicapped. Institutions for persons with speech problems are classified with "institutions for the deaf." The category "orthopedic wards and institutions for the physically handicapped" includes those institutions providing relatively long-term care to accident victims, and to persons with polio, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Public," "Private," and "Ownership not known."

Hospitals, and Wards for Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Includes hospitals, and hospital wards in psychiatric and general hospitals. These facilities are equipped medically and designed for the diagnosis and treatment of medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Patients receive supervised medical care from formally-trained staff.

Wards in General and Military Hospitals for Patients Who Have No Usual Home Elsewhere
Includes maternity, neonatal, pediatric (including wards for boarder babies), military, and surgical wards of hospitals, and wards for persons with infectious diseases.

Juvenile Institutions
Includes homes, schools, and other institutions providing care for children (short- or long-term care). Juvenile institutions include the following types:

Homes for Abused, Dependent, and Neglected Children
Includes orphanages and other institutions which provide long-term care (usually more than 30 days) for children. This category is classified in some census products by type of ownership as "Public" and "Private."

Residential Treatment Centers
Includes those institutions which primarily serve children who, by clinical diagnosis, are moderately or seriously disturbed emotionally. Also, these institutions provide long-term treatment services, usually supervised or directed by a psychiatrist.

Training Schools for Juvenile Delinquents
Includes residential training schools or homes, and industrial schools, camps, or farms for juvenile delinquents.

Public Training Schools for Juvenile Delinquents
Usually operated by a State agency (for example, department of welfare, corrections, or a youth authority). Some are operated by county and city governments. These public training schools are specialized institutions serving delinquent children, generally between the ages of 10 and 17 years old, all of whom are committed by the courts.

Private Training Schools
Operated under private auspices. Some of the children they serve are committed by the courts as delinquents. Others are referred by parents or social agencies because of delinquent behavior. One difference between private and public training schools is that, by their administrative policy, private schools have control over their selection and intake.

Detention Centers
Includes institutions providing short-term care (usually 30 days or less) primarily for delinquent children pending disposition of their cases by a court. This category also covers diagnostic centers. In practice, such institutions may be caring for both delinquent and neglected children pending court disposition.

Other Persons in Group Quarters (also referred to as "noninstitutional group quarters")
Includes all persons who live in group quarters other than institutions. Persons who live in the following living quarters are classified as "other persons in group quarters" when there are 10 or more unrelated persons living in the unit; otherwise, these living quarters are classified as housing units.

Rooming Houses
Includes persons residing in rooming and boarding houses and living in quarters with 10 or more unrelated persons.

Group Homes
Includes "community-based homes" that provide care and supportive services. Such places include homes for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and physically handicapped; drug/alcohol halfway houses; communes; and maternity homes for unwed mothers.

Homes for the Mentally Ill
Includes community-based homes that provide care primarily for the mentally ill. In some data products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State," "Private," and "Ownership not known." Homes which combine treatment of the physically handicapped with treatment of the mentally ill are counted as homes for the mentally ill.

Homes for the Mentally Retarded
Includes community-based homes that provide care primarily for the mentally retarded. Homes which combine treatment of the physically handicapped with treatment of the mentally retarded are counted as homes for the mentally retarded. This category is classified by type of ownership in some census products, as "Federal," "State," "Private," or "Ownership not known."

Homes for the Physically Handicapped
Includes community-based homes for the blind, for the deaf, and other community-based homes for the physically handicapped. Persons with speech problems are classified with homes for the deaf. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Public," "Private," or "Ownership not known."

Homes or Halfway Houses for Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in places that provide community-based care and supportive services to persons suffering from a drug/alcohol addiction and to recovering alcoholics and drug abusers. Places providing community-based care for drug and alcohol abusers include group homes, detoxification centers, quarter-way houses (residential treatment facilities that work closely with accredited hospitals), halfway houses, and recovery homes for ambulatory, mentally competent recovering alcoholics and drug abusers who may be re-entering the work force.

Maternity Homes for Unwed Mothers
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in places that provide domestic care for unwed mothers and their children. These homes may provide social services and post-natal care within the facility, or may make arrangements for women to receive such services in the community. Nursing services are usually available in the facility.

Other Group Homes
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in communes, foster care homes, and job corps centers with 10 or more unrelated persons. These types of places provide communal living quarters, generally for persons who have formed their own community in which they have common interests and often share or own property jointly.

Religious Group Quarters
Includes, primarily, group quarters for nuns teaching in parochial schools and for priests living in rectories. It also includes other convents and monasteries, except those associated with a general hospital or an institution.

