The data on age were derived from answers to questionnaire item 5, which was asked of all persons. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years as of April 1, 1990. The age response in question 5a was used normally to represent a person's age. However, when the age response was unacceptable or unavailable, a person's age was derived from an acceptable year-of-birth response in question 5b.
Data on age are used to determine the applicability of other 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.
Some tabulations are shown by the age of the householder. These data were derived from the age responses for each householder. (For more information on householder, see the discussion under "Household Type and Relationship.")
This measure divides the age distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median value and one-half above the value. Generally, median age is computed on the basis of more detailed age intervals than are shown in some census publications; 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. (For more information on medians, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
Counts in 1970 and 1980 for persons 100 years old and over were substantially overstated. Improvements were made in the questionnaire design, in the allocation procedures, and to the respondent instruction guide to attempt to minimize this problem for the 1990 census.
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. 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 persons in most age groups are actually 1 year younger. For most single years of age, the misstatements are largely offsetting. The problem is most pronounced at age 0 because persons lost to age 1 may not have been fully offset by the inclusion of babies born after April 1, 1990, and because there may have been more rounding up to age 1 to avoid reporting age as 0 years. (Age in complete months was not collected for infants under age 1.)
The reporting of age 1 year older than age on April 1, 1990, is likely to have been greater in areas where the census data were collected later in 1990. The magnitude of this problem was much less in the three previous censuses where age was typically derived from respondent data on year of birth and quarter of birth. (For more information on the design of the age question, see the section below that discusses "Comparability.")
Age data have been collected in every census. For the first time since 1950, the 1990 data are 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 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, persons 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 Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
The data on ancestry were derived from answers to questionnaire item 13, which was asked of a sample of persons. The question was based on self-identification; the data on ancestry represent self-classification by people according to the ancestry group(s) with which they most closely identify. Ancestry refers to a person's ethnic origin or descent, "roots," or heritage or the place of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. Some ethnic identities, such as "Egyptian" or "Polish" can be traced to geographic areas outside the United States, while other ethnicities such as "Pennsylvania Dutch" or "Cajun" evolved in the United States.
The intent of the ancestry question was not to measure the degree of attachment the respondent had to a particular ethnicity. For example, a response of "Irish" might reflect total involvement in an "Irish" community or only a memory of ancestors several generations removed from the individual.
The Census Bureau coded the responses through an automated review, edit, and coding operation. The open-ended write-in ancestry item was coded by subject-matter specialists into a numeric representation using a code list containing over 1,000 categories. The 1990 code list reflects the results of the Census Bureau's own research and consultations with many ethnic experts. Many decisions were made to determine the classification of responses. These decisions affected the grouping of the tabulated data. For example, the "Assyrian" category includes both responses of "Assyrian" and "Chaldean."
The ancestry question allowed respondents to report one or more ancestry groups. While a large number of respondents listed a single ancestry, the majority of answers included more than one ethnic entry. Generally, only the first two responses reported were coded in 1990. If a response was in terms of a dual ancestry, for example, Irish-English, the person was assigned two codes, in this case one for Irish and another for English.
However, in certain cases, multiple responses such as "French Canadian," "Scotch-Irish," "Greek Cypriote," and "Black Dutch" were assigned a single code reflecting their status as unique groups. If a person reported one of these unique groups in addition to another group, for example, "Scotch-Irish English," resulting in three terms, that person received one code for the unique group ("Scotch-Irish") and another one for the remaining group ("English"). If a person reported "English Irish French," only English and Irish were coded. Certain combinations of ancestries where the ancestry group is a part of another, such as "German- Bavarian," the responses were coded as a single ancestry using the smaller group ("Bavarian"). Also, responses such as "Polish-American" or "Italian-American" were coded and tabulated as a single entry ("Polish" or "Italian").
The Census Bureau accepted "American" as a unique ethnicity if it was given alone, with an ambiguous response, or with State names. If the respondent listed any other ethnic identity such as "Italian American," generally the "American" portion of the response was not coded. However, distinct groups such as "American Indian," "Mexican American," and "African American" were coded and identified separately because they represented groups who considered themselves different from those who reported as "Indian," "Mexican," or "African," respectively.
In all tabulations, when respondents provided an unacceptable ethnic identity (for example, an uncodeable or unintelligible response such as "multi-national," "adopted," or "I have no idea"), the answer was included in "Ancestry not reported."
The tabulations on ancestry are presented using two types of data presentations--one used total persons as the base, and the other used total responses as the base. The following are categories shown in the two data presentations:
Presentation Based on Persons
Single Ancestries Reported
Includes all persons who reported only one ethnic group. Included in this category are persons with multiple-term responses such as "Scotch-Irish" who are assigned a single code. Multiple Ancestries Reported--Includes all persons who reported more than one group and were assigned two ancestry codes.
Includes all persons who provided a response that could not be assigned an ancestry code because they provided nonsensical entries or religious responses.
Presentations Based on Responses
Total Ancestries Reported
Includes the total number of ancestries reported and coded. If a person reported a multiple ancestry such as "French Danish," that response was counted twice in the tabulations--once in the "French" category and again in the "Danish" category. Thus, the sum of the counts in this type of presentation is not the total population but the total of all responses.
Includes the first response of all persons who reported at least one codeable entry. For example, in this category, the count for "Danish" would include all those who reported only Danish and those who reported Danish first and then some other group.
Includes the second response of all persons who reported a multiple ancestry. Thus, the count for "Danish" in this category includes all persons who reported Danish as the second response, regardless of the first response provided.
The Census Bureau identified hundreds of ethnic groups in the 1990 census. However, it was impossible to show information for every group in all census tabulations because of space constraints. Publications such as the 1990 CP-2, Social and Economic Characteristics and the 1990 CPH-3, Population and Housing Characteristics for Census Tracts and Block Numbering Areas reports show a limited number of groups based on the number reported and the advice received from experts. A more complete distribution of groups is presented in the 1990 Summary Tape File 4, supplementary reports, and a special subject report on ancestry. In addition, groups identified specifically in the questions on race and Hispanic origin (for example, Japanese, Laotian, Mexican, Cuban, and Spaniard), in general, are not shown separately in ancestry tabulations.
Although some experts consider religious affiliation a component of ethnic identity, the ancestry question was not designed to collect any information concerning religion. The Bureau of the Census is prohibited from collecting information on religion. Thus, if a religion was given as an answer to the ancestry question, it was coded as an "Other" response.
A question on ancestry was first asked in the 1980 census. Although there were no comparable data prior to the 1980 census, related information on ethnicity was collected through questions on parental birthplace, own birthplace, and language which were included in previous censuses. Unlike other census questions, there was no imputation for nonresponse to the ancestry question.
In 1990, respondents were allowed to report more than one ancestry group; however, only the first two ancestry groups identified were coded. In 1980, the Census Bureau attempted to code a third ancestry for selected triple-ancestry responses.
New categories such as "Arab" and "West Indian" were added to the 1990 question to meet important data needs. The "West Indian" category excluded "Hispanic" groups such as "Puerto Rican" and "Cuban" that were identified primarily through the question on Hispanic origin. In 1990, the ancestry group, "American" is recognized and tabulated as a unique ethnicity. In 1980, "American" was tabulated but included under the category "Ancestry not specified."
A major improvement in the 1990 census was the use of an automated coding system for ancestry responses. The automated coding system used in the 1990 census greatly reduced the potential for error associated with a clerical review. Specialists with a thorough knowledge of the subject matter reviewed, edited, coded, and resolved inconsistent or incomplete responses.
The data on citizenship were derived from answers to questionnaire item 9, which was asked of a sample of persons.
Persons who indicated that they were native-born and foreign-born persons who indicated that they have become naturalized. (For more information on native and foreign born, see the discussion under "Place of Birth.")
There are four categories of citizenship: (1) born in the United States, (2) born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, (3) born abroad of American parents, and (4) citizen by naturalization.
Foreign-born persons who had completed the naturalization process at the time of the census and upon whom the rights of citizenship had been conferred.
Foreign-born persons who were not citizens, including persons who had begun but not completed the naturalization process at the time of the census.
Evaluation studies completed after previous censuses indicated that some persons may have reported themselves as citizens although they had not yet attained the status.
Similar questions on citizenship were asked in the censuses of 1820, 1830, 1870, 1890 through 1950, 1970, and 1980. The 1980 question was asked of a sample of the foreign-born population. In 1990, both native and foreign-born persons who received the long-form questionnaire were asked to respond to the citizenship question.
Data on educational attainment were derived from answers to questionnaire item 12, which was asked of a sample of persons. Data are tabulated as attainment for persons 15 years old and over. Persons are classified according to the highest level of school completed or the highest degree received. The question included instructions to report the level of the previous grade attended or the highest degree received for persons currently enrolled in school. The question included response categories which allowed persons to report completing the 12th grade without receiving a high school diploma, and which instructed respondents to report as "high school graduate(s)"--persons who received either a high school diploma or the equivalent, for example, passed the Test of General Educational Development (G.E.D.), and did not attend college. (On the Military Census Report questionnaire, the lowest response category was "Less than 9th grade.")
Instructions included in the 1990 respondent instruction guide, which was mailed with the census questionnaire, further specified that schooling completed in foreign or ungraded school systems should be reported as the equivalent level of schooling in the regular American system; that vocational certificates or diplomas from vocational, trade, or business schools or colleges were not to be reported unless they were college level degrees; and that honorary degrees were not to be reported. The instructions gave "medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, law, and theology" as examples of professional school degrees, and specifically excluded "barber school, cosmetology, or other training for a specific trade" from the professional school category. The order in which they were listed suggested that doctorate degrees were "higher" than professional school degrees, which were "higher" than master's degrees.
Persons who did not report educational attainment were assigned the attainment of a person of the same age, race or Spanish origin, and sex who resided in the same or a nearby area. Persons who filled more than one circle were edited to the highest level or degree reported.
High School Graduate or Higher
Includes persons whose highest degree was a high school diploma or its equivalent, persons who attended college or professional school, and persons who received a college, university, or professional degree. Persons who reported completing the 12th grade but not receiving a diploma are not included.
Not Enrolled, Not High School Graduate
Includes persons of compulsory school attendance age or above who were not enrolled in school and were not high school graduates; these persons may be taken to be "high school dropouts." There is no restriction on when they "dropped out" of school, and they may have never attended high school.
In prior censuses, "Median school years completed" was used as a summary measure of educational attainment. In 1990, the median can only be calculated for groups of which less than half the members have attended college. "Percent high school graduate or higher" and "Percent bachelor's degree or higher" are summary measures which can be calculated from the present data and offer quite readily interpretable measures of differences between population subgroups. To make comparisons over time, "Percent high school graduate or higher" can be calculated and "Percent bachelor's degree or higher" can be approximated with data from previous censuses.
From 1840 to 1930, the census measured educational attainment by means of a basic literacy question. In 1940, a single question was asked on highest grade of school completed. In the censuses of 1950 through 1980, a two-part question asking highest grade of school attended and whether that grade was finished was used to construct highest grade or year of school completed. For persons who have not attended college, the response categories in the 1990 educational attainment question should produce data which are comparable to data on highest grade completed from earlier censuses.
The response categories for persons who have attended college were modified from earlier censuses because there was some ambiguity in interpreting responses in terms of the number of years of college completed. For instance, it was not clear whether "completed the fourth year of college," "completed the senior year of college," and "college graduate" were synonymous. Research conducted shortly before the census suggests that these terms were more distinct in 1990 than in earlier decades, and this change may have threatened the ability to estimate the number of "college graduates" from the number of persons reported as having completed the fourth or a higher year of college. It was even more difficult to make inferences about post-baccalaureate degrees and "Associate" degrees from highest year of college completed. Thus, comparisons of post-secondary educational attainment in this and earlier censuses should be made with great caution.
In the 1960 and subsequent censuses, persons for whom educational attainment was not reported were assigned the same attainment level as a similar person whose residence was in the same or a nearby area. In the 1940 and 1950 censuses, persons for whom educational attainment was not reported were not allocated.
The data on employment status were derived from answers to questionnaire items 21, 25, and 26, which were asked of a sample of persons. The series of questions on employment status was asked of all persons 15 years old and over and was designed to identify, in this sequence: (1) persons who worked at any time during the reference week; (2) persons who did not work during the reference week but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent (excluding layoff); (3) persons on layoff; and (4) persons who did not work during the reference week, but who were looking for work during the last four weeks and were available for work during the reference week. (For more information, see the discussion under "Reference Week.")
The employment status data shown in this and other 1990 census tabulations relate to persons 16 years old and over. Some tabulations showing employment status, however, include persons 15 years old. By definition, these persons are classified as "Not in Labor Force.". In the 1940, 1950, and 1960 censuses, employment status data were presented for persons 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 persons 14 and 15 years old.
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 had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are persons whose only activity consisted of work around the house or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations; also excluded are persons on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.
All civilians 16 years old and over are classified as unemployed if they (1) were neither "at work" nor "with a job but not at work" during the reference week, and (2) were looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and (3) were available to accept a job. Also included as unemployed are civilians who did not work at all during the reference week and were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off. Examples of job seeking activities are:
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
Consists of persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above.
These are unemployed persons who have worked at any time in the past.
Experienced Civilian Labor Force
Consists of the employed and the experienced unemployed.
All persons classified in the civilian labor force plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (persons on active duty with the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).
All persons 16 years old and over who are not classified as members of the labor force. This category consists mainly of students, housewives, retired workers, seasonal workers enumerated in an off season who were not looking for work, institutionalized persons, and persons doing only incidental unpaid family work (less than 15 hours during the reference week).
This term appears in connection with several subjects: journey-to work items, class of worker, weeks worked in 1989, and number of workers in family in 1989. Its meaning varies and, therefore, should be determined in each case by referring to the definition of the subject in which it appears.
Actual Hours Worked Last Week
All persons who reported working during the reference week were asked to report in questionnaire item 21b the number of hours that they worked. The statistics on hours worked pertain to the number of hours actually worked at all jobs, and do not necessarily reflect the number of hours typically or usually worked or the scheduled number of hours. The concept of "actual hours" differs from that of "usual hours" described below. The number of persons who worked only a small number of hours is probably understated since such persons sometimes consider themselves as not working. Respondents were asked to include overtime or extra hours worked, but to exclude lunch hours, sick leave, and vacation leave.
The census may understate the number of employed persons because persons who have irregular, casual, or unstructured jobs sometimes report themselves as not working. The number of employed persons "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 persons on vacation or sick leave erroneously reported themselves as working. This problem has no effect on the total number of employed persons. The reference week for the employment data is not the same for all persons. Since persons can change their employment status from one 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 the discussion under "Reference Week.")
The questionnaire items and employment status concepts for the 1990 census are essentially the same as those used in the 1980 and 1970 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. Persons 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, persons who work for more than one establishment may be counted more than once. Moreover, some tabulations may exclude private household workers, unpaid family workers, and self-employed persons, but may include workers less than 16 years of age.
An additional difference in the data arises from the fact that persons who had a job but were not at work are included with the employed in the census statistics, whereas many of these persons are likely to be excluded from employment figures based on establishment payroll reports. Furthermore, the employment status data in census tabulations include persons on the basis of place of residence regardless of where they work, whereas establishment data report persons 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.
Census data on actual hours worked during the reference week may differ from data from other sources. The census measures hours actually worked, whereas some surveys measure hours paid for by employers. Comparability of census actual hours worked data may also be affected by the nature of the reference week (see "Reference Week").
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 persons who have exhausted their benefit rights, new workers who have not earned rights to unemployment insurance, and persons 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. Persons working only a few hours during the week and persons 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. However, some difference may exist because of variations in enumeration and processing techniques.
The data on fertility (also referred to as "children ever born") were derived from answers to questionnaire item 20, which was asked of a sample of women 15 years old and over regardless of marital status. Stillbirths, stepchildren, and adopted children were excluded from the number of children ever born. Ever-married women were instructed to include all children born to them before and during their most recent marriage, children no longer living, and children away from home, as well as children who were still living in the home. Never-married women were instructed to include all children born to them.
Data are most frequently presented in terms of the aggregate number of children ever born to women in the specified category and in terms of the rate per 1,000 women. For purposes of calculating the aggregate, the open-ended response category, "12 or more" is assigned a value of 13.
Although the data are assumed to be less complete for out-of-wedlock births than for births occurring within marriage, comparisons of 1980 census data on the fertility of single women with other census sources and administrative records indicate that no significant differences were found between different data sources; that is, 1980 census data on children ever born to single women were complete with no significant understatements of childbearing.
The wording of the question on children ever born was the same in 1990 as in 1980. In 1970, however, the question on children ever born was asked of all ever-married women but only of never-married women who received self-administered questionnaires. Therefore, rates and numbers of children ever born to single women in 1970 may be understated. Data presented for children ever born to ever-married women are comparable for the 1990 census and all previous censuses containing this question.
All persons not living in households are classified by the Census Bureau as living in group quarters. Two general categories of persons in group quarters are recognized:
(1) institutionalized persons and
(2) other persons in group quarters (also referred to as "noninstitutional group quarters").
Includes persons under formally authorized, supervised care or custody in institutions at the time of enumeration. Such persons are classified as "patients or inmates" of an institution regardless of the availability of nursing or medical care, the length of stay, or the number of persons in the institution. Generally, institutionalized persons are restricted to the institutional buildings and grounds (or must have passes or escorts to leave) and thus have limited interaction with the surrounding community. Also, they are generally under the care of trained staff who have responsibility for their safekeeping and supervision.
The type of institution was determined as part of census enumeration activities. For institutions which specialize in only one specific type of service, all patients or inmates were given the same classification. For institutions which had multiple types of major services (usually general hospitals and Veterans' Administration hospitals), patients were classified according to selected types of wards. For example, in psychiatric wards of hospitals, patients were classified in "mental (psychiatric) hospitals"; in hospital wards for persons with chronic diseases, patients were classified in "hospitals for the chronically ill." Each patient or inmate was classified in only one type of institution. Institutions include the following types:
Includes prisons, Federal detention centers, military stockades and jails, police lockups, halfway houses, local jails, and other confinement facilities, including work farms.
Where persons convicted of crimes serve their sentences. In some census products, the prisons are classified by two types of control:
(1) "Federal" (operated by the Bureau of Prisons of the Department of Justice) and (2) "State." Residents who are criminally insane were classified on the basis of where they resided at the time of enumeration: (1) in institutions (or hospital wards) operated by departments of correction or similar agencies; or
(2) in institutions operated by departments of mental health or similar agencies.
Federal Detention Centers
Operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Bureau of Prisons. These facilities include detention centers used by the Park Police; Bureau of Indian Affairs Detention Centers; INS Centers, such as the INS Federal Alien Detention Facility; INS Processing Centers; and INS Contract Detention Centers used to detain aliens under exclusion or deportation proceedings, as well as those aliens who have not been placed into proceedings, such as custodial required departures; and INS Detention Centers operated within local jails, and State and Federal prisons.
Military Stockades, Jails
Operated by military police and used to hold persons awaiting trial or convicted of violating military laws.
Local Jails and Other Confinement Facilities
Includes facilities operated by counties and cities that primarily hold persons beyond arraignment, usually for more than 48 hours. Also included in this category are work farms used to hold persons awaiting trial or serving time on relatively short sentences and jails run by private businesses under contract for local governments (but not by State governments).
Temporary-holding facilities operated by county and city police that hold persons for 48 hours or less only if they have not been formally charged in court.
Operated for correctional purposes and include probation and restitution centers, pre- release centers, and community-residential centers.
Other Types of Correctional Institutions
Privately operated correctional facilities and correctional facilities specifically for alcohol/drug abuse.
Comprises a heterogeneous group of places. The majority of patients are elderly, although persons who require nursing care because of chronic physical conditions may be found in these homes regardless of their age. Included in this category are skilled-nursing facilities, intermediate-care facilities, long-term care rooms in wards or buildings on the grounds of hospitals, or long-term care rooms/nursing wings in congregate housing facilities. Also included are nursing, convalescent, and rest homes, such as soldiers', sailors', veterans', and fraternal or religious homes for the aged, with or without nursing care. In some census products, nursing homes are classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State," "Private not-for-profit," and "Private for profit."
Mental (Psychiatric) Hospitals
Includes hospitals or wards for the criminally insane not operated by a prison, and psychiatric wards of general hospitals and veterans' hospitals. Patients receive supervised medical/nursing care from formally-trained staff. In some census products, mental hospitals are classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State or local," "Private," and "Ownership not known."
Hospitals for Chronically Ill
Includes hospitals for patients who require long-term care, including those in military hospitals and wards for the chronically ill located on military bases; or other hospitals or wards for the chronically ill, which include tuberculosis hospitals or wards, wards in general and Veterans' Administration hospitals for the chronically ill, neurological wards, hospices, wards for patients with Hansen's Disease (leprosy) and other incurable diseases, and other unspecified wards for the chronically ill. Patients who had no usual home elsewhere were enumerated as part of the institutional population in the wards of general and military hospitals. Most hospital patients are at the hospital temporarily and were enumerated at their usual place of residence. (For more information, see "Wards in General and Military Hospitals for Patients Who Have No Usual Home Elsewhere.")
