Data on kitchen facilities were obtained from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 40, which was asked at both occupied and vacant housing units. This item was asked on a sample basis. A unit has complete kitchen facilities when it has all of the following: (1) a sink with piped water; (2) a range, orcook top and oven; and (3) a refrigerator. All kitchen facilities must be located in the house, apartment, or mobile home, but they need not be in the same room. A housing unit having only a microwave or portable heating equipment, such as a hot plate or camping stove, should not be considered as having complete kitchen facilities. 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. Since 1990, data are shown for all housing units. Prior to Census 2000, the kitchen facilities only had to be located in the structure, not in the unit. For example, if an apartment did not have complete kitchen facilities, but these facilities were present elsewhere in the building, the item would have been marked "yes" prior to Census 2000, but "no" in Census 2000.