College Quarters Off Campus
Includes privately-owned rooming and boarding houses off campus, if the place is reserved exclusively for occupancy by college students and if there are 10 or more unrelated persons. In census products, persons in this category are classified as living in a college dormitory.
Persons residing in certain other types of living arrangements are classified as living in "noninstitutional group quarters" regardless of the number of people sharing the unit. These include persons residing in the following types of group quarters:

College Dormitories
Includes college students in dormitories (provided the dormitory is restricted to students who do not have their families living with them), fraternity and sorority houses, and on-campus residential quarters used exclusively for those in religious orders who are attending college. Students in privately-owned rooming and boarding houses off campus are also included, if the place is reserved exclusively for occupancy by college-level students and if there are 10 or more unrelated persons.

Military Quarters
Includes military personnel living in barracks and dormitories on base, in transient quarters on base for temporary residents (both civilian and military), and on military ships. However, patients in military hospitals receiving treatment for chronic diseases or who had no usual home elsewhere, and persons being held in military stockades were included as part of the institutional population.

Agriculture Workers' Dormitories
Includes persons in migratory farm workers' camps on farms, bunkhouses for ranch hands, and other dormitories on farms, such as those on "tree farms."

Other Workers' Dormitories
Includes persons in logging camps, construction workers' camps, firehouse dormitories, job-training camps, energy enclaves (Alaska only), and nonfarm migratory workers' camps (for example, workers in mineral and mining camps).

Emergency Shelters for Homeless Persons(with sleeping facilities) and Visible in Street Locations
Includes persons enumerated during the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation primarily on March 20-21, 1990. Enumerators were instructed not to ask if a person was "homeless." If a person was at one of the locations below on March 20-21, the person was counted as described below. (For more information on the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation, see Appendix D, Collection and Processing Procedures.) This category is divided into four classifications:

Emergency Shelters for Homeless Persons (with sleeping facilities)
Includes persons who stayed overnight on March 20, 1990, in permanent and temporary emergency housing, missions, hotels/motels, and flophouses charging $12 or less (excluding taxes) per night; Salvation Army shelters, hotels, and motels used entirely for homeless persons regardless of the nightly rate charged; rooms in hotels and motels used partially for the homeless; and similar places known to have persons who have no usual home elsewhere staying overnight. If not shown separately, shelters and group homes that provide temporary sleeping facilities for runaway, neglected, and homeless children are included in this category in data products.

Shelters for Runaway, Neglected, and Homeless Children
Includes shelters/group homes which provide temporary sleeping facilities for juveniles.

Visible in Street Locations
Includes street blocks and open public locations designated before March 20, 1990, by city and community officials as places where the homeless congregate at night. All persons found at predesignated street sites from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and leaving abandoned or boarded-up buildings from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. on March 21, 1990, were enumerated during "street" enumeration, except persons in uniform such as police and persons engaged in obvious money-making activities other than begging or panhandling. Enumerators were instructed not to ask if a person was "homeless."

This cannot be considered a complete count of all persons living on the streets because those who were so well hidden that local people did not know where to find them were likely to have been missed as were persons moving about or in places not identified by local officials. It is also possible that persons with homes could have been included in the count of "visible in street locations" if they were present when the enumerator did the enumeration of a particular block.

Predesignated street sites include street corners, parks, bridges, persons emerging from abandoned and boarded-up buildings, noncommercial campsites (tent cities), all-night movie theaters, all-night restaurants, emergency hospital waiting rooms, train stations, airports, bus depots, and subway stations.

Shelters for Abused Women (Shelters Against Domestic Violence or Family Crisis Centers)
Includes community-based homes or shelters that provide domiciliary care for women who have sought shelter from family violence and who may have been physically abused. Most shelters also provide care for children of abused women. These shelters may provide social services, meals, psychiatric treatment, and counseling. In some census products, "shelters for abused women" are included in the category "other noninstitutional group quarters."

Dormitories for Nurses and Interns in General and Military Hospitals
Includes group quarters for nurses and other staff members. It excludes patients.

Crews of Maritime Vessels
Includes officers, crew members, and passengers of maritime U.S. flag vessels. All ocean-going and Great Lakes ships are included.
Staff Residents of Institutions
Includes staff residing in group quarters on institutional grounds who provide formally-authorized, supervised care or custody for the institutionalized population.

Other Nonhousehold Living Situations
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere enumerated during transient or "T-Night" enumeration at YMCA's, YWCA's, youth hostels, commercial and government-run campgrounds, campgrounds at racetracks, fairs, and carnivals, and similar transient sites.

Living Quarters for Victims of Natural Disasters
Includes living quarters for persons temporarily displaced by natural disasters.

Limitation of the Data
Two types of errors can occur in the classification of "types of group quarters":

Misclassification of Group Quarters
During the 1990 Special Place Prelist operation, the enumerator determined the type of group quarters associated with each special place in their assignment. The enumerator used the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List and Index to the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List to assign a two-digit code number followed by either an "I," for institutional, or an "N," for noninstitutional to each group quarters. In 1990, unacceptable group quarter codes were edited. (For more information on editing of unacceptable data, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)

No Classification (unknowns)
The imputation rate for type of institution was higher in 1980 (23.5 percent) than in 1970 (3.3 percent). Improvements were made to the 1990 Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List; that is, the inclusion of more group quarters categories and an "Index to the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List." (For more information on the allocation rates for Type of Institution, see the allocation rates in 1990 CP-1, General Population Characteristics.)