Schools, Hospitals, or Wards for the Mentally Retarded
Includes those institutions such as wards in hospitals for the mentally retarded, and intermediate-care facilities for the mentally retarded that provide supervised medical/nursing care from formally-trained staff. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State or local," "Private," and "Ownership not known." Schools, Hospitals, or Wards for the Physically Handicapped--Includes three types of institutions: institutions for the blind, those for the deaf, and orthopedic wards and institutions for the physically handicapped. Institutions for persons with speech problems are classified with "institutions for the deaf." The category "orthopedic wards and institutions for the physically handicapped" includes those institutions providing relatively long-term care to accident victims, and to persons with polio, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Public," "Private," and "Ownership not known."
Hospitals, and Wards for Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Includes hospitals, and hospital wards in psychiatric and general hospitals. These facilities are equipped medically and designed for the diagnosis and treatment of medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Patients receive supervised medical care from formally-trained staff.
Wards in General and Military Hospitals for Patients Who Have No Usual Home Elsewhere
Includes maternity, neonatal, pediatric (including wards for boarder babies), military, and surgical wards of hospitals, and wards for persons with infectious diseases.
Includes homes, schools, and other institutions providing care for children (short- or long-term care). Juvenile institutions include the following types:
Homes for Abused, Dependent, and Neglected Children
Includes orphanages and other institutions which provide long-term care (usually more than 30 days) for children. This category is classified in some census products by type of ownership as "Public" and "Private."
Residential Treatment Centers
Includes those institutions which primarily serve children who, by clinical diagnosis, are moderately or seriously disturbed emotionally. Also, these institutions provide long-term treatment services, usually supervised or directed by a psychiatrist.
Training Schools for Juvenile Delinquents
Includes residential training schools or homes, and industrial schools, camps, or farms for juvenile delinquents.
Public Training Schools for Juvenile Delinquents
Usually operated by a State agency (for example, department of welfare, corrections, or a youth authority). Some are operated by county and city governments. These public training schools are specialized institutions serving delinquent children, generally between the ages of 10 and 17 years old, all of whom are committed by the courts.
Operated under private auspices. Some of the children they serve are committed by the courts as delinquents. Others are referred by parents or social agencies because of delinquent behavior. One difference between private and public training schools is that, by their administrative policy, private schools have control over their selection and intake.
Includes institutions providing short-term care (usually 30 days or less) primarily for delinquent children pending disposition of their cases by a court. This category also covers diagnostic centers. In practice, such institutions may be caring for both delinquent and neglected children pending court disposition.
Other Persons in Group Quarters (also referred to as "noninstitutional group quarters")
Includes all persons who live in group quarters other than institutions. Persons who live in the following living quarters are classified as "other persons in group quarters" when there are 10 or more unrelated persons living in the unit; otherwise, these living quarters are classified as housing units.
Includes persons residing in rooming and boarding houses and living in quarters with 10 or more unrelated persons.
Includes "community-based homes" that provide care and supportive services. Such places include homes for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and physically handicapped; drug/alcohol halfway houses; communes; and maternity homes for unwed mothers.
Homes for the Mentally Ill
Includes community-based homes that provide care primarily for the mentally ill. In some data products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Federal," "State," "Private," and "Ownership not known." Homes which combine treatment of the physically handicapped with treatment of the mentally ill are counted as homes for the mentally ill.
Homes for the Mentally Retarded
Includes community-based homes that provide care primarily for the mentally retarded. Homes which combine treatment of the physically handicapped with treatment of the mentally retarded are counted as homes for the mentally retarded. This category is classified by type of ownership in some census products, as "Federal," "State," "Private," or "Ownership not known."
Homes for the Physically Handicapped
Includes community-based homes for the blind, for the deaf, and other community-based homes for the physically handicapped. Persons with speech problems are classified with homes for the deaf. In some census products, this category is classified by type of ownership as "Public," "Private," or "Ownership not known."
Homes or Halfway Houses for Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in places that provide community-based care and supportive services to persons suffering from a drug/alcohol addiction and to recovering alcoholics and drug abusers. Places providing community-based care for drug and alcohol abusers include group homes, detoxification centers, quarter-way houses (residential treatment facilities that work closely with accredited hospitals), halfway houses, and recovery homes for ambulatory, mentally competent recovering alcoholics and drug abusers who may be re-entering the work force.
Maternity Homes for Unwed Mothers
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in places that provide domestic care for unwed mothers and their children. These homes may provide social services and post-natal care within the facility, or may make arrangements for women to receive such services in the community. Nursing services are usually available in the facility.
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere in communes, foster care homes, and job corps centers with 10 or more unrelated persons. These types of places provide communal living quarters, generally for persons who have formed their own community in which they have common interests and often share or own property jointly.
Includes, primarily, group quarters for nuns teaching in parochial schools and for priests living in rectories. It also includes other convents and monasteries, except those associated with a general hospital or an institution.
College Quarters Off Campus
Includes privately-owned rooming and boarding houses off campus, if the place is reserved exclusively for occupancy by college students and if there are 10 or more unrelated persons. In census products, persons in this category are classified as living in a college dormitory.
Persons residing in certain other types of living arrangements are classified as living in "noninstitutional group quarters" regardless of the number of people sharing the unit. These include persons residing in the following types of group quarters:
Includes college students in dormitories (provided the dormitory is restricted to students who do not have their families living with them), fraternity and sorority houses, and on-campus residential quarters used exclusively for those in religious orders who are attending college. Students in privately-owned rooming and boarding houses off campus are also included, if the place is reserved exclusively for occupancy by college-level students and if there are 10 or more unrelated persons.
Includes military personnel living in barracks and dormitories on base, in transient quarters on base for temporary residents (both civilian and military), and on military ships. However, patients in military hospitals receiving treatment for chronic diseases or who had no usual home elsewhere, and persons being held in military stockades were included as part of the institutional population.
Agriculture Workers' Dormitories
Includes persons in migratory farm workers' camps on farms, bunkhouses for ranch hands, and other dormitories on farms, such as those on "tree farms."
Other Workers' Dormitories
Includes persons in logging camps, construction workers' camps, firehouse dormitories, job-training camps, energy enclaves (Alaska only), and nonfarm migratory workers' camps (for example, workers in mineral and mining camps).
Emergency Shelters for Homeless Persons(with sleeping facilities) and Visible in Street Locations
Includes persons enumerated during the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation primarily on March 20-21, 1990. Enumerators were instructed not to ask if a person was "homeless." If a person was at one of the locations below on March 20-21, the person was counted as described below. (For more information on the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation, see Appendix D, Collection and Processing Procedures.) This category is divided into four classifications:
Emergency Shelters for Homeless Persons (with sleeping facilities)
Includes persons who stayed overnight on March 20, 1990, in permanent and temporary emergency housing, missions, hotels/motels, and flophouses charging $12 or less (excluding taxes) per night; Salvation Army shelters, hotels, and motels used entirely for homeless persons regardless of the nightly rate charged; rooms in hotels and motels used partially for the homeless; and similar places known to have persons who have no usual home elsewhere staying overnight. If not shown separately, shelters and group homes that provide temporary sleeping facilities for runaway, neglected, and homeless children are included in this category in data products.
Shelters for Runaway, Neglected, and Homeless Children
Includes shelters/group homes which provide temporary sleeping facilities for juveniles.
Visible in Street Locations
Includes street blocks and open public locations designated before March 20, 1990, by city and community officials as places where the homeless congregate at night. All persons found at predesignated street sites from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and leaving abandoned or boarded-up buildings from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. on March 21, 1990, were enumerated during "street" enumeration, except persons in uniform such as police and persons engaged in obvious money-making activities other than begging or panhandling. Enumerators were instructed not to ask if a person was "homeless."
This cannot be considered a complete count of all persons living on the streets because those who were so well hidden that local people did not know where to find them were likely to have been missed as were persons moving about or in places not identified by local officials. It is also possible that persons with homes could have been included in the count of "visible in street locations" if they were present when the enumerator did the enumeration of a particular block.
Predesignated street sites include street corners, parks, bridges, persons emerging from abandoned and boarded-up buildings, noncommercial campsites (tent cities), all-night movie theaters, all-night restaurants, emergency hospital waiting rooms, train stations, airports, bus depots, and subway stations.
Shelters for Abused Women (Shelters Against Domestic Violence or Family Crisis Centers)
Includes community-based homes or shelters that provide domiciliary care for women who have sought shelter from family violence and who may have been physically abused. Most shelters also provide care for children of abused women. These shelters may provide social services, meals, psychiatric treatment, and counseling. In some census products, "shelters for abused women" are included in the category "other noninstitutional group quarters."
Dormitories for Nurses and Interns in General and Military Hospitals
Includes group quarters for nurses and other staff members. It excludes patients.
Crews of Maritime Vessels
Includes officers, crew members, and passengers of maritime U.S. flag vessels. All ocean-going and Great Lakes ships are included.
Staff Residents of Institutions
Includes staff residing in group quarters on institutional grounds who provide formally-authorized, supervised care or custody for the institutionalized population.
Other Nonhousehold Living Situations
Includes persons with no usual home elsewhere enumerated during transient or "T-Night" enumeration at YMCA's, YWCA's, youth hostels, commercial and government-run campgrounds, campgrounds at racetracks, fairs, and carnivals, and similar transient sites.
Living Quarters for Victims of Natural Disasters
Includes living quarters for persons temporarily displaced by natural disasters.
Two types of errors can occur in the classification of "types of group quarters":
Misclassification of Group Quarters
During the 1990 Special Place Prelist operation, the enumerator determined the type of group quarters associated with each special place in their assignment. The enumerator used the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List and Index to the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List to assign a two-digit code number followed by either an "I," for institutional, or an "N," for noninstitutional to each group quarters. In 1990, unacceptable group quarter codes were edited. (For more information on editing of unacceptable data, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
No Classification (unknowns)
The imputation rate for type of institution was higher in 1980 (23.5 percent) than in 1970 (3.3 percent). Improvements were made to the 1990 Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List; that is, the inclusion of more group quarters categories and an "Index to the Alphabetical Group Quarters Code List." (For more information on the allocation rates for Type of Institution, see the allocation rates in 1990 CP-1, General Population Characteristics.)
In previous censuses, allocation rates for demographic characteristics (such as age, sex, race, and marital status) of the institutional population were similar to those for the total population. The allocation rates for sample characteristics such as school enrollment, highest grade completed, income, and veteran status for the institutional and noninstitutional group quarters population have been substantially higher than the population in households at least as far back as the 1960 census. The data, however, have historically presented a reasonable picture of the institutional and noninstitutional group quarters population.
Shelter and Street Night (S-Night)
For the 1990 census "Shelter-and- Street-Night" operation, persons well hidden, moving about, or in locations enumerators did not visit were likely to be missed. The number of people missed will never be known; thus, the 1990 census cannot be considered to include a definitive count of America's total homeless population. It does, however, give an idea of relative differences among areas of the country. Other components were counted as part of regular census procedures.
The count of persons in shelters and visible on the street could have been affected by many factors. How much the factors affected the count can never be answered definitively, but some elements include:
How well enumerators were trained and how well they followed procedures.
How well the list of shelter and street locations given to the Census Bureau by the local government reflected the actual places that homeless persons stay at night.
Cities were encouraged to open temporary shelters for census night, and many did that and actively encouraged people to enter the shelters. Thus, people who may have been on the street otherwise were in shelters the night of March 20, so that the ratio of shelter-to-street population could be different than usual.
The weather, which was unusually cold in some parts of the country, could affect how likely people were to seek emergency shelter or to be more hidden than usual if they stayed outdoors.
The media occasionally interfered with the ability to do the count.
How homeless people perceived the census and whether they wanted to be counted or feared the census and hid from it.
The Census Bureau conducted two assessments of Shelter and Street Night: (1) the quality of the lists of shelters used for the Shelter-and-Street-Night operation, and (2) how well procedures were followed by census- takers for the street count in parts of five cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Phoenix). Information about these two assessments is available from the Chief, Center for Survey Methods Research, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.
For the 1990 census, the definition of institutionalized persons was revised so that the definition of "care" only includes persons under organized medical or formally-authorized, supervised care or custody. As a result of this change to the institutional definition, maternity homes are classified as noninstitutional rather than institutional group quarters as in previous censuses. The following types of other group quarters are classified as institutional rather than noninstitutional group quarters: "halfway houses (operated for correctional purposes)" and "wards in general and military hospitals for patients who have no usual home elsewhere," which includes maternity, neonatal, pediatric, military, and surgical wards of hospitals, other-purpose wards of hospitals, and wards for infectious diseases. These changes should not significantly affect the comparability of data with earlier censuses because of the relatively small number of persons involved.
As in 1980, 10 or more unrelated persons living together were classified as living in noninstitutional group quarters. In 1970, the criteria was six or more unrelated persons.
Several changes also have occurred in the identification of specific types of group quarters. For the first time, the 1990 census identifies separately the following types of correctional institutions: persons in halfway houses (operated for correctional purposes), military stockades and jails, and police lockups. In 1990, tuberculosis hospitals or wards are included with hospitals for the chronically ill; in 1980, they were shown separately. For 1990, the noninstitutional group quarters category, "Group homes" is further classified as: group homes for drug/alcohol abuse; maternity homes (for unwed mothers), group homes for the mentally ill, group homes for the mentally retarded, and group homes for the physically handicapped. Persons living in communes, foster-care homes, and job corps centers are classified with "Other group homes" only if 10 or more unrelated persons share the unit; otherwise, they are classified as housing units.
In 1990, workers' dormitories were classified as group quarters regardless of the number of persons sharing the dorm. In 1980, 10 or more unrelated persons had to share the dorm for it to be classified as a group quarters. In 1960, data on persons in military barracks were shown only for men. In subsequent censuses, they include both men and women.
In 1990 census data products, the phrase "inmates of institutions" was changed to "institutionalized persons." Also, persons living in noninstitutional group quarters were referred to as "other persons in group quarters," and the phrase "staff residents" was used for staff living in institutions.
In 1990, there are additional institutional categories and noninstitutional group quarters categories compared with the 1980 census. The institutional categories added include "hospitals and wards for drug/alcohol abuse" and "military hospitals for the chronically ill." The noninstitutional group quarters categories added include emergency shelters for homeless persons; shelters for runaway, neglected, and homeless children; shelters for abused women; and visible-in-street locations. Each of these noninstitutional group quarters categories was enumerated on March 20-21, 1990, during the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation. (For more information on the "Shelter-and-Street-Night" operation, see Appendix D, Collection and Processing Procedures.)
The data on Spanish/Hispanic origin were derived from answers to questionnaire item 7, which was asked of all persons. Persons of Hispanic origin are those who classified themselves in one of the specific Hispanic origin categories listed on the questionnaire--"Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban"--as well as those who indicated that they were of "other Spanish/Hispanic" origin. Persons of "Other Spanish/Hispanic" origin are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic, or they are persons of Hispanic origin identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. Write-in responses to the "other Spanish/Hispanic" category were coded only for sample data.
Origin can be viewed as the ancestry, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Some tabulations are shown by the Hispanic origin of the householder. In all cases where households, families, or occupied housing units are classified by Hispanic origin, the Hispanic origin of the householder is used. (See the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")
During direct interviews conducted by enumerators, if a person could not provide a single origin response, he or she was asked to select, based on self-identification, the group which best described his or her origin or descent. If a person could not provide a single group, the origin of the person's mother was used. If a single group could not be provided for the person's mother, the first origin reported by the person was used.
If any household member failed to respond to the Spanish/Hispanic origin question, a response was assigned by the computer according to the reported entries of other household members by using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. In the processing of sample questionnaires, responses to other questions on the questionnaire, such as ancestry and place of birth, were used to assign an origin before any reference was made to the origin reported by other household members. If an origin was not entered for any household member, an origin was assigned from another household according to the race of the householder. This procedure is a variation of the general imputation process described in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.
There may be differences between the total Hispanic origin population based on 100-percent tabulations and sample tabulations. Such differences are the result of sampling variability, nonsampling error, and more extensive edit procedures for the Spanish/Hispanic origin item on the sample questionnaires. (For more information on sampling variability and nonsampling error, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
The 1990 data on Hispanic origin are generally comparable with those for the 1980 census. However, there are some differences in the format of the Hispanic origin question between the two censuses. For 1990, the word "descent" was deleted from the 1980 wording. In addition, the term "Mexican-Amer." used in 1980 was shortened further to "Mexican-Am." to reduce misreporting (of "American") in this category detected in the 1980 census. Finally, the 1990 question allowed those who reported as "other Spanish/Hispanic" to write in their specific Hispanic origin group.
Misreporting in the "Mexican-Amer." category of the 1980 census item on Spanish/Hispanic origin may affect the comparability of 1980 and 1990 census data for persons of Hispanic origin for certain areas of the country. An evaluation of the 1980 census item on Spanish/Hispanic origin indicated that there was misreporting in the Mexican origin category by White and Black persons in certain areas. The study results showed evidence that the misreporting occurred in the South (excluding Texas), the Northeast (excluding the New York City area), and a few States in the Midwest Region. Also, results based on available data suggest that the impact of possible misreporting of Mexican origin in the 1980 census was severe in those portions of the above-mentioned regions where the Hispanic origin population was generally sparse. However, national 1980 census data on the Mexican origin population or total Hispanic origin population at the national level was not seriously affected by the reporting problem. (For a more detailed discussion of the evaluation of the 1980 census Spanish/Hispanic origin item, see the 1980 census Supplementary Reports.)
The 1990 and 1980 census data on the Hispanic population are not directly comparable with 1970 Spanish origin data because of a number of factors: (1) overall improvements in the 1980 and 1990 censuses, (2) better coverage of the population, (3) improved question designs, and (4) an effective public relations campaign by the Census Bureau with the assistance of national and community ethnic groups.
Specific changes in question design between the 1980 and 1970 censuses included the placement of the category "No, not Spanish/Hispanic" as the first category in that question. (The corresponding category appeared last in the 1970 question.) Also, the 1970 category "Central or South American" was deleted because in 1970 some respondents misinterpreted the category; furthermore, the designations "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" were added to the Spanish/Hispanic origin question in 1980. In the 1970 census, the question on Spanish origin was asked of only a 5-percent sample of the population.
Household Type and Relationship
A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit. 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 and eat separately from any other persons 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 persons who share living arrangements.
In 100-percent tabulations, the count of households or householders always equals the count of occupied housing units. In sample tabulations, the numbers may differ as a result of the weighting process.
A measure obtained by dividing the number of persons in households by the number of households (or householders). In cases where persons in households are cross-classified by race or Hispanic origin, persons in the household are classified by the race or Hispanic origin of the householder rather than the race or Hispanic origin of each individual.
Relationship to Householder
The data on relationship to householder were derived from answers to questionnaire item 2, which was asked of all persons in housing units. One person in each household is designated as the householder. In most cases, this is the person, or one of the persons, in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented and who is listed in column 1 of the census questionnaire. If there is no such person in the household, any adult household member 15 years old and over could be designated as the householder.
Households are classified by type according to the sex of the householder and the presence of relatives. Two types of householders are distinguished: a family householder and a nonfamily householder. A family householder is a householder living with one or more persons related to him or her by birth, marriage, or adoption. The householder and all persons in the household related to him or her are family members. A nonfamily householder is a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only.
Includes a person married to and living with a householder. This category includes persons in formal marriages, as well as persons in common-law marriages.
The number of spouses is equal to the number of "married-couple families" or "married-couple households" in 100-percent tabulations. The number of spouses, however, is generally less than half of the number of "married persons with spouse present" in sample tabulations, since more than one married couple can live in a household, but only spouses of householders are specifically identified as "spouse." For sample tabulations, the number of "married persons with spouse present" includes married-couple subfamilies and married-couple families.
Includes a son or daughter by birth, a stepchild, or adopted child of the householder, regardless of the child's age or marital status. The category excludes sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and foster children.
Natural-Born or Adopted Son/Daughter
A son or daughter of the householder by birth, regardless of the age of the child. Also, this category includes sons or daughters of the householder by legal adoption, regardless of the age of the child. If the stepson/stepdaughter of the householder has been legally adopted by the householder, the child is still classified as a stepchild.
A son or daughter of the householder through marriage but not by birth, regardless of the age of the child. If the stepson/stepdaughter of the householder has been legally adopted by the householder, the child is still classified as a stepchild.
A never-married child under 18 years who is a son or daughter by birth, a stepchild, or an adopted child of the householder. In certain tabulations, own children are further classified as living with two parents or with one parent only. Own children of the householder living with two parents are by definition found only in married-couple families.
