Data Dictionary: Census 2000
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Survey: Census 2000
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Families
Variable Details
P17. Family Type By Presence Of Related Children Under 18 Years By Age Of Related Children
Universe: Families
P017007 No related children under 18 years
Percent base:
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.
 
Family Type
A family includes a householder and one or more other people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A family household may contain people not related to the householder, but those people are not included as part of the householder's family in census tabulations. Thus, the number of family households is equal to the number of families, but family households may include more members than do families. A household can contain only one family for purposes of census tabulations. Not all households contain families since a household may be comprised of a group of unrelated people or of one person living alone.

Families are classified by type as either a "married-couple family" or "other family" according to the presence of a spouse. "Other family" is further broken out according to the sex of the householder. The data on family type are based on answers to questions on sex and relationship that were asked on a 100-percent basis.

Married-couple family
This category includes a family in which the householder and his or her spouse are enumerated as members of the same household.

Other family
Male householder, no wife present
This category includes a family with a male maintaining a household with no wife of the householder present.

Female householder, no husband present
This category includes a family with a female maintaining a household with no husband of the householder present.

Nonfamily household
This category includes a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only.

Average family size
A measure obtained by dividing the number of people in families by the total number of families (or family householders). In cases where this measure is tabulated by race or Hispanic origin, the race or Hispanic origin refers to that of the householder rather than to the race or Hispanic origin of each individual. Average family size is rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Related children
Related children include the sons and daughters of the householder (including natural-born, adopted, or stepchildren) and all other people under 18 years old, regardless of marital status, in the household, who are related to the householder, except the spouse of the householder. Foster children are not included since they are not related to the householder.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Age
The data on age, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to the long-form questionnaire Item 4 and short-form questionnaire Item 6. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years as of April 1, 2000. The age of the person usually was derived from their date of birth information. Their reported age was used only when date of birth information was unavailable.

Data on age are used to determine the applicability of some of the sample 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.

Median age
Median age divides the age distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median age and one-half above the median. Median age is computed on the basis of a single year of age standard distribution (see the "Standard Distributions" section under "Derived Measures"). Median age is rounded to the nearest tenth. (For more information on medians, see "Derived Measures".)

Limitation of the data
The most general limitation for many decades has been the tendency of people to overreport ages or years of birth that end in zero or 5. This phenomenon is called "age heaping." In addition, the counts in the 1970 and 1980 censuses for people 100 years old and over were substantially overstated. So also were the counts of people 69 years old in 1970 and 79 years old in 1980. Improvements have been made since then in the questionnaire design and in the imputation procedures that have minimized these problems.

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. One reason this happened was that respondents were not specifically instructed to provide their age as of April 1, 1990. Another reason was that data collection efforts continued well past the census date. 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 people in most age groups were actually 1 year younger. For most single years of age, the misstatements were largely offsetting. The problem is most pronounced at age zero because people lost to age 1 probably were not fully offset by the inclusion of babies born after April 1, 1990. Also, there may have been more rounding up to age 1 to avoid reporting age as zero years. (Age in complete months was not collected for infants under age 1.)

The reporting of age 1 year older than true age on April 1, 1990, is likely to have been greater in areas where the census data were collected later in calendar year 1990. The magnitude of this problem was much less in the 1960, 1970, and 1980 censuses where age was typically derived from respondent data on year of birth and quarter of birth.

These shortcomings were minimized in Census 2000 because age was usually calculated from exact date of birth and because respondents were specifically asked to provide their age as of April 1, 2000. (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 were 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 2000, each individual has both an age and an exact date 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, people 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 "Accuracy of the Data.")