Data Dictionary: Census 2000
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Survey: Census 2000
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: PCT35. Sex By Age By Employment Status For The Population 16+ Years [185]
Universe: Population 16 years and over
Table Details
PCT35. Sex By Age By Employment Status For The Population 16+ Years
Universe: Population 16 years and over
Variable Label
PCT035001
PCT035002
PCT035003
PCT035004
PCT035005
PCT035006
PCT035007
PCT035008
PCT035009
PCT035010
PCT035011
PCT035012
PCT035013
PCT035014
PCT035015
PCT035016
PCT035017
PCT035018
PCT035019
PCT035020
PCT035021
PCT035022
PCT035023
PCT035024
PCT035025
PCT035026
PCT035027
PCT035028
PCT035029
PCT035030
PCT035031
PCT035032
PCT035033
PCT035034
PCT035035
PCT035036
PCT035037
PCT035038
PCT035039
PCT035040
PCT035041
PCT035042
PCT035043
PCT035044
PCT035045
PCT035046
PCT035047
PCT035048
PCT035049
PCT035050
PCT035051
PCT035052
PCT035053
PCT035054
PCT035055
PCT035056
PCT035057
PCT035058
PCT035059
PCT035060
PCT035061
PCT035062
PCT035063
PCT035064
PCT035065
PCT035066
PCT035067
PCT035068
PCT035069
PCT035070
PCT035071
PCT035072
PCT035073
PCT035074
PCT035075
PCT035076
PCT035077
PCT035078
PCT035079
PCT035080
PCT035081
PCT035082
PCT035083
PCT035084
PCT035085
PCT035086
PCT035087
PCT035088
PCT035089
PCT035090
PCT035091
PCT035092
PCT035093
PCT035094
PCT035095
PCT035096
PCT035097
PCT035098
PCT035099
PCT035100
PCT035101
PCT035102
PCT035103
PCT035104
PCT035105
PCT035106
PCT035107
PCT035108
PCT035109
PCT035110
PCT035111
PCT035112
PCT035113
PCT035114
PCT035115
PCT035116
PCT035117
PCT035118
PCT035119
PCT035120
PCT035121
PCT035122
PCT035123
PCT035124
PCT035125
PCT035126
PCT035127
PCT035128
PCT035129
PCT035130
PCT035131
PCT035132
PCT035133
PCT035134
PCT035135
PCT035136
PCT035137
PCT035138
PCT035139
PCT035140
PCT035141
PCT035142
PCT035143
PCT035144
PCT035145
PCT035146
PCT035147
PCT035148
PCT035149
PCT035150
PCT035151
PCT035152
PCT035153
PCT035154
PCT035155
PCT035156
PCT035157
PCT035158
PCT035159
PCT035160
PCT035161
PCT035162
PCT035163
PCT035164
PCT035165
PCT035166
PCT035167
PCT035168
PCT035169
PCT035170
PCT035171
PCT035172
PCT035173
PCT035174
PCT035175
PCT035176
PCT035177
PCT035178
PCT035179
PCT035180
PCT035181
PCT035182
PCT035183
PCT035184
PCT035185
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Sex
The data on sex, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 3 and short-form questionnaire Item 5. Individuals were asked to mark either "male" or "female" to indicate their sex. For most cases in which sex was not reported, it was determined from the persons given (i.e., first) name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age of the person. (For more information on imputation, see "Accuracy of the Data.")

Sex ratio
A measure derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females, and then multiplying by 100. This measure is rounded to the nearest tenth.

Comparability
A question on the sex of individuals has been included in every census. Census 2000 was the first time that first name was used for imputation of cases where sex was not reported.

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.")

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
 
Employment Status
The data on employment status (referred to as labor force status in previous censuses), were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Items 21and 25, which were asked of a sample of the population 15 years old and over. The series of questions on employment status was designed to identify, in this sequence: (1) people who worked at any time during the reference week; (2) people who did not work during the reference week, but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent (excluding people on layoff); (3) people on temporary layoff who expected to be recalled to work within the next 6 months or who had been given a date to return to work, and who were available for work during the reference week; and (4) people who did not work during the reference week, who had looked for work during the reference week or the three previous weeks, and who were available for work during the reference week. (For more information, see "Reference Week.")

The employment status data shown in Census 2000 tabulations relate to people 16 years old and over. In the 1940, 1950, and 1960 censuses, employment status data were presented for people 14 years old and over. The change in the universe was made in 1970 to agree with the official measurement of the labor force as revised in January 1967 by the U.S. Department of Labor. The 1970 census was the last to show employment data for people 14 and 15 years old.