In a subfamily, an "own child" is a never-married child under 18 years of age who is a son, daughter, stepchild, or an adopted child of a mother in a mother-child subfamily, a father in a father-child subfamily, or either spouse in a married-couple subfamily.
"Related children" in a family include own children and all other persons under 18 years of age in the household, regardless of marital status, who are related to the householder, except the spouse of the householder. Foster children are not included since they are not related to the householder.
In tabulations, includes any household member related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption, but not included specifically in another relationship category. In certain detailed tabulations, the following categories may be shown:
The grandson or granddaughter of the householder. Brother/Sister--The brother or sister of the householder, including stepbrothers, stepsisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption. Brothers-in- law and sisters-in-law are included in the "Other relative" category on the questionnaire.
The father or mother of the householder, including a stepparent or adoptive parent. Fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law are included in the "Other relative" category on the questionnaire.
Anyone not listed in a reported category above who is related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption (brother-in-law, grandparent, nephew, aunt, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, cousin, and so forth).
Includes any household member, including foster children not related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. The following categories may be presented in more detailed tabulations:
Roomer, Boarder, or Foster Child
Roomer, boarder, lodger, and foster children or foster adults of the householder.
A person who is not related to the householder and who shares living quarters primarily in order to share expenses.
A person who is not related to the householder, who shares living quarters, and who has a close personal relationship with the householder.
A person who is not related by birth, marriage, or adoption to the householder and who is not described by the categories given above.
When relationship is not reported for an individual, it is imputed according to the responses for age, sex, and marital status for that person while maintaining consistency with responses for other individuals in the household. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
An unrelated individual is: (1) a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only, (2) a household member who is not related to the householder, or (3) a person living in group quarters who is not an inmate of an institution.
A family consists of a householder and one or more other persons living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All persons in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A household can contain only one family for purposes of census tabulations. Not all households contain families since a household may comprise a group of unrelated persons or one person living alone.
Families are classified by type as either a "married-couple family" or "other family" according to the sex of the householder and the presence of relatives. The data on family type are based on answers to questions on sex and relationship which were asked on a 100-percent basis.
A family in which the householder and his or her spouse are enumerated as members of the same household.
Male Householder, No Wife Present
A family with a male householder and no spouse of householder present.
Female Householder, No Husband Present
A family with a female householder and no spouse of householder present.
A measure obtained by dividing the number of persons in families by the total number of families (or family householders). In cases where the measure, "persons in family" or "persons per family" are cross-tabulated by race or Hispanic origin, the race or Hispanic origin refers to the householder rather than the race or Hispanic origin of each individual.
A subfamily is a married couple (husband and wife enumerated as members of the same household) with or without never-married children under 18 years old, or one parent with one or more never-married children under 18 years old, living in a household and related to, but not including, either the householder or the householder's spouse. The number of subfamilies is not included in the count of families, since subfamily members are counted as part of the householder's family.
Subfamilies are defined during processing of sample data. In selected tabulations, subfamilies are further classified by type: married-couple subfamilies, with or without own children; mother-child subfamilies; and father-child subfamilies.
Lone parents include people maintaining either one-parent families or oneparent subfamilies. Married couples include husbands and wives in both married-couple families and married-couple subfamilies.
An unmarried-partner household is a household other than a "married-couple household" that includes a householder and an "unmarried partner." An "unmarried partner" can be of the same sex or of the opposite sex of the householder. An "unmarried partner" in an "unmarried- partner household" is an adult who is unrelated to the householder, but shares living quarters and has a close personal relationship with the householder.
An unmarried-couple household is composed of two unrelated adults of the opposite sex (one of whom is the householder) who share a housing unit with or without the presence of children under 15 years old.
Foster children are nonrelatives of the householder and are included in the category, "Roomer, boarder, or foster child" on the questionnaire. Foster children are identified as persons under 18 years old and living in households that have no nonrelatives 18 years old and over (who might be parents of the nonrelatives under 18 years old).
A stepfamily is a "married-couple family" with at least one stepchild of the householder present, where the householder is the husband.
The 1990 definition of a household is the same as that used in 1980. The 1980 relationship category "Son/daughter" has been replaced by two categories, "Natural-born or adopted son/daughter" and "Stepson/ stepdaughter." "Grandchild" has been added as a separate category. The 1980 nonrelative categories: "Roomer, boarder" and "Partner, roommate" have been replaced by the categories "Roomer, boarder, or foster child," "Housemate, roommate," and "Unmarried partner." The 1980 nonrelative category "Paid employee" has been dropped.
The data on income in 1989 were derived from answers to questionnaire items 32 and 33. Information on money income received in the calendar year 1989 was requested from persons 15 years old and over. "Total income" is the algebraic sum of the amounts reported separately for wage or salary income; net nonfarm self-employment income; net farm self-employment income; interest, dividend, or net rental or royalty income; Social Security or railroad retirement income; public assistance or welfare income; retirement or disability income; and all other income. "Earnings" is defined as the algebraic sum of wage or salary income and net income from farm and nonfarm self-employment. "Earnings" represent the amount of income received regularly before deductions for personal income taxes, Social Security, bond purchases, union dues, medicare deductions, etc.
Receipts from the following sources are not included as income: money received from the sale of property (unless the recipient was engaged in the business of selling such property); the value of income "in kind" from food stamps, public housing subsidies, medical care, employer contributions for persons, etc.; withdrawal of bank deposits; money borrowed; tax refunds; exchange of money between relatives living in the same household; gifts and lump-sum inheritances, insurance payments, and other types of lump-sum receipts.
The eight types of income reported in the census are defined as follows:
Includes total money earnings received for work performed as an employee during the calendar year 1989. It includes wages, salary, Armed Forces pay, commissions, tips, piece-rate payments, and cash bonuses earned before deductions were made for taxes, bonds, pensions, union dues, etc.
Nonfarm Self-Employment Income
Includes net money income (gross receipts minus expenses) from one's own business, professional enterprise, or partnership. Gross receipts include the value of all goods sold and services rendered. Expenses includes costs of goods purchased, rent, heat, light, power, depreciation charges, wages and salaries paid, business taxes (not personal income taxes), etc.
Farm Self-Employment Income
Includes net money income (gross receipts minus operating expenses) from the operation of a farm by a person on his or her own account, as an owner, renter, or sharecropper. Gross receipts include the value of all products sold, government farm programs, money received from the rental of farm equipment to others, and incidental receipts from the sale of wood, sand, gravel, etc. Operating expenses include cost of feed, fertilizer, seed, and other farming supplies, cash wages paid to farmhands, depreciation charges, cash rent, interest on farm mortgages, farm building repairs, farm taxes (not State and Federal personal income taxes), etc. The value of fuel, food, or other farm products used for family living is not included as part of net income.
Interest, Dividend, or Net Rental Income
Includes interest on savings or bonds, dividends from stockholdings or membership in associations, net income from rental of property to others and receipts from boarders or lodgers, net royalties, and periodic payments from an estate or trust fund.
Includes Social Security pensions and survivors benefits and permanent disability insurance payments made by the Social Security Administration prior to deductions for medical insurance, and railroad retirement insurance checks from the U.S. Government. Medicare reimbursements are not included.
Includes: (1) supplementary security income payments made by Federal or State welfare agencies to low income persons who are aged (65 years old or over), blind, or disabled; (2) aid to families with dependent children, and (3) general assistance. Separate payments received for hospital or other medical care (vendor payments) are excluded from this item.
Retirement or Disability Income
Includes: (1) retirement pensions and survivor benefits from a former employer, labor union, or Federal, State, county, or other governmental agency; (2) disability income from sources such as worker's compensation; companies or unions; Federal, State, or local government; and the U.S. military; (3) periodic receipts from annuities and insurance; and (4) regular income from IRA and KEOGH plans.
Includes unemployment compensation, Veterans Administration (VA) payments, alimony and child support, contributions received periodically from persons not living in the household, military family allotments, net gambling winnings, and other kinds of periodic income other than earnings.
Includes the income of the householder and all other persons 15 years old and over in the household, whether related to the householder or not. Because many households consist of only one person, average household income is usually less than average family income.
Income of Families and Persons
In compiling statistics on family income, the incomes of all members 15 years old and over in each family are summed and treated as a single amount. However, for persons 15 years old and over, the total amounts of their own incomes are used. Although the income statistics covered the calendar year 1989, the characteristics of persons and the composition of families refer to the time of enumeration (April 1990). Thus, the income of the family does not include amounts received by persons who were members of the family during all or part of the calendar year 1989 if these persons no longer resided with the family at the time of enumeration. Yet, family income amounts reported by related persons who did not reside with the family during 1989 but who were members of the family at the time of enumeration are included. However, the composition of most families was the same during 1989 as in April 1990.
The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts, one having incomes above the median and the other having incomes below the median. For households and families, the median income is based on the distribution of the total number of units including those with no income. The median for persons is based on persons with income. The median income values for all households, families, and persons are computed on the basis of more detailed income intervals than shown in most tabulations. Median household or family income figures of $50,000 or less are calculated using linear interpolation. For persons, corresponding median values of $40,000 or less are also computed using linear interpolation. All other median income amounts are derived through Pareto interpolation. (For more information on medians and interpolation, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
This is the amount obtained by dividing the total income of a particular statistical universe by the number of units in that universe. Thus, mean household income is obtained by dividing total household income by the total number of households. For the various types of income the means are based on households having those types of income. "Per capita income" is the mean income computed for every man, woman, and child in a particular group. It is derived by dividing the total income of a particular group by the total population in that group.
Care should be exercised in using and interpreting mean income values for small subgroups of the population. Because the mean is influenced strongly by extreme values in the distribution, it is especially susceptible to the effects of sampling variability, misreporting, and processing errors. The median, which is not affected by extreme values, is, therefore, a better measure than the mean when the population base is small. The mean, nevertheless, is shown in some data products for most small subgroups because, when weighted according to the number of cases, the means can be added to obtained summary measures for areas and groups other than those shown in census tabulations.
Since questionnaire entries for income frequently are based on memory and not on records, many persons tended to forget minor or irregular sources of income and, therefore, underreport their income. Underreporting tends to be more pronounced for income sources that are not derived from earnings, such as Social Security, public assistance, or from interest, dividends, and net rental income.
There are errors of reporting due to the misunderstanding of the income questions such as reporting gross rather than net dollar amounts for the two questions on net self-employment income, which resulted in an overstatement of these items. Another common error is the reporting of identical dollar amounts in two of the eight type of income items where a respondent with only one source of income assumed that the second amount should be entered to represent total income. Such instances of overreporting had an impact on the level of mean nonfarm or farm self-employment income and mean total income published for the various geographical subdivisions of the State.
Extensive computer editing procedures were instituted in the data processing operation to reduce some of these reporting errors and to improve the accuracy of the income data. These procedures corrected various reporting deficiencies and improved the consistency of reported income items associated with work experience and information on occupation and class of worker. For example, if persons reported they were self-employed on their own farm, not incorporated, but had reported wage and salary earnings only, the latter amount was shifted to net farm self-employment income. Also, if any respondent reported total income only, the amount was generally assigned to one of the type of income items according to responses to the work experience and class-of-worker questions. Another type of problem involved nonreporting of income data. Where income information was not reported, procedures were devised to impute appropriate values with either no income or positive or negative dollar amounts for the missing entries. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
In income tabulations for households and families, the lowest income group (e.g., less than $5,000) includes units that were classified as having no 1989 income. Many of these were living on income "in kind," savings, or gifts, were newly created families, or families in which the sole breadwinner had recently died or left the household. However, many of the households and families who reported no income probably had some money income which was not recorded in the census. The income data presented in the tabulations covers money income only. The fact that many farm families receive an important part of their income in the form of "free" housing and goods produced and consumed on the farm rather than in money should be taken into consideration in comparing the income of farm and nonfarm residents. Non-money income such as business expense accounts, use of business transportation and facilities, or partial compensation by business for medical and educational expenses was also received by some nonfarm residents. Many low income families also receive income "in kind" from public welfare programs. In comparing income data for 1989 with earlier years, it should be noted that an increase or decrease in money income does not necessarily represent a comparable change in real income, unless adjustments for changes in prices are made.
The income data collected in the 1980 and 1970 censuses are similar to the 1990 census data, but there are variations in the detail of the questions. In 1980, income information for 1979 was collected from persons in approximately 19 percent of all housing units and group quarters. Each person was required to report:
Wage or salary income
Net nonfarm self-employment income
Net farm self-employment income
Interest, dividend, or net rental or royalty income
Social Security income
Public assistance income
Income from all other sources
Between the 1980 and 1990 censuses, there were minor differences in the processing of the data. In both censuses, all persons with missing values in one or more of the detailed type of income items and total income were designated as allocated. Each missing entry was imputed either as a "no" or as a dollar amount. If total income was reported and one or more of the type of income fields was not answered, then the entry in total income generally was assigned to one of the income types according to the socioeconomic characteristics of the income recipient. This person was designated as unallocated.
In 1980 and 1990, all nonrespondents with income not reported (whether heads of households or other persons) were assigned the reported income of persons with similar characteristics. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, "Accuracy of the Data.")
There was a difference in the method of computer derivation of aggregate income from individual amounts between the two census processing operations. In the 1980 census, income amounts less than $100,000 were coded in tens of dollars, and amounts of $100,000 or more were coded in thousands of dollars; $5 was added to each amount coded in tens of dollars and $500 to each amount coded in thousands of dollars. Entries of $999,000 or more were treated as $999,500 and losses of $9,999 or more were treated as minus $9,999. In the 1990 census, income amounts less than $999,999 were keyed in dollars. Amounts of $999,999 or more were treated as $999,999 and losses of $9,999 or more were treated as minus $9,999 in all of the computer derivations of aggregate income.
In 1970, information on income in 1969 was obtained from all members in every fifth housing unit and small group quarters (less than 15 persons) and every fifth person in all other group quarters. Each person was required to report:
Wage or salary income
Net nonfarm self-employment income
Net farm self-employment income
Social Security or Railroad Retirement
Public assistance or welfare payments
Income from all other sources
If a person reported a dollar amount in wage or salary, net nonfarm self-employment income, or net farm self-employment income, the person was considered as unallocated only if no further dollar amounts were imputed for any additional missing entries.
In 1960, data on income were obtained from all members in every fourth housing unit and from every fourth person 14 years old and over living in group quarters. Each person was required to report wage or salary income, net self-employment income, and income other than earnings received in 1959. An assumption was made in the editing process that no other type of income was received by a person who reported the receipt of either wage and salary income or self-employment but who had failed to report the receipt of other money income.
For several reasons, the income data shown in census tabulations are not directly comparable with those that may be obtained from statistical summaries of income tax returns. Income, as defined for Federal tax purposes, differs somewhat from the Census Bureau concept. Moreover, the coverage of income tax statistics is different because of the exemptions of persons having small amounts of income and the inclusion of net capital gains in tax returns. Furthermore, members of some families file separate returns and others file joint returns; consequently, the income reporting unit is not consistently either a family or a person.
The earnings data shown in census tabulations are not directly comparable with earnings records of the Social Security Administration. The earnings record data for 1989 excluded the earnings of most civilian government employees, some employees of nonprofit organizations, workers covered by the Railroad Retirement Act, and persons not covered by the program because of insufficient earnings. Furthermore, earnings received from any one employer in excess of $48,000 in 1989 are not covered by earnings records. Finally, because census data are obtained from household questionnaires, they may differ from Social Security Administration earnings record data, which are based upon employers' reports and the Federal income tax returns of self-employed persons.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the Department of Commerce publishes annual data on aggregate and per-capita personal income received by the population for States, metropolitan areas, and selected counties. Aggregate income estimates based on the income statistics shown in census products usually would be less than those shown in the BEA income series for several reasons. The Census Bureau data are obtained directly from households, whereas the BEA income series is estimated largely on the basis of data from administrative records of business and governmental sources. Moreover, the definitions of income are different. The BEA income series includes some items not included in the income data shown in census publications, such as income "in kind," income received by nonprofit institutions, the value of services of banks and other financial intermediaries rendered to persons without the assessment of specific charges, Medicare payments, and the income of persons who died or emigrated prior to April 1, 1990. On the other hand, the census income data include contributions for support received from persons not residing in the same household and employer contributions for social insurance.
Industry, Occupation, and Class of Worker
The data on industry, occupation, and class of worker were derived from answers to questionnaire items 28, 29, and 30 respectively. These questions were asked of a sample of persons. Information on industry relates to the kind of business conducted by a person's employing organization; occupation describes the kind of work the person does on the job.
For employed persons, the data refer to the person's job during the reference week. For those who worked at two or more jobs, the data refer to the job at which the person worked the greatest number of hours. For unemployed persons, the data refer to their last job. The industry and occupation statistics are derived from the detailed classification systems developed for the 1990 census as described below. The Classified Index of Industries and Occupations provided additional information on the industry and occupation classification systems.
Respondents provided the data for the tabulations by writing on the questionnaires descriptions of their industry and occupation. These descriptions were keyed and passed through automated coding software which assigned a portion of the written entries to categories in the classification system. The automated system assigned codes to 59 percent of the industry entries and 38 percent of the occupation entries.
Those cases not coded by the computer were referred to clerical staff in the Census Bureau's Kansas City processing office for coding. The clerical staff converted the written questionnaire descriptions to codes by comparing these descriptions to entries in the Alphabetical Index of Industries and Occupations. For the industry code, these coders also referred to an Employer Name List (formerly called Company Name List). This list, prepared from the Standard Statistical Establishment List developed by the Census Bureau for the economic censuses and surveys, contained the names of business establishments and their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes converted to population census equivalents. This list facilitated coding and maintained industrial classification comparability.
The industry classification system developed for the 1990 census consists of 235 categories for employed persons, classified into 13 major industry groups. Since 1940, the industrial classification has been based on the Standard Industrial Classification Manual (SIC). The 1990 census classification was developed from the 1987 SIC published by the Office of Management and Budget Executive Office of the President.
The SIC was designed primarily to classify establishments by the type of industrial activity in which they were engaged. However, census data, which were collected from households, differ in detail and nature from those obtained from establishment surveys. Therefore, the census classification systems, while defined in SIC terms, cannot reflect the full detail in all categories. There are several levels of industrial classification found in census products. For example, the 1990 CP-2, Social and Economic Characteristics report includes 41 unique industrial categories, while the 1990 Summary Tape File 4 (STF 4) presents 72 categories.
The occupational classification system developed for the 1990 census consists of 500 specific occupational categories for employed persons arranged into 6 summary and 13 major occupational groups. This classification was developed to be consistent with the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual: 1980, published by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce. Tabulations with occupation as the primary characteristic present several levels of occupational detail. The most detailed tabulations are shown in a special 1990 subject report and tape files on occupation. These products contain all 500 occupational categories plus industry or class of worker subgroupings of occupational categories.
Some occupation groups are related closely to certain industries. Operators of transportation equipment, farm operators and workers, and private household workers account for major portions of their respective industries of transportation, agriculture, and private households. However, the industry categories include persons in other occupations. For example, persons employed in agriculture include truck drivers and bookkeepers; persons employed in the transportation industry include mechanics, freight handlers, and payroll clerks; and persons employed in the private household industry include occupations such as chauffeur, gardener, and secretary.
The data on class of worker were derived from answers to questionnaire item 30. The information on class of worker refers to the same job as a respondent's industry and occupation and categorizes persons according to the type of ownership of the employing organization. The class of worker categories are defined as follows:
Private Wage and Salary Workers
Includes persons who worked for wages, salary, commission, tips, pay-in-kind, or piece rates for a private for profit employer or a private not-for-profit, tax-exempt or charitable organization. Self-employed persons whose business was incorporated are included with private wage and salary workers because they are paid employees of their own companies. Some tabulations present data separately for these subcategories: "For profit," "Not for profit," and "Own business incorporated."
Employees of foreign governments, the United Nations, or other formal international organizations were classified as "Private-not-for-profit."
Includes persons who were employees of any local, State, or Federal governmental unit, regardless of the activity of the particular agency. For some tabulations, the data were presented separately for the three levels of government.
Includes persons who worked for profit or fees in their own unincorporated business, profession, or trade, or who operated a farm.
Includes persons who worked 15 hours or more without pay in a business or on a farm operated by a relative.
In tabulations that categorize persons as either salaried or self-employed, the salaried category includes private and government wage and salary workers; self-employed includes self-employed persons and unpaid family workers.
The industry category, "Public administration," is limited to regular government functions such as legislative, judicial, administrative, and regulatory activities of governments. Other government organizations such as schools, hospitals, liquor stores, and bus lines are classified by industry according to the activity in which they are engaged. On the other hand, the class of worker government categories include all government workers.
Occasionally respondents supplied industry, occupation, or class of worker descriptions which were not sufficiently specific for precise classification or did not report on these items at all. Some of these cases were corrected through the field editing process and during the coding and tabulation operations. In the coding operation, certain types of incomplete entries were corrected using the Alphabetical Index of Industries and Occupations. For example, it was possible in certain situations to assign an industry code based on the occupation reported.
