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Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: H16. Rooms [10]
Universe: Housing units
Table Details
H16. Rooms
Universe: Housing units
Variable Label
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
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.

Median Rooms
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.")

Aggregate Rooms
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.