Correcting the census: Household sizes in Maptitude 2019

April 17, 2019  - By 0 Comments

Household size distributions are critical inputs to many business analyses, but may not be correctly derived from U.S. Census data, according to Caliper.

The Census counts people at their geographic locations, and when several unrelated people live at the same address, they are reported as one household with a number of residents.

A confusing array of data is reported. In both the Census SF1 2010 file and in 2017 ACS, the following tabulations are provided down to the Census tract level:

  • People in Family Households
  • 2 person Family Households
  • 3 person Family Households
  • 4 person Family Households
  • 5 person Family Households
  • 6 person Family Households
  • 7+ person Family Households
  • Non-relatives in Family Households
    • Unmarried Partners (including same-sex couples) in Family Households
  • People in Non-Family Households
    • Unmarried Partners (including same-sex couples) in Non-Family Households

There is also extensive information on people residing in group quarters in the 2010 Census, which has the tabulations below:

  • People in Group Quarters: College
  • People in Group Quarters: Military
  • People in Group Quarters: Navy Ships
  • People in Group Quarters: Other
    • People in Group Quarters: Homeless
    • People in Group Quarters: Group Homes
    • People in Group Quarters: Residential Treatment
    • People in Group Quarters: Merchant Ships
    • People in Group Quarters: Workers’ Group Living Quarters
    • People in Group Quarters: Other Other
  • People in Group Quarters: Institutionalized

Using this information, Maptitude 2019 includes a corrected data set of household size distributions for Census Tracts and Block Groups to account for the under-representation of one-person households in the Census data.

Census tracts with Caliper derived households. (Image: Caliper)

Census tracts with Caliper derived households. (Image: Caliper)

Census tracts with Census household count. (Image: Caliper)

Census tracts with Census household count. (Image: Caliper)

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

Post a Comment