Following the coding operations, there was a computer edit and an allocation process. The edit first determined whether a respondent was in the universe which required an industry and occupation code. The codes for the three items (industry, occupation, and class of worker) were checked to ensure they were valid and were edited for their relation to each other. Invalid and inconsistent codes were either blanked or changed to a consistent code.
If one or more of the three codes were blank after the edit, a code was assigned from a "similar" person based on other items such as age, sex, education, farm or nonfarm residence, and weeks worked. If all the labor force and income data also were blank, all these economic items were assigned from one other person who provided all the necessary data.
Comparability of industry and occupation data was affected by a number of factors, primarily the systems used to classify the questionnaire responses. For both the industry and occupation classification systems, the basic structures were generally the same from 1940 to 1970, but changes in the individual categories limited comparability of the data from one census to another. These changes were needed to recognize the "birth" of new industries and occupations, the "death" of others, and the growth and decline in existing industries and occupations, as well as, the desire of analysts and other users for more detail in the presentation of the data. Probably the greatest cause of incomparability is the movement of a segment of a category to a different category in the next census. Changes in the nature of jobs and respondent terminology, and refinement of category composition made these movements necessary.
In the 1990 census, the industry classification had minor revisions to reflect recent changes to the SIC. The 1990 occupational classification system is essentially the same as that for the 1980 census. However, the conversion of the census classification to the SOC in 1980 meant that the 1990 classification system was less comparable to the classifications used prior to the 1980 census.
Other factors that affected data comparability included the universe to which the data referred (in 1970, the age cutoff for labor force was changed from 14 years to 16 years); how the industry and occupation questions were worded on the questionnaire (for example, important changes were made in 1970); improvements in the coding procedures (the Employer Name List technique was introduced in 1960); and how the "not reported" cases are handled. Prior to 1970, they were placed in the residual categories, "Industry not reported" and "Occupation not reported." In 1970, an allocation process was introduced that assigned these cases to major groups. In 1990, as in 1980, the "Not reported" cases were assigned to individual categories. Therefore, the 1980 and 1990 data for individual categories included some numbers of persons who were tabulated in a "Not reported" category in previous censuses.
The following publications contain information on the various factors affecting comparability and are particularly useful for understanding differences in the occupation and industry information from earlier censuses: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Changes Between the 1950 and 1960 Occupation and Industry Classifications With Detailed Adjustments of 1950 Data to the 1960 Classifications, Technical Paper No. 18, 1968; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1970 Occupation and Industry Classification Systems in Terms of their 1960 Occupation and Industry Elements, Technical Paper No. 26, 1972; and U.S. Bureau of the Census, The Relationship Between the 1970 and 1980 Industry and Occupation Classification Systems, Technical Paper No. 59, 1988. For citations for earlier census years, see the 1980 Census of Population report, PC80-1-D, Detailed Population Characteristics.
The 1990 census introduced an additional class of worker category for "private not-for-profit" employers. This category is a subset of the 1980 category "employee of private employer" so there is no comparable data before 1990. Also in 1990, employees of foreign governments, the United Nations, etc., are classified as "private not-for-profit," rather than Federal Government as in 1970 and 1980. While in theory, there was a change in comparability, in practice, the small number of U.S. residents working for foreign governments made this change negligible.
Comparability between the statistics on industry and occupation from the 1990 census and statistics from other sources is affected by many of the factors described in the section on "Employment Status." These factors are primarily geographic differences between residence and place of work, different dates of reference, and differences in counts because of dual job holding. Industry data from population censuses cover all industries and all kinds of workers, whereas, data from establishments often excluded private household workers, government workers, and the self-employed. Also, the replies from household respondents may have differed in detail and nature from those obtained from establishments.
Occupation data from the census and data from government licensing agencies, professional associations, trade unions, etc., may not be as comparable as expected. Organizational listings often include persons not in the labor force or persons devoting all or most of their time to another occupation; or the same person may be included in two or more different listings. In addition, relatively few organizations, except for those requiring licensing, attained complete coverage of membership in a particular occupational field.
The data on place of work were derived from answers to questionnaire item 22, which was asked of persons who indicated in question 21 that they worked at some time during the reference week. (For more information, see discussion under "Reference Week.")
Data were tabulated for workers 16 years and over; that is, members of the Armed Forces and civilians who were at work during the reference week. Data on place of work refer to the geographic location at which workers carried out their occupational activities during the reference week. The exact address (number and street) of the place of work was asked, as well as the place (city, town, or post office); whether or not the place of work was inside or outside the limits of that city or town; and the county, State, and ZIP Code. If the person's employer operated in more than one location, the exact address of the location or branch where the respondent worked was requested. When the number and street name were unknown, a description of the location, such as the building name or nearest street or intersection, was to be entered.
Persons who worked at more than one location during the reference week were asked to report the one at which they worked the greatest number of hours. Persons who regularly worked in several locations each day during the reference week were requested to give the address at which they began work each day. For cases in which daily work did not begin at a central place each day, the person was asked to provide as much information as possible to describe the area in which he or she worked most during the reference week.
In some tabulations, place-of-work locations may be defined as "in area of residence" and "outside area of residence." The area of residence may vary from table to table or even within a table, and refers to the particular area or areas shown. For example, in a table that provides data for counties, "in area of residence" refers to persons who worked in the same county in which they lived, while "outside area of residence" refers to persons whose workplace was located in a county different from the one in which they lived. Similarly, in a table that provides data for several types of areas, such as the State and its individual metropolitan areas (MA's), counties, and places, the place-of-work data will be variable and is determined by the geographic level (State, MA, county, or place) shown in each section of the tabulation.
In tabulations that present data for States, workplaces for the residents of the State may include, in addition to the State itself, each contiguous State. The category, "in noncontiguous State or abroad," includes persons who worked in a State that did not border their State of residence as well as persons who worked outside the United States.
In tabulations that present data for an MSA/PMSA, place-of-work locations are specified to show the main destinations of workers living in the MSA/PMSA. (For more information on metropolitan areas (MA's), see Appendix A, Area Classifications.) All place-of-work locations are identified with respect to the boundaries of the MSA/PMSA as "inside MSA/PMSA" or "outside MSA/PMSA." Locations within the MSA/PMSA are further divided into each central city, and each county or county balance. Selected large incorporated places also may be specified as places of work.
Within New England MSA/PMSA's, the places of work presented generally are cities and towns. Locations outside the MSA/PMSA are specified if they are important commuting destinations for residents of the MSA/PMSA, and may include adjoining MSA/PMSA's and their central cities, their component counties, large incorporated places, or counties, cities, or other geographic areas outside any MA. In tabulations for MSA/PMSA's in New England; Honolulu, Hawaii; and certain other MA's, some place-of-work locations are identified as "areas" (e.g., Area 1, Area 5, Area 12, etc.). Such areas consist of groups of towns, cities, census designated places (Honolulu MSA only), or counties that have been identified as unique place-of-work destinations. When an adjoining MSA/PMSA or MSA/PMSA remainder is specified as a place-of-work location, its components are not defined. However, the components are presented in the 1990 CP-1, General Population Characteristics for Metropolitan Areas and the 1990 CH-1, General Housing Characteristics for Metropolitan Areas reports. In tabulations that present data for census tracts outside MA's, place-of-work locations are defined as "in county of residence" and "outside county of residence."
In areas where the workplace address was coded to the block level, persons were tabulated as working inside or outside a specific place based on the location of that address, regardless of the response to question 22c concerning city/town limits. In areas where it was impossible to code the workplace address to the block level, persons were tabulated as working in a place if a place name was reported in question 22b and the response to question 22c was either "Yes" or the item was left blank. In selected areas, census designated places (CDP's) may appear in the tabulations as places of work. The accuracy of place-of-work data for CDP's may be affected by the extent to which their census names were familiar to respondents, and by coding problems caused by similarities between the CDP name and the names of other geographic jurisdictions in the same vicinity.
Place-of-work data are given for selected minor civil divisions (generally, cities, towns, and townships) in the nine Northeastern States, based on the responses to the place-of-work question. Many towns and townships are regarded locally as equivalent to a place and therefore, were reported as the place of work. When a respondent reported a locality or incorporated place that formed a part of a township or town, the coding and tabulating procedure was designed to include the response in the total for the township or town. The accuracy of the place-of-work data for minor civil divisions is greatest for the New England States. However, the data for some New England towns, for towns in New York, and for townships in New Jersey and Pennsylvania may be affected by coding problems that resulted from the unfamiliarity of the respondent with the minor civil division in which the workplace was located or when a township and a city or borough of the same or similar name are located close together.
Place-of-work data may show a few workers who made unlikely daily work trips (e.g., workers who lived in New York and worked in California). This result is attributable to persons who worked during the reference week at a location that was different from their usual place of work, such as persons away from home on business.
The wording of the question on place of work was substantially the same in the 1990 census as it was in 1980. However, data on place of work from the 1990 census are based on the full census sample, while data from the 1980 census were based on only about one-half of the full sample.
For the 1980 census, nonresponse or incomplete responses to the place-of-work question were not allocated, resulting in the use of "not reported" categories in the 1980 publications. However, for the 1990 census, when place of work was not reported or the response was incomplete, a work location was allocated to the person based on their means of transportation to work, travel time to work, industry, and location of residence and workplace of others. The 1990 publications, therefore, do not contain a "not reported" category for the place-of-work data.
Comparisons between 1980 and 1990 census data on the gross number of workers in particular commuting flows, or the total number of persons working in an area, should be made with extreme caution. Any apparent increase in the magnitude of the gross numbers may be due solely to the fact that for 1990 the "not reported" cases have been distributed among specific place-of-work destinations, instead of tallied in a separate category as in 1980.
The data on place of work relate to a reference week; that is, the calendar week preceding the date on which the respondents completed their questionnaires or were interviewed by enumerators. This week is not the same for all respondents because the enumeration was not completed in 1 week. However, for the majority of persons, the reference week for the 1990 census is the last week in March 1990. The lack of a uniform reference week means that the place-of-work data reported in the census will not exactly match the distribution of workplace locations observed or measured during an actual workweek.
The place-of-work data are estimates of persons 16 years old and over who were both employed and at work during the reference week (including persons in the Armed Forces). Persons who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons are not included in the place-of-work data. Therefore, the data on place of work understate the total number of jobs or total employment in a geographic area during the reference week. It also should be noted that persons who had irregular, casual, or unstructured jobs during the reference week may have erroneously reported themselves as not working.
The address where the individual worked most often during the reference week was recorded on the census questionnaire. If a worker held two jobs, only data about the primary job (the one worked the greatest number of hours during the preceding week) was requested. Persons who regularly worked in several locations during the reference week were requested to give the address at which they began work each day. For cases in which daily work was not begun at a central place each day, the person was asked to provide as much information as possible to describe the area in which he or she worked most during the reference week.
Means of Transportation to Work
The data on means of transportation to work were derived from answers to questionnaire item 23a, which was asked of persons who indicated in question 21 that they worked at some time during the reference week. (For more information, see discussion under "Reference Week.") Means of transportation to work refers to the principal mode of travel or type of conveyance that the person usually used to get from home to work during the reference week.
Persons who used different means of transportation on different days of the week were asked to specify the one they used most often, that is, the greatest number of days. Persons who used more than one means of transportation to get to work each day were asked to report the one used for the longest distance during the work trip. The category, "Car, truck, or van," includes workers using a car (including company cars but excluding taxicabs), a truck of one-ton capacity or less, or a van. The category, "Public transportation," includes workers who used a bus or trolley bus, streetcar or trolley car, subway or elevated, railroad, ferryboat, or taxicab even if each mode is not shown separately in the tabulation. The category, "Other means," includes workers who used a mode of travel which is not identified separately within the data distribution. The category, "Other means," may vary from table to table, depending on the amount of detail shown in a particular distribution.
The means of transportation data for some areas may show workers using modes of public transportation that are not available in those areas (e.g., subway or elevated riders in an MA where there actually is no subway or elevated service). This result is largely due to persons who worked during the reference week at a location that was different from their usual place of work (such as persons away from home on business in an area where subway service was available) and persons who used more than one means of transportation each day but whose principal means was unavailable where they lived (for example, residents of nonmetropolitan areas who drove to the fringe of an MA and took the commuter railroad most of the distance to work).
Private Vehicle Occupancy
The data on private vehicle occupancy were derived from answers to questionnaire item 23b. This question was asked of persons who indicated in question 21 that they worked at some time during the reference week and who reported in question 23a that their means of transportation to work was "Car, truck, or van." (For more information, see discussion under "Reference Week.")
Private vehicle occupancy refers to the number of persons who usually rode to work in the vehicle during the reference week. The category, "Drove alone," includes persons who usually drove alone to work as well as persons who were driven to work by someone who then drove back home or to a nonwork destination. The category, "Carpooled," includes workers who reported that two or more persons usually rode to work in the vehicle during the reference week.
Persons Per Car, Truck, or Van
This is obtained by dividing the number of persons who reported using a car, truck, or van to get to work by the number of such vehicles that they used. The number of vehicles used is derived by counting each person who drove alone as one vehicle, each person who reported being in a two-person carpool as one-half vehicle, each person who reported being in a three-person carpool as one-third vehicle, and so on, and then summing all the vehicles.
Time Leaving Home to Go to Work
The data on time leaving home to go to work were derived from answers to questionnaire item 24a. This question was asked of persons who indicated in question 21 that they worked at some time during the reference week and who reported in question 23a that they worked outside their home. The departure time refers to the time of day that the person usually left home to go to work during the reference week. (For more information, see discussion under "Reference Week.")
The data on travel time to work were derived from answers to questionnaire item 24b. This question was asked of persons who indicated in question 21 that they worked at some time during the reference week and who reported in question 23a that they worked outside their home. Travel time to work refers to the total number of minutes that it usually took the person to get from home to work during the reference week. The elapsed time includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in carpools, and time spent in other activities related to getting to work. (For more information, see discussion under "Reference Week.")
Language Spoken At Home and Ability to Speak English
Language Spoken at Home--Data on language spoken at home were derived from the answers to questionnaire items 15a and 15b, which were asked of a sample of persons born before April 1, 1985. Instructions mailed with the 1990 census questionnaire stated that a respondent should mark "Yes" in question 15a if the person sometimes or always spoke a language other than English at home and should not mark "Yes" if a language was spoken only at school or if speaking was limited to a few expressions or slang. For question 15b, respondents were instructed to print the name of the non-English language spoken at home. If the person spoke more than one language other than English, the person was to report the language spoken more often or the language learned first.
The cover of the census questionnaire included information in Spanish which provided a telephone number for respondents to call to request a census questionnaire and instructions in Spanish. Instruction guides were also available in 32 other languages to assist enumerators who encountered households or respondents who spoke no English.
Questions 15a and 15b referred to languages spoken at home in an effort to measure the current use of languages other than English. Persons who knew languages other than English but did not use them at home or who only used them elsewhere were excluded. Persons who reported speaking a language other than English at home may also speak English; however, the questions did not permit determination of the main or dominant language of persons who spoke both English and another language. (For more information, see discussion below on "Ability to Speak English.")
For persons who indicated that they spoke a language other than English at home in question 15a, but failed to specify the name of the language in question 15b, the language was assigned based on the language of other speakers in the household; on the language of a person of the same Spanish origin or detailed race group living in the same or a nearby area; or on a person of the same ancestry or place of birth. In all cases where a person was assigned a non-English language, it was assumed that the language was spoken at home. Persons for whom the name of a language other than English was entered in question 15b, and for whom question 15a was blank were assumed to speak that language at home.
The write-in responses listed in question 15b (specific language spoken) were transcribed onto computer files and coded into more than 380 detailed language categories using an automated coding system. The automated procedure compared write-in responses reported by respondents with entries in a computer dictionary, which initially contained approximately 2,000 language names. The dictionary was updated with a large number of new names, variations in spelling, and a small number of residual categories. Each write-in response was given a numeric code that was associated with one of the detailed categories in the dictionary. If the respondent listed more than one non-English language, only the first was coded.
The write-in responses represented the names people used for languages they speak. They may not match the names or categories used by linguists. The sets of categories used are sometimes geographic and sometimes linguistic. Figure 1 provides an illustration of the content of the classification schemes used to present language data. For more information, write to the Chief, Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.
In households where one or more persons (age 5 years old or over) speak a language other than English, the household language assigned to all household members is the non-English language spoken by the first person with a non-English language in the following order:
householder, spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, other relative, stepchild, unmarried partner, housemate or roommate, roomer, boarder, or foster child, or other nonrelative. Thus, persons who speak only English may have a non-English household language assigned to them in tabulations of persons by household language.
|Figure 1. Four- and Twenty-Five-Group Classifications of 1990 Census Languages Spoken at Home with Illustrative Examples|
|Spanish Other Indo-European
||French, Cajun,French Creole
||Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
||Serbocroatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene
||Czech, Slovak, Ukranian
||Hindi, Bengali, Gujarathi, Punjabi, Romany, Sinhalese
||Other Indo European,
||not elsewhere classified
|Languages of Asia and the Pacific
||Ilocano, Thai, Turkish
|All other languages
||Central and South
||Languages of Africa
Persons 5 years old and over who reported that they spoke a language other than English in question 15a were also asked in question 15c to indicate their ability to speak English based on one of the following categories: "Very well," "Well," "Not well," or "Not at all."
The data on ability to speak English represent the person's own perception about his or her own ability or, because census questionnaires are usually completed by one household member, the responses may represent the perception of another household member. The instruction guides and questionnaires that were mailed to households did not include any information on how to interpret the response categories in question 15c.
Persons who reported that they spoke a language other than English at home but whose ability to speak English was not reported, were assigned the English-language ability of a randomly selected person of the same age, Spanish origin, nativity and year of entry, and language group.
A household in which no person age 14 years or over speaks only English and no person age 14 years or over who speaks a language other than English speaks English "Very well" is classified as "linguistically isolated." All the members of a linguistically isolated household are tabulated as linguistically isolated, including members under age 14 years who may speak only English.
Persons who speak a language other than English at home may have first learned that language at school. However, these persons would be expected to indicate that they spoke English "Very well." Persons who speak a language other than English, but do not do so at home, should have been reported as not speaking a language other than English at home.
The extreme detail in which language names were coded may give a false impression of the linguistic precision of these data. The names used by speakers of a language to identify it may reflect ethnic, geographic, or political affiliations and do not necessarily respect linguistic distinctions. The categories shown in the tabulations were chosen on a number of criteria, such as information about the number of speakers of each language that might be expected in a sample of the United States population.
Information on language has been collected in every census since 1890. The comparability of data among censuses is limited by changes in question wording, by the subpopulations to whom the question was addressed, and by the detail that was published.
The same question on language was asked in the 1980 and 1990 censuses. This question on the current language spoken at home replaced the questions asked in prior censuses on mother tongue; that is, the language other than English spoken in the person's home when he or she was a child; one's first language; or the language spoken before immigrating to the United States. The censuses of 1910-1940, 1960 and 1970 included questions on mother tongue. A change in coding procedure from 1980 to 1990 should have improved accuracy of coding and may affect the number of persons reported in some of the 380 plus categories. It should not greatly affect the 4-group or 25- group lists. In 1980, coding clerks supplied numeric codes for the written entries on each questionnaire using a 2,000 name reference list. In 1990 written entries were transcribed to a computer file and matched to a computer dictionary which began with the 2,000 name list, but expanded as unmatched names were referred to headquarters specialists for resolution.
The question on ability to speak English was asked for the first time in 1980. In tabulations from 1980, the categories "Very well" and "Well" were combined. Data from other surveys suggested a major difference between the category "Very well" and the remaining categories. In tabulations showing ability to speak English, persons who reported that they spoke English "Very well" are presented separately from persons who reported their ability to speak English as less than "Very well."
The data on marital status were derived from answers to questionnaire item 6, which was asked of all persons. The marital status classification refers to the status at the time of enumeration. Data on marital status are tabulated only for persons 15 years old and over.
All persons were asked whether they were "now married," "widowed," "divorced," "separated," or "never married." Couples who live together (unmarried persons, persons in common-law marriages) were allowed to report the marital status they considered the most appropriate.
Includes all persons who have never been married, including persons whose only marriage(s) was annulled.
Includes persons married at the time of enumeration (including those separated), widowed, or divorced.
Now Married, Except Separated
Includes persons whose current marriage has not ended through widowhood, divorce, or separation (regardless of previous marital history). The category may also include couples who live together or persons in common-law marriages if they consider this category the most appropriate. In certain tabulations, currently married persons are further classified as "spouse present" or "spouse absent."
Includes persons legally separated or otherwise absent from their spouse because of marital discord. Included are persons who have been deserted or who have parted because they no longer want to live together but who have not obtained a divorce.
Includes widows and widowers who have not remarried.
Includes persons who are legally divorced and who have not remarried.
In selected sample tabulations, data for married and separated persons are reorganized and combined with information on the presence of the spouse in the same household.