In previous censuses, allocation rates for demographic characteristics (such as age, sex, race, and marital status) of the institutional population were similar to those for the total population. The allocation rates for sample characteristics such as school enrollment, highest grade completed, income, and veteran status for the institutional and noninstitutional group quarters population have been substantially higher than the population in households at least as far back as the 1960 census. The data, however, have historically presented a reasonable picture of the institutional and noninstitutional group quarters population.

Shelter and Street Night (S-Night)
For the 1990 census "Shelter-and- Street-Night" operation, persons well hidden, moving about, or in locations enumerators did not visit were likely to be missed. The number of people missed will never be known; thus, the 1990 census cannot be considered to include a definitive count of America's total homeless population. It does, however, give an idea of relative differences among areas of the country. Other components were counted as part of regular census procedures.

The count of persons in shelters and visible on the street could have been affected by many factors. How much the factors affected the count can never be answered definitively, but some elements include:

How well enumerators were trained and how well they followed procedures.

How well the list of shelter and street locations given to the Census Bureau by the local government reflected the actual places that homeless persons stay at night.

Cities were encouraged to open temporary shelters for census night, and many did that and actively encouraged people to enter the shelters. Thus, people who may have been on the street otherwise were in shelters the night of March 20, so that the ratio of shelter-to-street population could be different than usual.

The weather, which was unusually cold in some parts of the country, could affect how likely people were to seek emergency shelter or to be more hidden than usual if they stayed outdoors.

The media occasionally interfered with the ability to do the count.

How homeless people perceived the census and whether they wanted to be counted or feared the census and hid from it.

The Census Bureau conducted two assessments of Shelter and Street Night: (1) the quality of the lists of shelters used for the Shelter-and-Street-Night operation, and (2) how well procedures were followed by census- takers for the street count in parts of five cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Phoenix). Information about these two assessments is available from the Chief, Center for Survey Methods Research, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.

Comparability
For the 1990 census, the definition of institutionalized persons was revised so that the definition of "care" only includes persons under organized medical or formally-authorized, supervised care or custody. As a result of this change to the institutional definition, maternity homes are classified as noninstitutional rather than institutional group quarters as in previous censuses. The following types of other group quarters are classified as institutional rather than noninstitutional group quarters: "halfway houses (operated for correctional purposes)" and "wards in general and military hospitals for patients who have no usual home elsewhere," which includes maternity, neonatal, pediatric, military, and surgical wards of hospitals, other-purpose wards of hospitals, and wards for infectious diseases. These changes should not significantly affect the comparability of data with earlier censuses because of the relatively small number of persons involved.

As in 1980, 10 or more unrelated persons living together were classified as living in noninstitutional group quarters. In 1970, the criteria was six or more unrelated persons.

Several changes also have occurred in the identification of specific types of group quarters. For the first time, the 1990 census identifies separately the following types of correctional institutions: persons in halfway houses (operated for correctional purposes), military stockades and jails, and police lockups. In 1990, tuberculosis hospitals or wards are included with hospitals for the chronically ill; in 1980, they were shown separately. For 1990, the noninstitutional group quarters category, "Group homes" is further classified as: group homes for drug/alcohol abuse; maternity homes (for unwed mothers), group homes for the mentally ill, group homes for the mentally retarded, and group homes for the physically handicapped. Persons living in communes, foster-care homes, and job corps centers are classified with "Other group homes" only if 10 or more unrelated persons share the unit; otherwise, they are classified as housing units.

In 1990, workers' dormitories were classified as group quarters regardless of the number of persons sharing the dorm. In 1980, 10 or more unrelated persons had to share the dorm for it to be classified as a group quarters. In 1960, data on persons in military barracks were shown only for men. In subsequent censuses, they include both men and women.

In 1990 census data products, the phrase "inmates of institutions" was changed to "institutionalized persons." Also, persons living in noninstitutional group quarters were referred to as "other persons in group quarters," and the phrase "staff residents" was used for staff living in institutions.

In 1990, there are additional institutional categories and noninstitutional group quarters categories compared with the 1980 census. The institutional categories added include "hospitals and wards for drug/alcohol abuse" and "military hospitals for the chronically ill." The noninstitutional group quarters categories added include emergency shelters for homeless persons; shelters for runaway, neglected, and homeless children; shelters for abused women; and visible-in-street locations. Each of these noninstitutional group quarters categories was enumerated on March 20-21, 1990, during the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation. (For more information on the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation, see Appendix D, Collection and Processing Procedures.)

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.)