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Data Dictionary: ACS 2009 (3-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Households
Variable Details
B19058. Public Assistance Income or Food Stamps/Snap in the Past 12 Months For Households
Universe: Households
B19058002 With cash public assistance or Food Stamps/SNAP
Aggregation method:
Relevant Documentation:
A household includes all the people who occupy a housing unit. (People not living in households are classified as living in group quarters.) A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other people in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated people who share living arrangements.

Public assistance income
Public assistance income includes general assistance and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Separate payments received for hospital or other medical care (vendor payments) are excluded. This does not include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or noncash benefits such as Food Stamps. The terms "public assistance income" and "cash public assistance" are used interchangeably in the 2009 ACS data products.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2007-2009 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
General Information
  • Contact List: To obtain additional information on these and other American Community Survey (ACS) subjects, see the list of Census 2000/2010 Contacts on the Internet at
  • Scope: These definitions apply to the data collected in both the United States and Puerto Rico. The text specifically notes any differences. References about comparability to the previous ACS years refer only to the ACS in the United States. Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters is included in the data tabulations.
  • Historical Census Comparability: For additional information about the data in previous decennial censuses, see
Appendix B and subject definitions for American Community Survey years prior to 2005.

  • Weighting Methodology: The weighting methodology in the 2006 ACS was modified in order to ensure consistent estimates of occupied housing units, households, and householders. For more information on the 2006 weighting methodology changes, see User Notes on the ACS website ( There were no significant changes to the 2007 or 2008 weighting methodology. Beginning in 2009, the weighting methodology has changed to include the use of controls for total population for incorporated places and minor civil divisions.
  • For subject definitions from previous years, visit