All persons whose current marriage has not ended by widowhood or divorce. This category includes persons defined above as "separated."
Married persons whose wife or husband was enumerated as a member of the same household, including those whose spouse may have been temporarily absent for such reasons as travel or hospitalization.
Married persons whose wife or husband was not enumerated as a member of the same household. This category also includes all married persons living in group quarters.
Married persons whose wife or husband was not enumerated as a member of the same household, excluding separated. Included is any person whose spouse was employed and living away from home or in an institution or absent in the Armed Forces.
Differences between the number of currently married males and the number of currently married females occur because of reporting differences and because some husbands and wives have their usual residence in different areas. In sample tabulations, these differences can also occur because different weights are applied to the individual's data. Any differences between the number of "now married, spouse present" males and females are due solely to sample weighting. By definition, the numbers would be the same.
When marital status was not reported, it was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and sex and age of the person. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)
The 1990 marital status definitions are the same as those used in 1980 with the exception of the term "never married" which replaces the term "single" in tabulations. A general marital status question has been asked in every census since 1880.
Mobility Limitation Status
The data on mobility limitation status were derived from answers to questionnaire item 19a, which was asked of a sample of persons 15 years old and over. Persons were identified as having a mobility limitation if they had a health condition that had lasted for 6 or more months and which made it difficult to go outside the home alone. Examples of outside activities on the questionnaire included shopping and visiting the doctor's office.
The term "health condition" referred to both physical and mental conditions. A temporary health problem, such as a broken bone that was expected to heal normally, was not considered a health condition.
This was the first time that a question on mobility limitation was included in the census.
The data on place of birth were derived from answers to questionnaire item 8, which was asked on a sample basis. The place-of-birth question asked respondents to report the U.S. State, commonwealth or territory, or the foreign country where they were born. Persons born outside the United States were asked to report their place of birth according to current international boundaries. Since numerous changes in boundaries of foreign countries have occurred in the last century, some persons may have reported their place of birth in terms of boundaries that existed at the time of their birth or emigration, or in accordance with their own national preference.
Persons not reporting place of birth were assigned the birthplace of another family member or were allocated the response of another person with similar characteristics. Persons allocated as foreign born were not assigned a specific country of birth but were classified as "Born abroad, country not specified."
Information on place of birth and citizenship were used to classify the population into two major categories: native and foreign born. When information on place of birth was not reported, nativity was assigned on the basis of answers to citizenship, if reported, and other characteristics.
Includes persons born in the United States, Puerto Rico, or an outlying area of the United States. The small number of persons who were born in a foreign country but have at least one American parent also are included in this category.
The native population is classified in the following groups: persons born in the State in which they resided at the time of the census; persons born in a different State, by region; persons born in Puerto Rico or an outlying area of the U.S.; and persons born abroad with at least one American parent.
Includes persons not classified as "Native." Prior to the 1970 census, persons not reporting place of birth were generally classified as native.
The foreign-born population is shown by selected area, country, or region of birth: the places of birth shown in data products were selected based on the number of respondents who reported that area or country of birth.
Data on the State of birth of the native population have been collected in each census beginning with that of 1850. Similar data were shown in tabulations for the 1980 census and other recent censuses.
Nonresponse was allocated in a similar manner in 1980; however, prior to 1980, nonresponse to the place of birth question was not allocated. Prior to the 1970 census, persons not reporting place of birth were generally classified as native.
The questionnaire instruction to report mother's State of residence instead of the person's actual State of birth (if born in a hospital in a different State) was dropped in 1990. Evaluation studies of 1970 and 1980 census data demonstrated that this instruction was generally either ignored or misunderstood. Since the hospital and the mother's residence, is in the same State for most births, this change may have a slight effect on State of birth data for States with large metropolitan areas that straddle State lines.
The data on poverty status were derived from answers to the same questions as the income data, questionnaire items 32 and 33. (For more information, see the discussion under "Income in 1989.") Poverty statistics presented in census publications were based on a definition originated by the Social Security Administration in 1964 and subsequently modified by Federal interagency committees in 1969 and 1980 and prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget in Directive 14 as the standard to be used by Federal agencies for statistical purposes.
At the core of this definition was the 1961 economy food plan, the least costly of four nutritionally adequate food plans designed by the Department of Agriculture. It was determined from the Agriculture Department's 1955 survey of food consumption that families of three or more persons spend approximately one-third of their income on food; hence, the poverty level for these families was set at three times the cost of the economy food plan. For smaller families and persons living alone, the cost of the economy food plan was multiplied by factors that were slightly higher to compensate for the relatively larger fixed expenses for these smaller households.
The income cutoffs used by the Census Bureau to determine the poverty status of families and unrelated individuals included a set of 48 thresholds arranged in a two-dimensional matrix consisting of family size (from one person to nine or more persons) cross-classified by presence and number of family members under 18 years old (from no children present to eight or more children present). Unrelated individuals and two-person families were further differentiated by age of the householder (under 65 years old and 65 years old and over).
The total income of each family or unrelated individual in the sample was tested against the appropriate poverty threshold to determine the poverty status of that family or unrelated individual. If the total income was less than the corresponding cutoff, the family or unrelated individual was classified as "below the poverty level." The number of persons below the poverty level was the sum of the number of persons in families with incomes below the poverty level and the number of unrelated individuals with incomes below the poverty level.
The poverty thresholds are revised annually to allow for changes in the cost of living as reflected in the Consumer Price Index. The average poverty threshold for a family of four persons was $12,674 in 1989. (For more information, see table A below.) Poverty thresholds were applied on a national basis and were not adjusted for regional, State or local variations in the cost of living. For a detailed discussion of the poverty definition, see U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 171, Poverty in the United States: 1988 and 1989.
|Table A Poverty Thresholds in 1989 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years|
||Related children under 18 years
|Size of Family Unit
||Weight average thresholds
||Eight or more
|One person (unrelated individual)
|Under 65 years
|65 years and over
|Householder under 65 years
|Householder 65 years and
|Nine or more persons
Persons for Whom Poverty Status is Determined
Poverty status was determined for all persons except institutionalized persons, persons in military group quarters and in college dormitories, and unrelated individuals under 15 years old. These groups also were excluded from the denominator when calculating poverty rates.
Since the poverty levels currently in use by the Federal Government do not meet all the needs of data users, some of the data are presented for alternate levels. These specified poverty levels are obtained by multiplying the income cutoffs at the poverty level by the appropriate factor. For example, the average income cutoff at 125 percent of poverty level was $15,843 ($12,674 x 1.25) in 1989 for a family of four persons.
Weighted Average Thresholds at the Poverty Level
The average thresholds shown in the first column of table A are weighted by the presence and number of children. For example, the weighted average threshold for a given family size is obtained by multiplying the threshold for each presence and number of children category within the given family size by the number of families in that category. These products are then aggregated across the entire range of presence and number of children categories, and the aggregate is divided by the total number of families in the group to yield the weighted average threshold at the poverty level for that family size.
Since the basic thresholds used to determine the poverty status of families and unrelated individuals are applied to all families and unrelated individuals, the weighted average poverty thresholds are derived using all families and unrelated individuals rather than just those classified as being below the poverty level. To obtain the weighted poverty thresholds for families and unrelated individuals below alternate poverty levels, the weighted thresholds shown in table A may be multiplied directly by the appropriate factor. The weighted average thresholds presented in the table are based on the March 1990 Current Population Survey. However, these thresholds would not differ significantly from those based on the 1990 census.
Represents the difference between the total income of families and unrelated individuals below the poverty level and their respective poverty thresholds. In computing the income deficit, families reporting a net income loss are assigned zero dollars and for such cases the deficit is equal to the poverty threshold.
This measure provided an estimate of the amount which would be required to raise the incomes of all poor families and unrelated individuals to their respective poverty thresholds. The income deficit is thus a measure of the degree of impoverishment of a family or unrelated individual. However, caution must be used in comparing the average deficits of families with different characteristics. Apparent differences in average income deficits may, to some extent, be a function of differences in family size.
Represents the amount obtained by dividing the total income deficit of a group below the poverty level by the number of families (or unrelated individuals) in that group.
The poverty definition used in the 1990 and 1980 censuses differed slightly from the one used in the 1970 census. Three technical modifications were made to the definition used in the 1970 census as described below:
- The separate thresholds for families with a female householder with no husband present and all other families were eliminated. For the 1980 and 1990 censuses, the weighted average of the poverty thresholds for these two types of families was applied to all types of families, regardless of the sex of the householder.
- Farm families and farm unrelated individuals no longer had a set of poverty thresholds that were lower than the thresholds applied to nonfarm families and unrelated individuals. The farm thresholds were 85 percent of the corresponding levels for nonfarm families in the 1970 census. The same thresholds were applied to all families and unrelated individuals regardless of residence in 1980 and 1990.
- The thresholds by size of family were extended from seven or more persons in 1970 to nine or more persons in 1980 and 1990.
These changes resulted in a minimal increase in the number of poor at the national level. For a complete discussion of these modifications and their impact, see the Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 133.
The population covered in the poverty statistics derived from the 1980 and 1990 censuses was essentially the same as in the 1970 census. The only difference was that in 1980 and 1990, unrelated individuals under 15 years old were excluded from the poverty universe, while in 1970, only those under 14 years old were excluded. The poverty data from the 1960 census excluded all persons in group quarters and included all unrelated individuals regardless of age. It was unlikely that these differences in population coverage would have had significant impact when comparing the poverty data for persons since the 1960 censuses.
Current Population Survey
Because of differences in the questionnaires and data collection procedures, estimates of the number of persons below the poverty level by various characteristics from the 1990 census may differ from those reported in the March 1990 Current Population Survey.
The data on race were derived from answers to questionnaire item 4, which was asked of all persons. The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification; it does not denote any clear-cut scientific definition of biological stock. The data for race represent self-classification by people according to the race with which they most closely identify. Furthermore, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include both racial and national origin or socio-cultural groups.
During direct interviews conducted by enumerators, if a person could not provide a single response to the race question, he or she was asked to select, based on self-identification, the group which best described his or her racial identity. If a person could not provide a single race response, the race of the mother was used. If a single race response could not be provided for the person's mother, the first race reported by the person was used. In all cases where occupied housing units, households, or families are classified by race, the race of the householder was used.
The racial classification used by the Census Bureau generally adheres to the guidelines in Federal Statistical Directive No. 15, issued by the Office of Management and Budget, which provides standards on ethnic and racial categories for statistical reporting to be used by all Federal agencies. The racial categories used in the 1990 census data products are provided below.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "White" or reported entries such as Canadian, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Black or Negro" or reported entries such as African American, Afro-American, Black Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Nigerian, West Indian, or Haitian.
American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut
Includes persons who classified themselves as such in one of the specific race categories identified below.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "American Indian," entered the name of an Indian tribe, or reported such entries as Canadian Indian, French-American Indian, or Spanish-American Indian.
Persons who identified themselves as American Indian were asked to report their enrolled or principal tribe. Therefore, tribal data in tabulations reflect the written tribal entries reported on the questionnaires. Some of the entries (for example, Iroquois, Sioux, Colorado River, and Flathead) represent nations or reservations.
The information on tribe is based on self-identification and therefore does not reflect any designation of Federally- or State-recognized tribe. Information on American Indian tribes is presented in summary tape files and special data products. The information is derived from the American Indian Detailed Tribal Classification List for the 1990 census. The classification list represents all tribes, bands, and clans that had a specified number of American Indians reported on the census questionnaire.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Eskimo" or reported entries such as Arctic Slope, Inupiat, and Yupik.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Aleut" or reported entries such as Alutiiq, Egegik, and Pribilovian.
Asian or Pacific Islander
Includes persons who reported in one of the Asian or Pacific Islander groups listed on the questionnaire or who provided write-in responses such as Thai, Nepali, or Tongan. A more detailed listing of the groups comprising the Asian or Pacific Islander population is presented in figure 2 below. In some data products, information is presented separately for the Asian population and the Pacific Islander population.
Includes "Chinese," "Filipino," "Japanese," "Asian Indian," "Korean," "Vietnamese," and "Other Asian." In some tables, "Other Asian" may not be shown separately, but is included in the total Asian population.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Chinese" or who identified themselves as Cantonese, Tibetan, or Chinese American. In standard census reports, persons who reported as "Taiwanese" or "Formosan" are included here with Chinese. In special reports on the Asian or Pacific Islander population, information on persons who identified themselves as Taiwanese are shown separately.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Filipino" or reported entries such as Philipino, Philipine, or Filipino American.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Japanese" and persons who identified themselves as Nipponese or Japanese American.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Asian Indian" and persons who identified themselves as Bengalese, Bharat, Dravidian, East Indian, or Goanese.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Korean" and persons who identified themselves as Korean American.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Vietnamese" and persons who identified themselves as Vietnamese American.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Cambodian or Cambodia.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Hmong, Laohmong, or Mong.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Laotian, Laos, or Lao.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as Thai, Thailand, or Siamese.
Includes persons who provided a write-in response of Bangladeshi, Burmese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Amerasian, or Eurasian. See figure 2 for other groups comprising "Other Asian."
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Pacific Islander" by classifying themselves into one of the following groups or identifying themselves as one of the Pacific Islander cultural groups of Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Hawaiian" as well as persons who identified themselves as Part Hawaiian or Native Hawaiian. Samoan--Includes persons who indicated their race as "Samoan" or persons who identified themselves as American Samoan or Western Samoan.
Includes persons who indicated their race as "Guamanian" or persons who identified themselves as Chamorro or Guam. Other Pacific Islander--Includes persons who provided a write-in response of a Pacific Islander group such as Tahitian, Northern Mariana Islander, Palauan, Fijian, or a cultural group such as Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian. See figure 2 for other groups comprising "Other Pacific Islander."
Includes all other persons not included in the "White," "Black," "American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut," and the "Asian or Pacific Islander" race categories described above. Persons reporting in the "Other race" category and providing write-in entries such as multiracial, multiethnic, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Spanish/Hispanic origin group (such as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican) are included here.
Written entries to three categories on the race item--"Indian (Amer.)," "Other Asian or Pacific Islander (API)," and "Other race"--were reviewed, edited, and coded by subject matter specialists. (For more information on the coding operation, see the section below that discusses "Comparability.")
The written entries under "Indian (Amer.)" and "Other Asian or Pacific Islander (API)" were reviewed and coded during 100-percent processing of the 1990 census questionnaires. A substantial portion of the entries for the "Other race" category also were reviewed, edited, and coded during the 100-percent processing. The remaining entries under "Other race" underwent review and coding during sample processing. Most of the written entries reviewed and coded during sample processing were those indicating Hispanic origin such as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican.
If the race entry for a member of a household was missing on the questionnaire, race was assigned based upon the reported entries of race by other household members using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. For example, if race was missing for the daughter of the householder, then the race of her mother (as female householder or female spouse) would be assigned. If there was no female householder or spouse in the household, the daughter would be assigned her father's (male householder) race. If race was not reported for anyone in the household, the race of a householder in a previously processed household was assigned. This procedure is a variation of the general imputation procedures described in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.
In the 1980 census, a relatively high proportion (20 percent) of American Indians did not report any tribal entry in the race item. Evaluation of the pre-census tests indicated that changes made for the 1990 race item should improve the reporting of tribes in the rural areas (especially on reservations) for the 1990 census. The results for urban areas were inconclusive. Also, the precensus tests indicated that there may be overreporting of the Cherokee tribe. An evaluation of 1980 census data showed overreporting of Cherokee in urban areas or areas where the number of American Indians was sparse.
In the 1990 census, respondents sometimes did not fill in a circle or filled the "Other race" circle and wrote in a response, such as Arab, Polish, or African American in the shared write-in box for "Other race" and "Other API" responses. During the automated coding process, these responses were edited and assigned to the appropriate racial designation. Also, some Hispanic origin persons did not fill in a circle, but provided entries such as Mexican or Puerto Rican. These persons were classified in the "Other race" category during the coding and editing process. There may be some minor differences between sample data and 100- percent data because sample processing included additional edits not included in the 100-percent processing.
|Figure 2. Asian or Pacific Islander Groups Reported in the 1990 Census|
||Other Pacific Islander
|| Kosraean 
|| Micronesian 
|| Northern Mariana Islander
|Other Asian 
|| Papua Now Guinean
|| Ponapean (Pohnpeian)
|| Solomon Islander
|| Tarawa Islander
|| Trukese (Chuukese)
|| Pacific Islander, not speclied
| Sri Lankan|
| Asian, not specified|
(1)In some data products, specific groups listed under "Other Asian" or "Other Pacific Islander" are shown separately. Groups not shown are tabulated as "All other Asian" or "All other Pacific Islander," respectively.
(2)Includes entries such as Asian American, Asian, Asiatic, Amerasian, and Eurasian.
(3)Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian are Pacific Islander cultural groups.
Differences between the 1990 census and earlier censuses affect the comparability of data for certain racial groups and American Indian tribes. The 1990 census was the first census to undertake, on a 100- percent basis, an automated review, edit, and coding operation for written responses to the race item. The automated coding system used in the 1990 census greatly reduced the potential for error associated with a clerical review. Specialists with a thorough knowledge of the race subject matter reviewed, edited, coded, and resolved inconsistent or incomplete responses. In the 1980 census, there was only a limited clerical review of the race responses on the 100-percent forms with a full clerical review conducted only on the sample questionnaires.
Another major difference between the 1990 and preceding censuses is the handling of the write-in responses for the Asian or Pacific Islander populations. In addition to the nine Asian or Pacific Islander categories shown on the questionnaire under the spanner "Asian or Pacific Islander (API)," the 1990 census race item provided a new residual category, "Other API," for Asian or Pacific Islander persons who did not report in one of the listed Asian or Pacific Islander groups. During the coding operation, write-in responses for "Other API" were reviewed, coded, and assigned to the appropriate classification. For example, in 1990, a write-in entry of Laotian, Thai, or Javanese is classified as "Other Asian," while a write-in entry of Tongan or Fijian is classified as "Other Pacific Islander." In the 1990 census, these persons were able to identify as "Other API" in both the 100-percent and sample operations.
In the 1980 census, the nine Asian or Pacific Islander groups were also listed separately. However, persons not belonging to these nine groups wrote in their specific racial group under the "Other" race category. Persons with a written entry such as Laotian, Thai, or Tongan, were tabulated and published as "Other race" in the 100- percent processing operation in 1980, but were reclassified as "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" in 1980 sample tabulations. In 1980 special reports on the Asian or Pacific Islander populations, data were shown separately for "Other Asian" and "Other Pacific Islander."
The 1970 questionnaire did not have separate race categories for Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Samoan, and Guamanian. These persons indicated their race in the "Other" category and later, through the editing process, were assigned to a specific group. For example, in 1970, Asian Indians were reclassified as "White," while Vietnamese, Guamanians, and Samoans were included in the "Other" category.
Another difference between 1990 and preceding censuses is the approach taken when persons of Spanish/Hispanic origin did not report in a specific race category but reported as "Other race" or "Other." These persons commonly provided a write-in entry such as Mexican, Venezuelan, or Latino. In the 1990 and 1980 censuses, these entries remained in the "Other race" or "Other" category, respectively. In the 1970 census, most of these persons were included in the "White" category.
The data on labor force status and journey to work were related to the reference week; that is, the calendar week preceding the date on which the respondents completed their questionnaires or were interviewed by enumerators. This week is not the same for all respondents since the enumeration was not completed in one week. The occurrence of holidays during the enumeration period could affect the data on actual hours worked during the reference week, but probably had no effect on overall measurement of employment status (see the discussion below on "Comparability").
The reference weeks for the 1990 and 1980 censuses differ in that Passover and Good Friday occurred in the first week of April 1980, but in the second week of April 1990. Many workers presumably took time off for those observances. The differing occurrence of these holidays could affect the comparability of the 1990 and 1980 data on actual hours worked for some areas if the respective weeks were the reference weeks for a significant number of persons. The holidays probably did not affect the overall measurement of employment status since this information was based on work activity during the entire reference week.
The data on residence in 1985 were derived from answers to question 14b, which asked for the State (or foreign country), county, and place of residence on April 1, 1985, for those persons reporting in question 14a that on that date they lived in a different house than their current residence. Residence in 1985 is used in conjunction with location of current residence to determine the extent of residential mobility of the population and the resulting redistribution of the population across the various States, metropolitan areas, and regions of the country.
When no information on residence in 1985 was reported for a person, information for other family members, if available, was used to assign a location of residence in 1985. All cases of nonresponse or incomplete response that were not assigned a previous residence based on information from other family members were allocated the previous residence of another person with similar characteristics who provided complete information.
The tabulation category, "Same house," includes all persons 5 years old and over who did not move during the 5 years as well as those who had moved but by 1990 had returned to their 1985 residence. The category, "Different house in the United States," includes persons who lived in the United States in 1985 but in a different house or apartment from the one they occupied on April 1, 1990. These movers are then further subdivided according to the type of move.
