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Data Dictionary: Census 2000
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Survey: Census 2000
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: White alone, not Hispanic or Latino population 25 years and over
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
The data on sex, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 3 and short-form questionnaire Item 5. Individuals were asked to mark either "male" or "female" to indicate their sex. For most cases in which sex was not reported, it was determined from the persons given (i.e., first) name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age of the person. (For more information on imputation, see "Accuracy of the Data.")

Sex ratio
A measure derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females, and then multiplying by 100. This measure is rounded to the nearest tenth.

A question on the sex of individuals has been included in every census. Census 2000 was the first time that first name was used for imputation of cases where sex was not reported.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
Educational Attainment
Data on educational attainment were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 9, which was asked of a sample of the population. Data on attainment are tabulated for the population 25 years old and over. However, when educational attainment is cross-tabulated by other variables, the universe may change. (For example, when educational attainment is crossed by disability status, the data are tabulated for the civilian noninstitutionalized population 18 to 34 years old.) People are classified according to the highest degree or level of school completed.

The order in which degrees were listed on the questionnaire suggested that doctorate degrees were "higher" than professional school degrees, which were "higher" than master's degrees. The question included instructions for people currently enrolled in school to report the level of the previous grade attended or the highest degree received. Respondents who did not report educational attainment or enrollment level were assigned the attainment of a person of the same age, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, occupation and sex, where possible, who resided in the same or a nearby area. Respondents who filled more than one box were edited to the highest level or degree reported.

The question included a response category that allowed respondents to report completing the 12th grade without receiving a high school diploma. It allowed people 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, to be reported as "high school graduate(s)." The category "Associate degree" included people whose highest degree is an associate degree, which generally requires 2 years of college level work and is either in an occupational program that prepares them for a specific occupation, or an academic program primarily in the arts and sciences. The course work may or may not be transferable to a Bachelor's degree. master's degrees include the traditional MA and MS degrees and field-specific degrees, such as MSW, MEd, MBA, MLS, and MEng. Some examples of professional degrees include medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, law, and theology. Vocational and technical training, such as barber school training; business, trade, technical, and vocational schools; or other training for a specific trade, are specifically excluded.

High school graduate or higher
This category includes people whose highest degree was a high school diploma or its equivalent, people who attended college but did not receive a degree, and people who received a college, university, or professional degree. People who reported completing the 12th grade but not receiving a diploma are not high school graduates.

Not enrolled, not high school graduate
This category includes people of compulsory school attendance age or above who were not enrolled in school and were not high school graduates. These people may be referred to as "high school dropouts." However, there is no criterion regarding when they "dropped out" of school, so they may have never attended high school.

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 1950 to 1980 censuses, a two-part question was used to construct highest grade or year of school completed. The question asked (1) the highest grade of school attended and (2) whether that grade was finished. For people who have not attended college, the response categories in the current educational attainment question should produce data that are comparable to data on highest grade completed from earlier censuses. For people who attended college, there is less comparability between years of school completed and highest degree.

Beginning in 1990, the response categories for people 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 1990 census suggests that these terms were more distinct than in earlier decades, and this change may have threatened the ability to estimate the number of "college graduates" from the number of people 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 the 2000 and 1990 censuses with data from the earlier censuses should be made with great caution.

Changes between 1990 and Census 2000 were slight. The two associate degree categories in 1990 were combined into one for Census 2000. "Some college, no degree" was split into two categories, "Some college credit, but less than 1 year," and "1 or more years of college, no degree." Prior to 1990, the college levels reported began with "Completed 1 year of college." Beginning in 1990, the first category was "Some college, no degree," which allowed people with less than 1 year of college to be given credit for college. Prior to 1990, they were included in "High school, 4 years." The two revised categories will accommodate comparisons with either data series and allow the tabulation of students who completed at least 1 year of college, as some data users wish. This will not change the total number who completed some college.

The category "12th grade, no diploma" was counted as high school completion or "Completed high school, 4 years" prior to 1990 and as "Less than high school graduate" in 1990 and 2000. In the 1960 and subsequent censuses, people 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, people for whom educational attainment was not reported were not allocated.

In censuses prior to 1990, "median school years completed" was used as a summary measure of educational attainment. Using the current educational attainment question, 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 that can be calculated from the present data and offer quite readily interpretable measures of differences between population subgroups.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "White" or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3: Technical Documentation, 2002.
Hispanic or Latino
The data on the Hispanic or Latino population, which was asked of all people, were derived from answers to long-form questionnaire Item 5, and short-form questionnaire Item 7. The terms "Spanish," "Hispanic origin," and "Latino" are used interchangeably. Some respondents identify with all three terms, while others may identify with only one of these three specific terms. Hispanics or Latinos who identify with the terms "Spanish," "Hispanic," or "Latino" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino." People who do not identify with one of the specific origins listed on the questionnaire but indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino" are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic, or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. All write-in responses to the "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" category were coded.

Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.

Some tabulations are shown by the origin of the householder. In all cases where the origin of households, families, or occupied housing units is classified as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino, the origin of the householder is used. (For more information, see the discussion of householder under "Household Type and Relationship.")

If an individual could not provide a Hispanic origin response, their origin was assigned using specific rules of precedence of household relationship. For example, if origin was missing for a natural-born daughter in the household, then either the origin of the householder, another natural-born child, or the spouse of the householder was assigned. If Hispanic origin was not reported for anyone in the household, the origin of a householder in a previously processed household with the same race was assigned. This procedure is a variation of the general imputation procedures described in "Accuracy of the Data," and is similar to those used in 1990, except that for Census 2000, race and Spanish surnames were used to assist in assigning an origin. (For more information, see the "Comparability" section below.)

There are two important changes to the Hispanic origin question for Census 2000. First, the sequence of the race and Hispanic origin questions for Census 2000 differs from that in 1990; in 1990, the race question preceded the Hispanic origin question. Testing prior to Census 2000 indicated that response to the Hispanic origin question could be improved by placing it before the race question without affecting the response to the race question. Second, there is an instruction preceding the Hispanic origin question indicating that respondents should answer both the Hispanic origin and the race questions. This instruction was added to give emphasis to the distinct concepts of the Hispanic origin and race questions and to emphasize the need for both pieces of information.

Furthermore, there has been a change in the processing of the Hispanic origin and race responses. In 1990, the Hispanic origin question and the race question had separate edits; therefore, although information may have been present on the questionnaire, it was not fully utilized due to the discrete nature of the edits. However, for Census 2000, there was a joint race and Hispanic origin edit which for example, made use of race responses in the Hispanic origin question to impute a race if none was given.