Employed
All civilians 16 years old and over who were either (1) "at work" - those who did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or (2) were "with a job but not at work" - those who did not work during the reference week, but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are people whose only activity consisted of work around their own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework) or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations. Also excluded are all institutionalized people and people on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.

Civilian employed
This term is defined exactly the same as the term "employed" above.

Unemployed
All civilians 16 years old and over were classified as unemployed if they were neither "at work" nor "with a job but not at work" during the reference week, were looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and were available to start a job. Also included as unemployed were civilians 16 years old and over who: did not work at all during the reference week, were on temporary layoff from a job, had been informed that they would be recalled to work within the next 6 months or had been given a date to return to work, and were available to return to work during the reference week, except for temporary illness. Examples of job seeking activities were:
  • Registering at a public or private employment office
  • Meeting with prospective employers
  • Investigating possibilities for starting a professional practice or opening a business
  • Placing or answering advertisements
  • Writing letters of application
  • Being on a union or professional register


Civilian labor force
Consists of people classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above.

Labor force
All people classified in the civilian labor force (i.e., "employed" and "unemployed" people), plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (people on active duty with the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).

Not in labor force
All people 16 years old and over who are not classified as members of the labor force. This category consists mainly of students, individuals taking care of home or family, retired workers, seasonal workers enumerated in an off-season who were not looking for work, institutionalized people (all institutionalized people are placed in this category regardless of any work activities they may have done in the reference week), and people doing only incidental unpaid family work (fewer than 15 hours during the reference week).

Worker
The terms "worker" and "work" appear in connection with several subjects: employment status, journey-to-work, class of worker, and work status in 1999. Their meaning varies and, therefore, should be determined by referring to the definition of the subject in which they appear.

When used in the concepts "Workers in Family," "Workers in Family in 1999," and "Full-Time,
Full-time, year-round workers
See "Work status in 1999."

Limitation of the data
The census may understate the number of employed people because people who have irregular, casual, or unstructured jobs sometimes report themselves as not working. The number of employed people "at work" is probably overstated in the census (and conversely, the number of employed "with a job, but not at work" is understated) since some people who were on vacation or sick leave erroneously reported themselves as working. This problem has no effect on the total number of employed people. The reference week for the employment data is not the same calendar week for all people. Since people can change their employment status from 1 week to another, the lack of a uniform reference week may mean that the employment data do not reflect the reality of the employment situation of any given week. (For more information, see "Reference Week.")

Note: The Census Bureau is aware there may be a problem or problems in the employment-status data of Census 2000 Summary File 3 (including tables P38, P43-P46, P149A-I, P150A-I, PCT35, PCT69A-I, and PCT70A-I). The labor force data for some places where colleges are located appear to overstate the number in the labor force, the number unemployed, and the percent unemployed, probably because of reporting or processing error. The exact cause is unknown, but the Census Bureau will continue to research the problem.

Comparability
The questionnaire items and employment status concepts for Census 2000 are essentially the same as those used in the 1970 to 1990 censuses. However, these concepts differ in many respects from those associated with the 1950 and 1960 censuses. Since employment data from the census are obtained from respondents in households, they differ from statistics based on reports from individual business establishments, farm enterprises, and certain government programs. People employed at more than one job are counted only once in the census and are classified according to the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the reference week. In statistics based on reports from business and farm establishments, people who work for more than one establishment may be counted more than once. Moreover, some establishment-based tabulations may exclude private household workers, unpaid family workers, and self-employed people, but may include workers less than 16 years old. Census tabulations count people who had a job but were not at work among the employed, but these people may be excluded from employment figures based on establishment payroll reports. Furthermore, census employment tabulations include people on the basis of place of residence regardless of where they work; whereas, establishment data report people at their place of work regardless of where they live. This latter consideration is particularly significant when comparing data for workers who commute between areas.

For several reasons, the unemployment figures of the Census Bureau are not comparable with published figures on unemployment compensation claims. For example, figures on unemployment compensation claims exclude people who have exhausted their benefit rights, new workers who have not earned rights to unemployment insurance, and people losing jobs not covered by unemployment insurance systems (including some workers in agriculture, domestic services, and religious organizations, and self-employed and unpaid family workers). In addition, the qualifications for drawing unemployment compensation differ from the definition of unemployment used by the Census Bureau. People working only a few hours during the week and people with a job, but not at work are sometimes eligible for unemployment compensation but are classified as "employed" in the census. Differences in the geographical distribution of unemployment data arise because the place where claims are filed may not necessarily be the same as the place of residence of the unemployed worker.

The figures on employment status from the decennial census are generally comparable with similar data collected in the Current Population Survey, which is the official source of the monthly national unemployment rate. However, some differences may exist because of variations between the two data sources in enumeration and processing techniques.