In most tabulations, movers are divided into three groups according to their 1985 residence: "Different house, same county," "Different county, same State," and "Different State." The last group may be further subdivided into region of residence in 1985. The category, "Abroad," includes those persons who were residing in a foreign country, Puerto Rico, or an outlying area of the U.S. in 1985, including members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. Some tabulations show movers who were residing in Puerto Rico or an outlying area in 1985 separately from those residing in other countries.
In tabulations for metropolitan areas, movers are categorized according to the metropolitan status of their current and previous residences, resulting in such groups as movers within an MSA/PMSA, movers between PMSA's, movers from nonmetropolitan areas to MSA/PMSA, and movers from central cities to the remainder of an MSA/PMSA. In some tabulations, these categories are further subdivided by size of MSA/PMSA, region of current or previous residence, or movers within or between central cities and the remainder of the same or a different MSA/PMSA.
The size categories used in some tabulations for both 1985 and 1990 residence refer to the populations of the MSA/PMSA on April 1, 1990; that is, at the end of the migration interval.
Some tabulations present data on inmigrants, outmigrants, and net migration. "Inmigrants" are generally defined as those persons who entered a specified area by crossing its boundary from some point outside the area. In some tabulations, movers from abroad are included in the number of inmigrants; in others, only movers within the United States are included.
"Outmigrants" are persons who depart from a specific area by crossing its boundary to a point outside it, but without leaving the United States. "Net migration" is calculated by subtracting the number of outmigrants from the number of inmigrants and, depending upon the particular tabulation, may or may not include movers from abroad.
The net migration for the area is net inmigration if the result was positive and net outmigration if the result was negative. In the tabulations, net outmigration is indicated by a minus sign (-).
Inmigrants and outmigrants for States include only those persons who did not live in the same State in 1985 and 1990; that is, they exclude persons who moved between counties within the same State. Thus, the sum of the inmigrants to (or outmigrants from) all counties in any State is greater than the number of inmigrants to (or outmigrants from) that State. However, in the case of net migration, the sum of the nets for all the counties within a State equal the net for the State. In the same fashion, the net migration for a division or region equals the sum of the nets for the States comprising that division or region, while the number of inmigrants and outmigrants for that division or region is less than the sum of the inmigrants or outmigrants for the individual States.
The number of persons who were living in a different house in 1985 is somewhat less than the total number of moves during the 5-year period. Some persons in the same house at the two dates had moved during the 5-year period but by the time of the census had returned to their 1985 residence. Other persons who were living in a different house had made one or more intermediate moves. For similar reasons, the number of persons living in a different county, MSA/PMSA, or State or moving between nonmetropolitan areas may be understated.
Similar questions were asked on all previous censuses beginning in 1940, except the questions in 1950 referred to residence 1 year earlier rather than 5 years earlier. Although the questions in the 1940 census covered a 5-year period, comparability with that census was reduced somewhat because of different definitions and categories of tabulation. Comparability with the 1960 and 1970 census is also somewhat reduced because nonresponse was not allocated in those earlier censuses. For the 1980 census, nonresponse was allocated in a manner similar to the 1990 allocation scheme.
School Enrollment and Labor Force Status
Tabulation of data on enrollment, educational attainment, and labor force status for the population 16 to 19 years old allows for calculation of the proportion of the age group who are not enrolled in school and not high school graduates or "dropouts" and an unemployment rate for the "dropout" population. Definitions of the three topics and descriptions of the census items from which they were derived are presented in "Educational Attainment," "Employment Status," and "School Enrollment and Type of School." The published tabulations include both the civilian and Armed Forces populations, but labor force status is provided for the civilian population only. Therefore, the component labor force statuses may not add to the total lines enrolled in school, high school graduate, and not high school graduate. The difference is Armed Forces.
The tabulation of school enrollment by labor force status is similar to that published in 1980 census reports. The 1980 census tabulation included a single data line for Armed Forces; however, enrollment, attainment, and labor force status data were shown for the civilian population only. In 1970, a tabulation was included for 16 to 21 year old males not attending school.
School Enrollment and Type Of School
Data on school enrollment were derived from answers to questionnaire item 11, which was asked of a sample of persons. Persons were classified as enrolled in school if they reported attending a "regular" public or private school or college at any time between February 1, 1990, and the time of enumeration. The question included instructions to "include only nursery school, kindergarten, elementary school, and schooling which would lead to a high school diploma or a college degree" as regular school. Instructions included in the 1990 respondent instruction guide, which was mailed with the census questionnaire, further specified that enrollment in a trade or business school, company training, or tutoring were not to be included unless the course would be accepted for credit at a regular elementary school, high school, or college. Persons who did not answer the enrollment question were assigned the enrollment status and type of school of a person with the same age, race or Hispanic origin, and, at older ages, sex, whose residence was in the same or a nearby area.
Public and Private School
Includes persons who attended school in the reference period and indicated they were enrolled by marking one of the questionnaire categories for either "public school, public college" or "private school, private college." The instruction guide defines a public school as "any school or college controlled and supported by a local, county, State, or Federal Government." "Schools supported and controlled primarily by religious organizations or other private groups" are defined as private. Persons who filled both the "public" and "private" circles are edited to the first entry, "public."
Level of School in Which Enrolled
Persons who were enrolled in school were classified as enrolled in "preprimary school," "elementary or high school," or "college" according to their response to question 12 (years of school completed or highest degree received). Persons who were enrolled and reported completing nursery school or less were classified as enrolled in "preprimary school," which includes kindergarten. Similarly, enrolled persons who had completed at least kindergarten, but not high school, were classified as enrolled in elementary or high school. Enrolled persons who reported completing high school or some college or having received a postsecondary degree were classified as enrolled in "college." Enrolled persons who reported completing the twelfth grade but receiving "NO DIPLOMA" were classified as enrolled in high school. (For more information on level of school, see the discussion under "Educational Attainment.")
School enrollment questions have been included in the census since 1840; grade attended was first asked in 1940; type of school was first asked in 1960. Before 1940, the enrollment question in various censuses referred to attendance in the preceding six months or the preceding year. In 1940, the reference was to attendance in the month preceding the census, and in the 1950 and subsequent censuses, the question referred to attendance in the two months preceding the census date.
Until the 1910 census, there were no instructions limiting the kinds of schools in which enrollment was to be counted. Starting in 1910, the instructions indicated that attendance at "school, college, or any educational institution" was to be counted. In 1930 an instruction to include "night school" was added. In the 1940 instructions, night school, extension school, or vocational school were included only if the school was part of the regular school system. Correspondence school work of any kind was excluded. In the 1950 instructions, the term "regular school" was introduced, and it was defined as schooling which "advances a person towards an elementary or high school diploma or a college, university, or professional school degree." Vocational, trade, or business schools were excluded unless they were graded and considered part of a regular school system. On-the-job training was excluded, as was nursery school. Instruction by correspondence was excluded unless it was given by a regular school and counted towards promotion.
In 1960, the question used the term "regular school or college" and a similar, though expanded, definition of "regular" was included in the instructions, which continued to exclude nursery school. Because of the census' use of mailed questionnaires, the 1960 census was the first in which instructions were written for the respondent as well as enumerators. In the 1970 census, the questionnaire used the phrase "regular school or college" and included instructions to "count nursery school, kindergarten, and schooling which leads to an elementary school certificate, high school diploma, or college degree." Instructions in a separate document specified that to be counted as regular school, nursery school must include instruction as an important and integral phase of its program, and continued the exclusion of vocational, trade, and business schools. The 1980 census question was very similar to the 1970 question, but the separate instruction booklet did not require that nursery school include substantial instructional content in order to be counted.
The age range for which enrollment data have been obtained and published has varied over the censuses. Information on enrollment was recorded for persons of all ages in the 1930 and 1940 and 1970 through 1990; for persons under age 30, in 1950; and for persons age 5 to 34, in 1960. Most of the published enrollment figures referred to persons age 5 to 20 in the 1930 census, 5 to 24 in 1940, 5 to 29 in 1950, 5 to 34 in 1960, 3 to 34 in 1970, and 3 years old and over in 1980. This growth in the age group whose enrollment was reported reflects increased interest in the number of children in preprimary schools and in the number of older persons attending colleges and universities.
In the 1950 and subsequent censuses, college students were enumerated where they lived while attending college, whereas in earlier censuses, they generally were enumerated at their parental homes. This change should not affect the comparability of national figures on college enrollment since 1940; however, it may affect the comparability over time of enrollment figures at sub-national levels.
Type of school was first introduced in the 1960 census, where a separate question asked the enrolled persons whether they were in a "public" or "private" school. Since the 1970 census, the type of school was incorporated into the response categories for the enrollment question and the terms were changed to "public," "parochial," and "other private." In the 1980 census, "private, church related" and "private, not church related" replaced "parochial" and "other private."
Grade of enrollment was first available in the 1940 census, where it was obtained from responses to the question on highest grade of school completed. Enumerators were instructed that "for a person still in school, the last grade completed will be the grade preceding the one in which he or she was now enrolled." From 1950 to 1980, grade of enrollment was obtained from the highest grade attended in the two-part question used to measure educational attainment. (For more information, see the discussion under "Educational Attainment.") The form of the question from which level of enrollment was derived in the 1990 census most closely corresponds to the question used in 1940. While data from prior censuses can be aggregated to provide levels of enrollment comparable to the 1990 census, 1990 data cannot be disaggregated to show single grade of enrollment as in previous censuses.
Data on school enrollment were also collected and published by other Federal, State, and local government agencies. Where these data were obtained from administrative records of school systems and institutions of higher learning, they were only roughly comparable with data from population censuses and household surveys because of differences in definitions and concepts, subject matter covered, time references, and enumeration methods. At the local level, the difference between the location of the institution and the residence of the student may affect the comparability of census and administrative data. Differences between the boundaries of school districts and census geographic units also may affect these comparisons.
Self-Care Limitation Status
The data on self-care limitation status were derived from answers to questionnaire item 19b, which was asked of a sample of persons 15 years old and over. Persons were identified as having a self-care limitation if they had a health condition that had lasted for 6 or more months and which made it difficult to take care of their own personal needs, such as dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home.
The term "health condition" referred to both physical and mental conditions. A temporary health problem, such as a broken bone that was expected to heal normally was not considered a health condition.
This was the first time that a question on self-care limitation was included in the census.
The data on sex were derived from answers to questionnaire item 3, which was asked of all persons. For most cases in which sex was not reported, it was determined by the appropriate entry from the person's given name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age and marital status of the person. For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.
A measure derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females and multiplying by 100.
A question on the sex of individuals has been asked of the total population in every census.
Data on veteran status, period of military service, and years of military service were derived from answers to questionnaire item 17, which was asked of a sample of persons.
The data on veteran status were derived from responses to question 17a. For census data products, a "civilian veteran" is a person 16 years old or over who had served (even for a short time) but is not now serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, or who served as a Merchant Marine seaman during World War II. Persons who served in the National Guard or military Reserves are classified as veterans only if they were ever called or ordered to active duty not counting the 4-6 months for initial training or yearly summer camps. All other civilians 16 years old and over are classified as nonveterans.
Period of Military Service
Persons who indicated in question 17a that they had served on active duty (civilian veterans) or were now on active duty were asked to indicate in question 17b the period or periods in which they served. Persons serving in at least one wartime period are classified in their most recent wartime period. For example, persons who served both during the Korean conflict and the post-Korean peacetime era between February 1955 and July 1964 are classified in one of the two "Korean conflict" categories. If the same person had also served during the Vietnam era, he or she would instead be included in the "Vietnam era and Korean conflict" category. The responses were edited to eliminate inconsistencies between reported period(s) of service and the age of the person and to cancel out reported combinations of periods containing unreasonable gaps (for example, a person could not serve during World War I and the Korean conflict without serving during World War II). Note that the period of service categories shown in this report are mutually exclusive.
Years of Military Service
Persons who indicated in question 17a that they had served on active duty (civilian veterans) or were now on active duty were asked to report the total number of years of active-duty service in question 17c. The data were edited for consistency with responses to question 17b (Period of Military Service) and with the age of the person.
There may be a tendency for the following kinds of persons to report erroneously that they served on active duty in the Armed Forces: (a) persons who served in the National Guard or military Reserves but were never called to active duty; (b) civilian employees or volunteers for the USO, Red Cross, or the Department of Defense (or its predecessor Departments, War and Navy); and (c) employees of the Merchant Marine or Public Health Service. There may also be a tendency for persons to erroneously round up months to the nearest year in question 17c (for example, persons with 1 year 8 months of active duty military service may mistakenly report "2 years").
Since census data on veterans were based on self-reported responses, they may differ from data from other sources such as administrative records of the Department of Defense. Census data may also differ from Veterans Administration data on the benefits-eligible population, since factors determining eligibility for veterans benefits differ from the rules for classifying veterans in the census.
The wording of the question on veteran status (17a) for 1990 was expanded from the veteran/not veteran question in 1980 to include questions on current active duty status and service in the military Reserves and the National Guard. The expansion was intended to clarify the appropriate response for persons in the Armed Forces and for persons who served in the National Guard or military Reserve units only. For the first time in a census, service during World War II as a Merchant Marine Seaman was considered active-duty military service and persons with such service were counted as veterans. An additional period of military service, "September 1980 or later" was added in 1990. As in 1970 and 1980, persons reporting more than one period of service are shown in the most recent wartime period of service category. Question 17c (Years of Military Service) was new for 1990.
The data on work disability were derived from answers to questionnaire item 18, which was asked of a sample of persons 15 years old and over. Persons were identified as having a work disability if they had a health condition that had lasted for 6 or more months and which limited the kind or amount of work they could do at a job or business. A person was limited in the kind of work he or she could do if the person had a health condition which restricted his or her choice of jobs. A person was limited in the amount of work if he or she was not able to work full-time. Persons with a work disability were further classified as "Prevented from working" or "Not prevented from working."
The term "health condition" referred to both physical and mental conditions. A temporary health problem, such as a broken bone that was expected to heal normally, was not considered a health condition.
The wording of the question on work disability was the same in 1990 as in 1980. Information on work disability was first collected in 1970. In that census, the work disability question did not contain a clause restricting the definition of disability to limitations caused by a health condition that had lasted 6 or more months; however, it did contain a separate question about the duration of the disability.
The data on work status in 1989 were derived from answers to questionnaire item 31, which was asked of a sample of persons. Persons 16 years old and over who worked 1 or more weeks according to the criteria described below are classified as "Worked in 1989." All other persons 16 years old and over are classified as "Did not work in 1989." Some tabulations showing work status in 1989 include 15 year olds; these persons, by definition, are classified as "Did not work in 1989."
The data on weeks worked in 1989 were derived from responses to questionnaire item 31b. Question 31b (Weeks Worked in 1989) was asked of persons 16 years old and over who indicated in question 31a that they worked in 1989.
The data pertain to the number of weeks during 1989 in which a person did any work for pay or profit (including paid vacation and paid sick leave) or worked without pay on a family farm or in a family business. Weeks of active service in the Armed Forces are also included.
Usual Hours Worked Per Week Worked in 1989
The data on usual hours worked per week worked in 1989 were derived from answers to questionnaire item 31c. This question was asked of persons 16 years old and over who indicated that they worked in 1989.
The data pertain to the number of hours a person usually worked during the weeks worked in 1989. The respondent was to report the number of hours worked per week in the majority of the weeks he or she worked in 1989. If the hours worked per week varied considerably during 1989, the respondent was to report an approximate average of the hours worked per week. The statistics on usual hours worked per week in 1989 are not necessarily related to the data on actual hours worked during the census reference week (question 21b).
Persons 16 years old and over who reported that they usually worked 35 or more hours each week during the weeks they worked are classified as "Usually worked full time;" persons who reported that they usually worked 1 to 34 hours are classified as "Usually worked part time."
Year-Round Full-Time Workers
All persons 16 years old and over who usually worked 35 hours or more per week for 50 to 52 weeks in 1989.
Number of Workers in Family in 1989
The term "worker" as used for these data is defined based on the criteria for Work Status in 1989.
It is probable that the number of persons who worked in 1989 and the number of weeks worked are understated since there was some tendency for respondents to forget intermittent or short periods of employment or to exclude weeks worked without pay. There may also be a tendency for persons not to include weeks of paid vacation among their weeks worked; one result may be that the census figures may understate the number of persons who worked "50 to 52 weeks."
The data on weeks worked collected in the 1990 census were comparable with data from the 1980, 1970, and 1960 censuses, but may not be entirely comparable with data from the 1940 and 1950 censuses. Since the 1960 census, two separate questions have been used to obtain this information. The first identified persons with any work experience during the year and, thus, indicated those persons for whom the questions on number of weeks worked applied. In 1940 and 1950, however, the questionnaires contained only a single question on number of weeks worked.
In 1970, persons responded to the question on weeks worked by indicating one of six weeks-worked intervals. In 1980 and 1990, persons were asked to enter the specific number of weeks they worked.
The data on year of entry were derived from answers to questionnaire item 10, which was asked of a sample of persons. The question, "When did this person come to the United States to stay?" was asked of persons who indicated in the question on citizenship that they were not born in the United States. (For more information, see the discussion under "Citizenship.")
The 1990 census questions, tabulations, and census data products about citizenship and year of entry include no reference to immigration. All persons who were born and resided outside the United States before becoming residents of the United States have a date of entry. Some of these persons are U.S. citizens by birth (e.g., persons born in Puerto Rico or born abroad of American parents). To avoid any possible confusion concerning the date of entry of persons who are U.S. citizens by birth, the term, "year of entry" is used in this report instead of the term "year of immigration."
The census questions on nativity, citizenship, and year of entry were not designed to measure the degree of permanence of residence in the United States. The phrase, "to stay" was used to obtain the year in which the person became a resident of the United States. Although the respondent was directed to indicate the year he or she entered the country "to stay," it was difficult to ensure that respondents interpreted the phrase correctly.
A question on year of entry, (alternately called "year of immigration") was asked in each decennial census from 1890 to 1930, 1970, and 1980. In 1980, the question on year of entry included six arrival time intervals. The number of arrival intervals was expanded to ten in 1990. In 1980, the question on year of entry was asked only of the foreign-born population. In 1990, all persons who responded to the long-form questionnaire and were not born in the United States were to complete the question on year of entry.
Living quarters are classified as either housing units or group quarters. (For more information, see the discussion of "Group Quarters" under Population Characteristics.) Usually, living quarters are in structures intended for residential use (for example, a one-family home, apartment house, hotel or motel, boarding house, or mobile home). Living quarters also may be in structures intended for nonresidential use (for example, the rooms in a warehouse where a guard lives), as well as in places such as tents, vans, shelters for the homeless, dormitories, barracks, and old railroad cars.
A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home or trailer, a group of rooms or a single room occupied as separate living quarters or, if vacant, intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.
Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from outside 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 persons who share living arrangements. For vacant units, the criteria of separateness and direct access are applied to the intended occupants whenever possible. If that information cannot be obtained, the criteria are applied to the previous occupants.
Both occupied and vacant housing units are included in the housing unit inventory, except that recreational vehicles, boats, vans, tents, railroad cars, and the like are included only if they are occupied as someone's usual place of residence. Vacant mobile homes are included provided they are intended for occupancy on the site where they stand. Vacant mobile homes on dealers' sales lots, at the factory, or in storage yards are excluded from the housing inventory.
If the living quarters contains nine or more persons unrelated to the householder or person in charge (a total of at least 10 unrelated persons), it is classified as group quarters. If the living quarters contains eight or fewer persons unrelated to the householder or person in charge, it is classified as a housing unit.
A housing unit is classified as occupied if it is the usual place of residence of the person or group of persons living in it at the time of enumeration, or if the occupants are only temporarily absent; that is, away on vacation or business. If all the persons staying in the unit at the time of the census have their usual place of residence elsewhere, the unit is classified as vacant. A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence. By definition, the count of occupied housing units for 100-percent tabulations is the same as the count of households or householders. In sample tabulations, the counts of household and occupied housing units may vary slightly because of different sample weighting methods.
A housing unit is vacant if no one is living in it at the time of enumeration, unless its occupants are only temporarily absent. Units temporarily occupied at the time of enumeration entirely by persons who have a usual residence elsewhere also are classified as vacant. (For more information, see discussion under "Usual Home Elsewhere.")
New units not yet occupied are classified as vacant housing units if construction has reached a point where all exterior windows and doors are installed and final usable floors are in place. Vacant units are excluded if they are open to the elements; that is, the roof, walls, windows, and/or doors no longer protect the interior from the elements, or if there is positive evidence (such as a sign on the house or in the block) that the unit is condemned or is to be demolished. Also excluded are quarters being used entirely for nonresidential purposes, such as a store or an office, or quarters used for the storage of business supplies or inventory, machinery, or agricultural products.
Hotels, Motels, Rooming Houses, Etc.
