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Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T19. Age (Persons of Spanish Origin) [6]
Universe: Persons of Spanish Origin
Table Details
T19. Age (Persons of Spanish Origin)
Universe: Persons of Spanish Origin
Variable Label
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
Age at last birthday, i.e., number of completed years from birth to April 1, 1980, based on replies to a question on month and year of birth. This item was asked on a complete-count basis.

Because of the central importance of the data on age, the question contains redundancies. The age entry on the basic tape record is derived from the FOSDIC entries of quarter and year of birth. For those persons who do not provide this information but who do provide "age at last birthday," the census enumerator or clerk uses an equivalency table to mark the appropriate FOSDIC circles. The item "age at last birthday" is used only secondarily because of the tendency of some people, in reporting their ages, to round off to "0" or "5" (and to report even rather than odd numbers). The write-in entries of month and year of birth are requested because some people have difficulty with (and therefore skip) the FOSDIC marking system in this question.

Age is tabulated by single years of age and by many different groupings such as 5-year age groups. Basic records identify single years (and quarter years on sample basic records) to 112. Public-use microdata samples show single years and quarters to 99, and 100 years or more.

Median Age
Calculated as the value which divides the age distribution into two equal parts, one-half the cases falling below this value, one-half above. Median age is computed from the age intervals or groupings shown in the particular tabulation, and thus a median based on a less detailed distribution may differ slightly from a corresponding median for the same population based on a more detailed distribution. If the median falls in the terminal category, e.g., 75 years and over, the median is shown as the initial age of the category with a plus sign, e.g., 75+.

In previous censuses, undercoverage of the population has been associated with age. Young adults, especially Black males, were missed at a higher rate than other segments of the population. The same is true of centenarians.

Historical comparability
Age data have been collected in each census since 1790. Counts in 1970 and 1980 for persons 100 years old
and over were substantially overstated.

See also: "Age of Householder".

Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
Spanish Origin
Determined by a complete-count question which asks respondents to self-identify whether they are of Spanish origin or descent. If, when interviewed, the person reported a multiple origin and could not provide a single origin, the origin of the person's mother was used. If a single response was not provided for the person's mother, the first reported origin of the person was used.

Counts of the population by Spanish origin in complete-count tabulations are provisional. Final counts for Spanish origin will be determined after the sample data have been processed. The sample counts will first appear on the tape in STF 3 and in print in Characteristics of Population, General Social and Economic Characteristics, PC80-1-C reports.

Persons marking any one of the four "Spanish" categories, i.e., Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or other Spanish, are collectively referred to as "persons of Spanish origin."

In certain tabulations, persons of Spanish origin are further classified by type:

Persons who indicated "Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano," or wrote in an entry such as "La Raza."

Puerto Rican
Persons who indicated "Puerto Rican" or wrote in an entry such as "Boricua."

Persons who indicated "Cuban."

Other Spanish
Persons who filled the circle for "other Spanish/Hispanic"; or persons who wrote in an origin or descent associated with Spain, the Dominican Republic, or any Central or South America country except Brazil or a nonspecific Spanish group such as "Spanish surnamed" or "Spanish speaking."

Preliminary evaluations of 1980 census data suggest some limited misreporting of Spanish origin.
Available evidence indicates that the misreporting mw have occurred only in selected areas with relatively small Spanish-origin populations, such as in some Southern States, but it is not apparent in those areas with the largest concentrations of Spanish-origin persons. For a fuller discussion of the reporting in the Spanish-origin item, see the forthcoming 1980 census Supplementary Report, "Persons of Spanish Origin by State: 1980" (PC80-Sl).

Historical comparability
The Spanish-origin question was asked on a l00-percent basis for the first time in 1980. A similar question was asked on the 1970 5-percent sample questionnaire. For 1980, the category "No, not Spanish/Hispanic" appeared first (the corresponding category appeared last in 1970). Also, the terms "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" are added to the term "Mexican." The category "Central or South American," included in 1970, was dropped.

Although a question on Spanish origin was included in 1970, it was not the major identifier used to classify the Hispanic population in the 1970 census as it is in 1980. Depending on the section of the country, 1970 census data for "Persons of Spanish Heritage" were variously defined as "Persons of Puerto Rican Birth or Parentage" (in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), as "Persons of Spanish language or Spanish Surname" (in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas), and as "Persons of Spanish Language" (in the remaining 42 States and the District of Columbia). "Spanish Language" referred to those persons who in 1970 reported Spanish as their mother tongue, as well as persons in families in which the household head or spouse reported Spanish as his or her mother tongue.