The data on units in structure (also referred to as "type of structure") were obtained from Housing Question 1 in the 2010 American Community Survey. The question was asked at occupied and vacant housing units. A structure is a separate building that either has open spaces on all sides or is separated from other structures by dividing walls that extend from ground to roof. In determining the number of units in a structure, all housing units, both occupied and vacant, are counted. Stores and office space are excluded. The data are presented for the number of housing units in structures of specified type and size, not for the number of residential buildings.
The units in structure provides information on the housing inventory by subdividing the inventory into one-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes. When the data is used in conjunction with tenure, year structure built, and income, units in structure serves as the basic identifier of housing used in many federal programs. The data also serve to aid in the planning of roads, hospitals, utility lines, schools, playgrounds, shopping centers, emergency preparedness plans, and energy consumption and supplies.