Occupied rooms or suites of rooms in hotels, motels, and similar places are classified as housing units only when occupied by permanent residents; that is, persons who consider the hotel as their usual place of residence or have no usual place of residence elsewhere. Vacant rooms or suites of rooms are classified as housing units only in those hotels, motels, and similar places in which 75 percent or more of the accommodations are occupied by permanent residents.
If any of the occupants in a rooming or boarding house live and eat separately from others in the building and have direct access, their quarters are classified as separate housing units.
The living quarters occupied by staff personnel within any group quarters are separate housing units if they satisfy the housing unit criteria of separateness and direct access; otherwise, they are considered group quarters.
The first Census of Housing in 1940 established the "dwelling unit" concept. Although the term became "housing unit" and the definition has been modified slightly in succeeding censuses, the 1990 definition is essentially comparable to previous censuses. There was no change in the housing unit definition between 1980 and 1990.
The data on acreage were obtained from questionnaire items H5a and H19a. Question H5a was asked at all occupied and vacant one-family houses and mobile homes. Question H19a was asked on a sample basis at occupied and vacant one-family houses and mobile homes.
Question H5a asks whether the house or mobile home is located on a place of 10 or more acres. The intent of this item is to exclude owner-occupied and renter-occupied one-family houses on 10 or more acres from the specified owner- and renter-occupied universes for value and rent tabulations.
Question H19a provides data on whether the unit is located on less than 1 acre. The main purpose of this item, in conjunction with question H19b on agricultural sales, is to identify farm units. (For more information, see discussion under "Farm Residence.")
For both items, the land may consist of more than one tract or plot. These tracts or plots are usually adjoining; however, they may be separated by a road, creek, another piece of land, etc.
Question H5a is similar to that asked in 1970 and 1980. This item was asked for the first time of mobile home occupants in 1990. Question H19a is an abbreviated form of a question asked on a sample basis in 1980. In previous censuses, information on city or suburban lot and number of acres was obtained also.
Data on the sales of agricultural crops were obtained from questionnaire item H19b, which was asked on a sample basis at occupied one-family houses and mobile homes located on lots of 1 acre or more. Data for this item exclude units on lots of less than 1 acre, units located in structures containing 2 or more units, and all vacant units. This item refers to the total amount (before taxes and expenses) received in 1989 from the sale of crops, vegetables, fruits, nuts, livestock and livestock products, and nursery and forest products, produced on "this property." Respondents new to a unit were asked to estimate total agricultural sales in 1989 even if some portion of the sales had been made by other occupants of the unit.
This item is used mainly to classify housing units as farm or nonfarm residences, not to provide detailed information on the sale of agricultural products. Detailed information on the sale of agricultural products is provided by the Census Bureau's Census of Agriculture (Factfinder for the Nation: Agricultural Statistics, Bureau of the Census, 1989). (For more information, see the discussion under "Farm Residence.")
The data on bedrooms were obtained from questionnaire item H9, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. The number of bedrooms is the count of rooms designed to be used as bedrooms; that is, the number of rooms that would be listed as bedrooms if the house or apartment were on the market for sale or for rent. Included are all rooms intended to be used as bedrooms even if they currently are being used for some other purpose. A housing unit consisting of only one room, such as a one-room efficiency apartment, is classified, by definition, as having no bedroom.
Data on bedrooms have been collected in every census since 1960. In 1970 and 1980, data for bedrooms were shown only for year-round units. In past censuses, a room was defined as a bedroom if it was used mainly for sleeping even if also used for other purposes. Rooms that were designed to be used as bedrooms but used mainly for other purposes were not considered to be bedrooms. A distribution of housing units by number of bedrooms calculated from data collected in a 1986 test showed virtually no differences in the two versions except in the two bedroom category, where the previous "use" definition showed a slightly lower proportion of units.
Boarded-up status was obtained from questionnaire item C2 and was determined for all vacant units. Boarded-up units have windows and doors covered by wood, metal, or masonry to protect the interior and to prevent entry into the building. A single-unit structure, a unit in a multi-unit structure, or an entire multi-unit structure may be boarded-up in this way. For certain census data products, boarded-up units are shown only for units in the "Other vacant" category. A unit classified as "Usual home elsewhere" can never be boarded up. (For more information, see the discussion under "Usual Home Elsewhere.")
This item was first asked in the 1980 census and was shown only for year-round vacant housing units. In 1990, data are shown for all vacant housing units.
The data for business on property were obtained from questionnaire item H5b, which was asked at all occupied and vacant one-family houses and mobile homes. This question is used to exclude owner-occupied one-family houses with business or medical offices on the property from certain statistics on financial characteristics.
A business must be easily recognizable from the outside. It usually will have a separate outside entrance and have the appearance of a business, such as a grocery store, restaurant, or barber shop. It may be either attached to the house or mobile home or be located elsewhere on the property. Those housing units in which a room is used for business or professional purposes and have no recognizable alterations to the outside are not considered as having a business. Medical offices are considered businesses for tabulation purposes.
Data on business on property have been collected since 1940.
The data on condominium fee were obtained from questionnaire item H25, which was asked at owner-occupied condominiums. This item was asked on a sample basis. A condominium fee normally is charged monthly to the owners of the individual condominium units by the condominium owners association to cover operating, maintenance, administrative, and improvement costs of the common property (grounds, halls, lobby, parking areas, laundry rooms, swimming pool, etc.) The costs for utilities and/or fuels may be included in the condominium fee if the units do not have separate meters.
Data on condominium fees may include real estate tax and/or insurance payments for the common property, but do not include real estate taxes or fire, hazard, and flood insurance for the individual unit already reported in questions H21 and H22.
Amounts reported were the regular monthly payment, even if paid by someone outside the household or remain unpaid. Costs were estimated as closely as possible when exact costs were not known.
The data from this item were added to payments for mortgages (both first and junior mortgages and home equity loans); real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance payments; and utilities and fuels to derive "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" for condominium owners.
This is a new item in 1990.
The data on condominium housing units were obtained from questionnaire item H18, which was asked on a sample basis at both occupied and vacant housing units. Condominium is a type of ownership that enables a person to own an apartment or house in a development of similarly owned units and to hold a common or joint ownership in some or all of the common areas and facilities such as land, roof, hallways, entrances, elevators, swimming pool, etc. Condominiums may be single-family houses as well as units in apartment buildings. A condominium unit need not be occupied by the owner to be counted as such. A unit classified as "mobile home or trailer" or "other" (see discussion under "Units in Structure") cannot be a condominium unit.
Testing done prior to the 1980 and 1990 censuses indicated that the number of condominiums may be slightly overstated.
In 1970, condominiums were grouped together with cooperative housing units, and the data were reported only for owner-occupied cooperatives and condominiums. Beginning in 1980, the census identified all condominium units and the data were shown for renter-occupied and vacant year-round condominiums as well as owner occupied. In 1970 and 1980, the question on condominiums was asked on a 100-percent basis. In 1990, it was asked on a sample basis.
The data on contract rent (also referred to as "rent asked" for vacant units) were obtained from questionnaire item H7a, which was asked at all occupied housing units that were rented for cash rent and all vacant housing units that were for rent at the time of enumeration.
Housing units that are renter occupied without payment of cash rent are shown separately as "No cash rent" in census data products. The unit may be owned by friends or relatives who live elsewhere and who allow occupancy without charge. Rent-free houses or apartments may be provided to compensate caretakers, ministers, tenant farmers, sharecroppers, or others.
Contract rent is the monthly rent agreed to or contracted for, regardless of any furnishings, utilities, fees, meals, or services that may be included. For vacant units, it is the monthly rent asked for the rental unit at the time of enumeration.
If the contract rent includes rent for a business unit or for living quarters occupied by another household, the respondent was instructed to report that part of the rent estimated to be for his or her unit only. Respondents were asked to report rent only for the housing unit enumerated and to exclude any rent paid for additional units or for business premises.
If a renter pays rent to the owner of a condominium or cooperative, and the condominium fee or cooperative carrying charge is also paid by the renter to the owner, the respondent was instructed to include the fee or carrying charge.
If a renter receives payments from lodgers or roomers who are listed as members of the household, the respondent was instructed to report the rent without deduction for any payments received from the lodgers or roomers. The respondent was instructed to report the rent agreed to or contracted for even if paid by someone else such as friends or relatives living elsewhere, or a church or welfare agency.
In some tabulations, contract rent is presented for all renter-occupied housing units, as well as specified renter-occupied and vacant-for-rent units. Specified renter-occupied and specified vacant-for-rent units exclude one-family houses on 10 or more acres. (For more information on rent, see the discussion under "Gross Rent.")
Median and Quartile Contract Rent
The median divides the rent distribution into two equal parts.
Quartiles divide the rent distribution into four equal parts. In computing median and quartile contract rent, units reported as "No cash rent" are excluded. Median and quartile rent calculations are rounded to the nearest whole dollar. (For more information on medians and quartiles, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
To calculate aggregate contract rent, the amount assigned for the category "Less than $80" is $50. The amount assigned to the category "$1,000 or more" is $1,250. Mean contract rent is rounded to the nearest whole dollar. (For more information on aggregates and means, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
In the 1970 and 1980 censuses, contract rent for vacant units had high allocation rates, about 35 percent.
Data on this item have been collected since 1930. For 1990, quartiles were added because the range of rents and values in the United States has increased in recent years. Upper and lower quartiles can be used to note large rent and value differences among various geographic areas.
The data for duration of vacancy (also referred to as "months vacant") were obtained from questionnaire item D, which was completed by census enumerators. The statistics on duration of vacancy refer to the length of time (in months and years) between the date the last occupants moved from the unit and the time of enumeration. The data, therefore, do not provide a direct measure of the total length of time units remain vacant.
For newly constructed units which have never been occupied, the duration of vacancy is counted from the date construction was completed. For recently converted or merged units, the time is reported from the date conversion or merger was completed. Units occupied by an entire household with a usual home elsewhere are assigned to the "Less than 1 month" interval.
Similar data have been collected since 1960. In 1970 and 1980, these data were shown only for year-round vacant housing units. In 1990, these data are shown for all vacant housing units.
The data on farm residence were obtained from questionnaire items H19a and H19b. An occupied one-family house or mobile home is classified as a farm residence if: (1) the housing unit is located on a property of 1 acre or more, and (2) at least $1,000 worth of agricultural products were sold from the property in 1989. Group quarters and housing units that are in multi-unit buildings or vacant are not included as farm residences.
A one-family unit occupied by a tenant household paying cash rent for land and buildings is enumerated as a farm residence only if sales of agricultural products from its yard (as opposed to the general property on which it is located) amounted to at least $1,000 in 1989. A one-family unit occupied by a tenant household that does not pay cash rent is enumerated as a farm residence if the remainder of the farm (including its yard) qualifies as a farm.
Farm residence is provided as an independent data item only for housing units located in rural areas. It may be derived for housing units in urban areas from the data items on acreage and sales of agricultural products on the public-use microdata sample (PUMS) files. (For more information on PUMS, see Appendix F, Data Products and User Assistance.)
The farm population consists of persons in households living in farm residences. Some persons who are counted on a property classified as a farm (including in some cases farm workers) are excluded from the farm population. Such persons include those who reside in multi-unit buildings or group quarters.
These are the same criteria that were used to define a farm residence in 1980. In 1960 and 1970, a farm was defined as a place of 10 or more acres with at least $50 worth of agricultural sales or a place of less than 10 acres with at least $250 worth of agricultural sales. Earlier censuses used other definitions. Note that the definition of a farm residence differs from the definition of a farm in the Census of Agriculture (Factfinder for the Nation: Agricultural Statistics, Bureau of the Census, 1989).
Gross rent is the contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, and water) and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.) if these are paid for by the renter (or paid for the renter by someone else). Gross rent is intended to eliminate differentials which result from varying practices with respect to the inclusion of utilities and fuels as part of the rental payment. The estimated costs of utilities and fuels are reported on a yearly basis but are converted to monthly figures for the tabulations. Renter units occupied without payment of cash rent are shown separately as "No cash rent" in the tabulations. Gross rent is calculated on a sample basis.
Data on gross rent have been collected since 1940 for renter-occupied housing units. In 1980, costs for electricity and gas were collected as average monthly costs. In 1990, all utility and fuel costs were collected as yearly costs and divided by 12 to provide an average monthly cost.
Gross Rent as A Percentage of Household Income in 1989
Gross rent as a percentage of household income in 1989 is a computed ratio of monthly gross rent to monthly household income (total household income in 1989 divided by 12). The ratio was computed separately for each unit and was rounded to the nearest whole percentage. Units for which no cash rent is paid and units occupied by households that reported no income or a net loss in 1989 comprise the category "Not computed." This item is calculated on a sample basis.
The data on house heating fuel were obtained from questionnaire item H14, which was asked at occupied housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. The data show the type of fuel used most to heat the house or apartment.
Includes gas piped through underground pipes from a central system to serve the neighborhood.
Includes liquid propane gas stored in bottles or tanks which are refilled or exchanged when empty.
Includes fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline, alcohol, and other combustible liquids.
Includes purchased wood, wood cut by household members on their property or elsewhere, driftwood, sawmill or construction scraps, or the like.
Includes heat provided by sunlight which is collected, stored, and actively distributed to most of the rooms.
Includes all other fuels not specified elsewhere.
Includes units that do not use any fuel or that do not have heating equipment.
Data on house heating fuel have been collected since 1940. The category, "Solar energy" is new for 1990.
Insurance For Fire, Hazard, and Flood
The data on fire, hazard, and flood insurance were obtained from questionnaire item H22, which was asked at a sample of owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. The statistics for this item refer to the annual premium for fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property (land and buildings); that is, policies that protect the property and its contents against loss due to damage by fire, lightning, winds, hail, flood, explosion, and so on.
Liability policies are included only if they are paid with the fire, hazard, and flood insurance premiums and the amounts for fire, hazard, and flood cannot be separated. Premiums are included even if paid by someone outside the household or remain unpaid. When premiums are paid on other than a yearly basis, the premiums are converted to a yearly basis.
The payment for fire, hazard, and flood insurance is added to payments for real estate taxes, utilities, fuels, and mortgages (both first and junior mortgages and home equity loans) to derive "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989."
A separate question (H23d) determines whether insurance premiums are included in the mortgage payment to the lender(s). This makes it possible to avoid counting these premiums twice in the computations.
Data on payment for fire and hazard insurance were collected for the first time in 1980. Flood insurance was not specifically mentioned in the wording of the question in 1980. The question was asked only at owner-occupied one-family houses. Excluded were mobile homes, condominiums, houses with a business or medical office on the property, houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings. In 1990, the question was asked of all one-family owner-occupied houses, including houses on 10 or more acres. It also was asked at mobile homes, condominiums, and one-family houses with a business or medical office on the property.
Data on kitchen facilities were obtained from questionnaire item H11, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. A unit has complete kitchen facilities when it has all of the following: (1) an installed sink with piped water, (2) a range, cook top and convection or microwave oven, or cookstove, and (3) a refrigerator. All kitchen facilities must be located in the structure. They need not be in the same room. Portable cooking equipment is not considered a range or cookstove. An ice box is not considered to be a refrigerator.
Data on complete kitchen facilities were collected for the first time in 1970. Earlier censuses collected data on individual components, such as kitchen sink and type of refrigeration equipment. In 1970 and 1980, data for kitchen facilities were shown only for year-round units. In 1990, data are shown for all housing units.
The data on meals included in the rent were obtained from questionnaire item H7b, which was asked of all occupied housing units that were rented for cash and all vacant housing units that were for rent at the time of enumeration.
The statistics on meals included in rent are presented for specified renter-occupied and specified vacant-for-rent units. Specified renter-occupied and specified vacant-for-rent units exclude one-family houses on 10 or more acres. (For more information, see the discussion under "Contract Rent.")
This is a new item in 1990. It is intended to measure "congregate" housing, which generally is considered to be housing units where the rent includes meals and other services, such as transportation to shopping and recreation.
The data on mobile home costs were obtained from questionnaire item H26, which was asked at owner-occupied mobile homes. This item was asked on a sample basis.
These data include the total yearly costs for personal property taxes, land or site rent, registration fees, and license fees on all owner-occupied mobile homes. The instructions are to not include real estate taxes already reported in question H21.
Costs are estimated as closely as possible when exact costs are not known. Amounts are the total for an entire 12-month billing period, even if they are paid by someone outside the household or remain unpaid.
The data from this item are added to payments for mortgages, real estate taxes, fire, hazard, and flood insurance payments, utilities, and fuels to derive selected monthly owner costs for mobile homes owners.
This item is new for 1990.
The data on mortgage payment were obtained from questionnaire item H23b, which was asked at owner occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. This item was asked on a sample basis. Question H23b provides the regular monthly amount required to be paid the lender for the first mortgage (deed of trust, contract to purchase, or similar debt) on the property. Amounts are included even if the payments are delinquent or paid by someone else. The amounts reported are included in the computation of "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" for units with a mortgage.
The amounts reported include everything paid to the lender including principal and interest payments, real estate taxes, fire, hazard, and flood insurance payments, and mortgage insurance premiums. Separate questions determine whether real estate taxes and fire, hazard, and flood insurance payments are included in the mortgage payment to the lender. This makes it possible to avoid counting these components twice in the computation of "Selected Monthly Owner Costs."
Information on mortgage payment was collected for the first time in 1980. It was collected only at owner-occupied one-family houses. Excluded were mobile homes, condominiums, houses with a business or medical office on the property, one-family houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings. In 1990, the questions on monthly mortgage payments were asked of all owner-occupied one-family houses, including one-family houses on 10 or more acres. They were also asked at mobile homes, condominiums, and one-family houses with a business or medical office.
The 1980 census obtained total regular monthly mortgage payments, including payments on second or junior mortgages, from a single question. Two questions were used in 1990; one for regular monthly payments on first mortgages, and one for regular monthly payments on second or junior mortgages or home equity loans. (For more information, see the discussion under "Second or Junior Mortgage Payment.")
The data on mortgage status were obtained from questionnaire items H23a and H24a, which were asked at owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. "Mortgage" refers to all forms of debt where the property is pledged as security for repayment of the debt. It includes such debt instruments as deeds of trust, trust deeds, contracts to purchase, land contracts, junior mortgages and home equity loans.
A mortgage is considered a first mortgage if it has prior claim over any other mortgage or if it is the only mortgage on the property. All other mortgages, (second, third, etc.) are considered junior mortgages. A home equity loan is generally a junior mortgage. If no first mortgage is reported, but a junior mortgage or home equity loan is reported, then the loan is considered a first mortgage.
In most census data products, the tabulations for "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." The category "not mortgaged" is comprised of housing units owned free and clear of debt.
A question on mortgage status was included in the 1940 and 1950 censuses, but not in the 1960 and 1970 censuses. The item was reinstated in 1980 along with a separate question dealing with the existence of second or junior mortgages. In 1980, the mortgage status questions were asked at owner-occupied one-family houses on less than 10 acres. Excluded were mobile homes, condominiums, houses with a business or medical office, houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings. In 1990, the questions were asked of all one-family owner-occupied housing units, including houses on 10 or more acres. They were also asked at mobile homes, condominiums, and houses with a business or medical office.
This item is based on the 100-percent count of persons in occupied housing units. All persons occupying the housing unit are counted, including the householder, occupants related to the householder, and lodgers, roomers, boarders, and so forth.
The data on "persons in unit" show the number of housing units occupied by the specified number of persons. The phrase "persons in unit" is used for housing tabulations, "persons in households" for population items. Figures for "persons in unit" match those for "persons in household" for 100-percent data products. In sample products, they may differ because of the weighting process.
In computing median persons in unit, a whole number is used as the midpoint of an interval; thus, a unit with 4 persons is treated as an interval ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 persons. "Median persons" is rounded to the nearest hundredth. (For more information on medians, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
Persons in Occupied Housing Units
This is the total population minus those persons living in group quarters. "Persons per occupied housing unit" is computed by dividing the population living in housing units by the number of occupied housing units.
"Persons per room" is obtained by dividing the number of persons in each occupied housing unit by the number of rooms in the unit. Persons per room is rounded to the nearest hundredth. The figures shown refer, therefore, to the number of occupied housing units having the specified ratio of persons per room.
This is computed by dividing persons in housing units by the aggregate number of rooms. This is intended to provide a measure of utilization. A higher mean may indicate a greater degree of utilization or crowding; a low mean may indicate under-utilization. (For more information on means, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
The data on plumbing facilities were obtained from questionnaire item H10, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. Complete plumbing facilities include hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower. All three facilities must be located inside the house, apartment, or mobile home, but not necessarily in the same room. Housing units are classified as lacking complete plumbing facilities when any of the three facilities are not present.
