Data Dictionary: Census 2000
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Survey: Census 2000
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Occupied housing units
Variable Details
H36. Tenure By Year Structure Built
Universe: Occupied housing units
H036012 Renter occupied
Aggregation method:
Addition
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Tenure
The data on tenure, which was asked at all occupied housing units, were obtained from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 33 and short-form questionnaire Item 2. 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 Person 1 on 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. Mobile homes occupied by owners with installment loans balances are also included in this category.

A housing unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)" 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.

The tenure item on the Census 2000 questionnaire distinguishes between units owned with a mortgage or loan and those owned free and clear. In the sample data products, as in the 100-percent products, the tenure item provides data for total owner-occupied units. Detailed information that identifies mortgaged and nonmortgaged units are provided in other sample housing matrices. (For more information, see discussion under "Mortgage Status," "Selected Monthly Owner Costs," and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1999.")

Renter occupied
All occupied housing units that 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 service provider guaranteeing the individual shelter, usually a house or apartment, and services, such as meals or transportation to shopping or recreation. (For more information, see "Meals Included in Rent.")

Comparability
Data on tenure have been collected since 1890. For 1990, the response categories were expanded to allow the respondent to report whether the unit was owned with a mortgage or loan, 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. In Census 2000, we continued with the same tenure categories used in the 1990 census.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Year Structure Built
The data on year structure built were obtained from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 35, which was asked on a sample basis at both occupied and vacant housing units. Year structure built refers 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 "1999 or 2000" was used for tabulations. For mobile homes, houseboats, RVs, etc., the manufacturers model year was assumed to be the year built. The data 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
Median year structure built divides the distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median year structure built and one-half above the median. Median year structure built is computed on the basis of a standard distribution (see the "Standard Distributions" section under "Derived Measures"). Median year structure built is rounded to the nearest whole number. Median age of housing can be obtained by subtracting median year structure built from 2000. For example, if the median year structure built is 1967, the median age of housing in that area is 33 years (2000 minus 1967). (For more information on medians, see "Derived Measures".)

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 people who have lived in the neighborhood a long time.

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 the 1980 census, the number of units built before 1940 appeared to be underreported. In an effort to alleviate this problem, a "Don't know" category was added in 1990. Responses of "Don't know" were treated like blanks and the item was allocated from similar units by tenure and structure type. However, this led to an extremely high allocation rate for the item (28 percent). A 1996 test proved inconclusive in determining whether a "Don't know" category led to a more accurate count of older units, but the test showed the allocation rate for this item was greatly reduced by the elimination of the "Don't know" category. As a result, "Don't know" was deleted for Census 2000.