Occupants per room is obtained by dividing the number of people in each occupied housing unit by the number of rooms in the unit. The figures show the number of occupied housing units having the specified ratio of people per room. Although the Census Bureau has no official definition of crowded units, many users consider units with more than one occupant per room to be crowded. Occupants per room is rounded to the nearest hundredth.
This data is the basis for estimating the amount of living and sleeping spaces within a housing unit. These data allow officials to plan and allocate funding for additional housing to relieve crowded housing conditions. The data also serve to aid in planning for future services and infrastructure, such as home energy assistance programs and the development of waste treatment facilities.
Caution should be used when comparing American Community Survey data on occupants per room from the years 2008 and after with both pre-2008 ACS and Census 2000 data. Changes made to the rooms question between the 2007 and 2008 ACS involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in an inconsistency in the ACS data. This inconsistency in the data was most noticeable as an increase in "1 room" responses and as a decrease in "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" responses.