The 1990 data on complete plumbing facilities are not strictly comparable with the 1980 data. In 1980, complete plumbing facilities were defined as hot and cold piped water, a bathtub or shower, and a flush toilet in the housing unit for the exclusive use of the residents of that unit. In 1990, the Census Bureau dropped the requirement of exclusive use from the definition of complete plumbing facilities. Of the 2.3 million year-round housing units classified in 1980 as lacking complete plumbing for exclusive use, approximately 25 percent of these units had complete plumbing but the facilities were also used by members of another household. From 1940 to 1970, separate and more detailed questions were asked on piped water, bathing, and toilet facilities. In 1970 and 1980, the data on plumbing facilities were shown only for year-round units.
Poverty Status of Households In 1989
The data on poverty status of households were derived from answers to the income questions. The income items were asked on a sample basis. Households are classified below the poverty level when the total 1989 income of the family or of the nonfamily householder is below the appropriate poverty threshold. The income of persons living in the household who are unrelated to the householder is not considered when determining the poverty status of a household, nor does their presence affect the household size in determining the appropriate poverty threshold. The poverty thresholds vary depending upon three criteria: size of family, number of children, and age of the family householder or unrelated individual for one and two-persons households. (For more information, see the discussion of "Poverty Status in 1989" and "Income in 1989" under Population Characteristics.)
The data on real estate taxes were obtained from questionnaire item H21, which was asked at owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. The statistics from this question refer to the total amount of all real estate taxes on the entire property (land and buildings) payable in 1989 to all taxing jurisdictions, including special assessments, school taxes, county taxes, and so forth.
Real estate taxes include State, local, and all other real estate taxes even if delinquent, unpaid, or paid by someone who is not a member of the household. However, taxes due from prior years are not included. If taxes are paid on other than a yearly basis, the payments are converted to a yearly basis.
The payment for real estate taxes is added to payments for fire, hazard, and flood insurance; utilities and fuels; and mortgages (both first and junior mortgages and home equity loans) to derive "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989." A separate question (H23c) determines whether real estate taxes are included in the mortgage payment to the lender(s). This makes it possible to avoid counting taxes twice in the computations.
Data for real estate taxes were collected for the first time in 1980. The question was asked only at owner-occupied one-family houses. Excluded were mobile homes or trailers, condominiums, houses with a business or medical office on the property, houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings. In 1990, the question was asked of all one-family owner-occupied houses, including houses on 10 or more acres. It also was asked at mobile homes, condominiums, and one-family houses with a business or medical office on the property.
The data on rooms were obtained from questionnaire item H3, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. The statistics on rooms are in terms of the number of housing units with a specified number of rooms. The intent of this question is to count the number of whole rooms used for living purposes.
For each unit, rooms include living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, finished recreation rooms, enclosed porches suitable for year-round use, and lodger's rooms. Excluded are strip or pullman kitchens, bathrooms, open porches, balconies, halls or foyers, half-rooms, utility rooms, unfinished attics or basements, or other unfinished space used for storage. A partially divided room is a separate room only if there is a partition from floor to ceiling, but not if the partition consists solely of shelves or cabinets.
This measure divides the room distribution into two equal parts, one-half of the cases falling below the median number of rooms and one-half above the median. In computing median rooms, the whole number is used as the midpoint of the interval; thus, the category "3 rooms" is treated as an interval ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 rooms. "Median rooms" is rounded to the nearest tenth. (For more information on medians, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
To calculate aggregate rooms, an arbitrary value of "10" is assigned to rooms for units falling within the terminal category, "9 or more." (For more information on aggregates and means, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
Data on rooms have been collected since 1940. In 1970 and 1980, these data were shown only for year-round housing units. In 1990, these data are shown for all housing units.
Second or Junior Mortgage Payment
The data on second or junior mortgage payments were obtained from questionnaire items H24a and H24b, which were asked at owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. Question H24a asks whether a second or junior mortgage or a home equity loan exists on the property. Question H24b provides the regular monthly amount required to be paid to the lender on all second or junior mortgages and home equity loans. Amounts are included even if the payments are delinquent or paid by someone else. The amounts reported are included in the computation of "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" for units with a mortgage.
All mortgages other than first mortgages are classified as "junior" mortgages. A second mortgage is a junior mortgage that gives the lender a claim against the property that is second to the claim of the holder of the first mortgage. Any other junior mortgage(s) would be subordinate to the second mortgage. A home equity loan is a line of credit available to the borrower that is secured by real estate. It may be placed on a property that already has a first or second mortgage, or it may be placed on a property that is owned free and clear.
If the respondents answered that no first mortgage existed, but a second mortgage did (as in the above case with a home equity loan), a computer edit assigned the unit a first mortgage and made the first mortgage monthly payment the amount reported in the second mortgage. The second mortgage data were then made "No" in question H24a and blank in question H24b.
The 1980 census obtained total regular monthly mortgage payments, including payments on second or junior mortgages, from one single question. Two questions were used in 1990: one for regular monthly payments on first mortgages, and one for regular monthly payments on second or junior mortgages and home equity loans.
Selected Monthly Owner Costs
The data on selected monthly owner costs were obtained from questionnaire items H20 through H26 for a sample of owner-occupied one-family houses, condominiums, and mobile homes. Selected monthly owner costs is the sum of payments for mortgages, deeds of trust, contracts to purchase, or similar debts on the property (including payments for the first mortgage, second or junior mortgages, and home equity loans); real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property; utilities (electricity, gas, and water); and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). It also includes, where appropriate, the monthly condominium fee for condominiums and mobile home costs (personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees) for mobile homes.
In certain tabulations, selected monthly owner costs are presented separately for specified owner-occupied housing units (owner-occupied one-family houses on fewer than 10 acres without a business or medical office on the property), owner-occupied condominiums, and owner-occupied mobile homes. Data usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged."
Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs
This measure is rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
The components of selected monthly owner costs were collected for the first time in 1980. The 1990 tabulations of selected monthly owner costs for specified owner-occupied housing units are virtually identical to 1980, the primary difference was the amounts of the first and second mortgages were collected in separate questions in 1990, while the amounts were collected in a single question in 1980. The component parts of the item were tabulated for mobile homes and condominiums for the first time in 1990.
In 1980, costs for electricity and gas were collected as average monthly costs. In 1990, all utility and fuel costs were collected as yearly costs and divided by 12 to provide an average monthly cost.
Selected Monthly Owner Costs As A Percentage of Household Income in 1989
The information on selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income in 1989 is the computed ratio of selected monthly owner costs to monthly household income in 1989. The ratio was computed separately for each unit and rounded to the nearest whole percentage. The data are tabulated separately for specified owner occupied units, condominiums, and mobile homes.
Separate distributions are often shown for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." Units occupied by households reporting no income or a net loss in 1989 are included in the "not computed" category. (For more information, see the discussion under "Selected Monthly Owner Costs.")
The components of selected monthly owner costs were collected for the first time in 1980. The tabulations of "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989" for specified owner-occupied housing units are comparable to 1980.
The data on sewage disposal were obtained from questionnaire item H16, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. Housing units are either connected to a public sewer, to a septic tank or cesspool, or they dispose of sewage by other means. A public sewer may be operated by a government body or by a private organization. A housing unit is considered to be connected to a septic tank or cesspool when the unit is provided with an underground pit or tank for sewage disposal. The category, "Other means" includes housing units which dispose of sewage in some other way.
Data on sewage disposal have been collected since 1940. In 1970 and 1980, data were shown only for year-round housing units. In 1990, data are shown for all housing units.
The data on source of water were obtained from questionnaire item H15, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. Housing units may receive their water supply from a number of sources. A common source supplying water to five or more units is classified as a "Public system or private company." The water may be supplied by a city, county, water district, water company, etc., or it may be obtained from a well which supplies water to five or more housing units. If the water is supplied from a well serving four or fewer housing units, the units are classified as having water supplied by either an "Individual drilled well" or an "Individual dug well." Drilled wells or small diameter wells are usually less than 1-1/2 feet in diameter. Dug wells are usually larger than 1-1/2 feet wide and generally hand dug. The category, "Some other source" includes water obtained from springs, creeks, rivers, lakes, cisterns, etc.
Data on source of water have been collected since 1940. In 1970 and 1980, data were shown only for year-round housing units. In 1990, data are shown for all housing units.
Telephone in Housing Unit
The data on telephones were obtained from questionnaire item H12, which was asked at occupied housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. A telephone must be inside the house or apartment for the unit to be classified as having a telephone. Units where the respondent uses a telephone located inside the building but not in the respondent's living quarters are classified as having no telephone.
Data on telephones in 1980 are comparable to 1990. The 1960 and 1970 censuses collected data on telephone availability. A unit was classified as having a telephone available if there was a telephone number on which occupants of the unit could be reached. The telephone could have been in another unit, in a common hall, or outside the building.
The data for tenure were obtained from questionnaire item H4, which was asked at all occupied housing units. All occupied housing units are classified as either owner occupied or renter occupied.
A housing unit is owner occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for. The owner or co-owner must live in the unit and usually is the person listed in column 1 of the questionnaire. The unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan" if it is being purchased with a mortgage or some other debt arrangement such as a deed of trust, trust deed, contract to purchase, land contract, or purchase agreement. The unit is also considered owned with a mortgage if it is built on leased land and there is a mortgage on the unit.
A housing unit is "Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage)" if there is no mortgage or other similar debt on the house, apartment, or mobile home including units built on leased land if the unit is owned outright without a mortgage. Although owner-occupied units are divided between mortgaged and owned free and clear on the questionnaire, census data products containing 100-percent data show only total owner-occupied counts. More extensive mortgage information was collected on the long-form questionnaire and are shown in census products containing sample data. (For more information, see the discussion under "Mortgage Status.")
All occupied housing units which are not owner occupied, whether they are rented for cash rent or occupied without payment of cash rent, are classified as renter occupied. "No cash rent" units are separately identified in the rent tabulations. Such units are generally provided free by friends or relatives or in exchange for services such as resident manager, caretaker, minister, or tenant farmer. Housing units on military bases also are classified in the "No cash rent" category. "Rented for cash rent" includes units in continuing care, sometimes called life care arrangements. These arrangements usually involve a contract between one or more individuals and a health services provider guaranteeing the individual shelter, usually a house or apartment, and services, such as meals or transportation to shopping or recreation.
Data on tenure have been collected since 1890. In 1970, the question on tenure also included a category for condominium and cooperative ownership. In 1980, condominium units and cooperatives were dropped from the tenure item, and since 1980, only condominium units are identified in a separate question. For 1990, the response categories were expanded to allow the respondent to report whether the unit was owned with a mortgage or free and clear (without a mortgage). The distinction between units owned with a mortgage and units owned free and clear was added in 1990 to improve the count of owner-occupied units. Research after the 1980 census indicated some respondents did not consider their units owned if they had a mortgage.
The data on units in structure (also referred to as "type of structure") were obtained from questionnaire item H2, which was asked at all 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 statistics are presented for the number of housing units in structures of specified type and size, not for the number of residential buildings.
This is a 1-unit structure detached from any other house; that is, with open space on all four sides. Such structures are considered detached even if they have an adjoining shed or garage. A one-family house that contains a business is considered detached as long as the building has open space on all four sides. Mobile homes or trailers to which one or more permanent rooms have been added or built also are included.
This is a 1-unit structure that has one or more walls extending from ground to roof separating it from adjoining structures. In row houses (sometimes called townhouses), double houses, or houses attached to nonresidential structures, each house is a separate, attached structure if the dividing or common wall goes from ground to roof.
These are units in structures containing 2 or more housing units, further categorized as units in structures with 2, 3 or 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 49, and 50 or more units.
Both occupied and vacant mobile homes to which no permanent rooms have been added are counted in this category. Mobile homes or trailers used only for business purposes or for extra sleeping space and mobile homes or trailers for sale on a dealer's lot, at the factory, or in storage are not counted in the housing inventory.
This category is for any living quarters occupied as a housing unit that does not fit the previous categories. Examples that fit this category are houseboats, railroad cars, campers, and vans.
Data on units in structure have been collected since 1940 and on mobile homes and trailers since 1950. In 1970 and 1980, these data were shown only for year-round housing units. In 1990, these data are shown for all housing units. In 1980, the data were collected on a sample basis. The category, "Boat, tent, van, etc." was replaced in 1990 by the category "Other." In some areas, the proportion of units classified as "Other" is far larger than the number of units that were classified as "Boat, tent, van, etc." in 1980.
The data for usual home elsewhere are obtained from questionnaire item B, which was completed by census employees. A housing unit temporarily occupied at the time of enumeration entirely by persons with a usual residence elsewhere is classified as vacant. The occupants are classified as having a "Usual home elsewhere" and are counted at the address of their usual place of residence. Typical examples are people in a vacation home, persons renting living quarters temporarily for work, and migrant workers.
Evidence from previous censuses suggests that in some areas enumerators marked units as "vacant--usual home elsewhere" when they should have marked "vacant--regular."
Data for usual home elsewhere was tabulated for the first time in 1980.
The data on utility costs were obtained from questionnaire items H20a through H20d, which were asked of occupied housing units. These items were asked on a sample basis.
Questions H20a through H20d asked for the yearly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water) and other fuels (oil, coal, wood, kerosene, etc.). For the tabulations, these yearly amounts are divided by 12 to derive the average monthly cost and are then included in the computation of "Gross Rent," "Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989," "Selected Monthly Owner Costs," and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in 1989."
Costs are recorded if paid by or billed to occupants, a welfare agency, relatives, or friends. Costs that are paid by landlords, included in the rent payment, or included in condominium or cooperative fees are excluded.
Research has shown that respondents tended to overstate their expenses for electricity and gas when compared to utility company records. There is some evidence that this overstatement is reduced when yearly costs are asked rather than monthly costs. Caution should be exercised in using these data for direct analysis because costs are not reported for certain kinds of units such as renter-occupied units with all utilities included in the rent and owner-occupied condominium units with utilities included in the condominium fee.
The data on utility costs have been collected since 1980 for owner-occupied housing units, and since 1940 for renter-occupied housing units. In 1980, costs for electricity and gas were collected as average monthly costs. In 1990, all utility and fuel costs were collected as yearly costs and divided by 12 to provide an average monthly cost.
The data on vacancy status were obtained from questionnaire item C1, which was completed by census enumerators. Vacancy status and other characteristics of vacant units were determined by enumerators obtaining information from landlords, owners, neighbors, rental agents, and others. Vacant units are subdivided according to their housing market classification as follows:
These are vacant units offered "for rent," and vacant units offered either "for rent" or "for sale."
These are vacant units being offered "for sale only," including units in cooperatives and condominium projects if the individual units are offered "for sale only."
Rented or Sold, Not Occupied
If any money rent has been paid or agreed upon but the new renter has not moved in as of the date of enumeration, or if the unit has recently been sold but the new owner has not yet moved in, the vacant unit is classified as "rented or sold, not occupied." For Seasonal, Recreational, or Occasional Use--These are vacant units used or intended for use only in certain seasons or for weekend or other occasional use throughout the year.
Seasonal units include those used for summer or winter sports or recreation, such as beach cottages and hunting cabins. Seasonal units also may include quarters for such workers as herders and loggers. Interval ownership units, sometimes called shared-ownership or time-sharing condominiums, also are included here.
These include vacant units intended for occupancy by migratory workers employed in farm work during the crop season. (Work in a cannery, a freezer plant, or a food-processing plant is not farm work.)
If a vacant unit does not fall into any of the classifications specified above, it is classified as "other vacant." For example, this category includes units held for occupancy by a caretaker or janitor, and units held for personal reasons of the owner.
This is the percentage relationship between the number of vacant units for sale and the total homeowner inventory. It is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for sale only by the sum of the owner-occupied units and the number of vacant units that are for sale only.
This is the percentage relationship of the number of vacant units for rent to the total rental inventory. It is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renteroccupied units and the number of vacant units for rent.
Data on vacancy status have been collected since 1940. For 1990, the category, "seasonal/recreational/occasional use" combined vacant units classified in 1980 as "seasonal or migratory" and "held for occasional use." Also, in 1970 and 1980, housing characteristics generally were presented only for year-round units. In 1990, housing characteristics are shown for all housing units.
The data on value (also referred to as "price asked" for vacant units) were obtained from questionnaire item H6, which was asked at housing units that were owned, being bought, or vacant for sale at the time of enumeration. Value is the respondent's estimate of how much the property (house and lot, mobile home and lot, or condominium unit) would sell for if it were for sale. If the house or mobile home was owned or being bought, but the land on which it sits was not, the respondent was asked to estimate the combined value of the house or mobile home and the land. For vacant units, value was the price asked for the property.
Value was tabulated separately for all owner-occupied and vacant-for-sale housing units, owner-occupied and vacant-for-sale mobile homes or trailers, and specified owner-occupied and specified vacant-for-sale housing units. Specified owner-occupied and specified vacant-for-sale housing units include only one-family houses on fewer than 10 acres without a business or medical office on the property. The data for "specified units" exclude mobile homes, houses with a business or medical office, houses on 10 or more acres, and housing units in multi-unit buildings.
Median and Quartile Value
The median divides the value distribution into two equal parts. Quartiles divide the value distribution into four equal parts. These measures are rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. (For more information on medians and quartiles, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
To calculate aggregate value, the amount assigned for the category "Less than $10,000" is $9,000. The amount assigned to the category "$500,000 or more" is $600,000. Mean value is rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. (For more information on aggregates and means, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")
In 1980, value was asked only at owner-occupied or vacantfor- sale one-family houses on fewer than 10 acres with no business or medical office on the property and at all owner-occupied or vacant-for-sale condominium housing units. Mobile homes were excluded. Value data were presented for specified owner-occupied housing units, specified vacant-for-sale- only housing units, and owner-occupied condominium housing units.
In 1990, the question was asked at all owner-occupied or vacant-for-sale-only housing units with no exclusions. Data presented for specified owner-occupied and specified vacant-for-sale-only housing units will include one-family condominium houses but not condominiums in multi-unit structures since condominium units are now identified only in long-form questionnaires.
For 1990, quartiles have been added because the range of values and rents in the United States has increased in recent years. Upper and lower quartiles can be used to note large value and rent differences among various geographic areas.
The data on vehicles available were obtained from questionnaire item H13, which was asked at occupied housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. These data show the number of households with a specified number of passenger cars, vans, and pickup or panel trucks of one-ton capacity or less kept at home and available for the use of household members. Vehicles rented or leased for one month or more, company vehicles, and police and government vehicles are included if kept at home and used for nonbusiness purposes. Dismantled or immobile vehicles are excluded. Vehicles kept at home but used only for business purposes also are excluded.
This is computed by dividing aggregate vehicles available by the number of occupied housing units.
The 1980 census evaluations showed that the number of automobiles was slightly overreported; the number of vans and trucks slightly underreported. The statistics do not measure the number of vehicles privately owned or the number of households owning vehicles.
Data on automobiles available were collected from 1960 to 1980. In 1980, a separate question also was asked on the number of trucks and vans. The data on automobiles and trucks and vans were presented separately and also as a combined vehicles available tabulation. The 1990 data are comparable to the 1980 vehicles available tabulations.
Year Householder Moved Into Unit
The data on year householder moved into unit were obtained from questionnaire item H8, which was asked at occupied housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. These data refer to the year of the latest move by the householder. If a householder moved back into a housing unit he or she previously occupied, the year of the latest move was reported. If the householder moved from one apartment to another within the same building, the year the householder moved into the present apartment was reported. The intent is to establish the year the present occupancy by the householder began. The year that the householder moved in is not necessarily the same year other members of the household moved, although in the great majority of cases an entire household moves at the same time.
In 1960 and 1970, this question was asked of every person and included in population reports. This item in housing tabulations refers to the year the householder moved in. In 1980 and 1990, the question was asked only of the householder.
The data on year structure built were obtained from questionnaire item H17, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. Data on year structure built refer to when the building was first constructed, not when it was remodeled, added to, or converted. For housing units under construction that met the housing unit definition--that is, all exterior windows, doors, and final usable floors were in place--the category "1989 or March 1990" was used. For a houseboat or a mobile home or trailer, the manufacturer's model year was assumed to be the year built. The figures shown in census data products relate to the number of units built during the specified periods that were still in existence at the time of enumeration.
Median Year Structure Built
The median divides the distribution into two equal parts. The median is rounded to the nearest calendar year. Median age of housing can be obtained by subtracting median year structure built from 1990. For example, if the median year structure built is 1957, the median age of housing in that area is 33 years (1990 minus 1957).
Limitation of the Data--Data on year structure built are more susceptible
to errors of response and nonreporting than data on many other items because respondents must rely on their memory or on estimates by persons who have lived in the neighborhood a long time. Available evidence indicates there is underreporting in the older-year-structure- built categories, especially "Built in 1939 or earlier." The introduction of the "Don't know" category (see the discussion on "Comparability") may have resulted in relatively higher allocation rates. Data users should refer to the discussion in Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data, and to the allocation tables.
Comparability--Data on year structure built were collected for the first
time in the 1940 census. Since then, the response categories have been modified to accommodate the 10-year period between each census. In 1990, the category, "Don't Know," was added in an effort to minimize the response error mentioned in the paragraph above on limitation of the data.