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Census 1990 Concepts & Definitions

This section contains definitions based on the glossary developed by the Bureau of the Census. Also included is the unique terminology used in the 1990 census school district special tabulation.

Select any letter for a quick guide to the term.

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Age

The data on age were derived from answers to questionnaire item 5, which was asked to 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 response in question 5b on acceptable year-of-birth.

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 tabulation is 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.")

Assigned Grade

A mechanism for assigning who is a relevant child. The conditions are: (1) If the child is in school, then their Assigned Grade is the grade that child is in; (2) if a child is not in school, then that child's Assigned Grade is the next highest grade above the last grade the child completed.


At-Risk Pre-School Children

Children less than 6 years of age living with mother who is not a high school graduate and who is divorced or separated, and is below the 1989 poverty level.


At-Risk School Age Children

Children 6 to 19 years of age, who are not high school graduates, living with mother who is not a high school graduate, is single, divorced or separated, and is below the 1989 poverty level.

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Balance of County

A classification of children unique to School District Analysis Book (SDAB). A territory remaining in a county outside of the territory served by public school districts located in a county. Balance of County also refers to children in a territory not coded by the census as a public school territory. An example of the use of this classification is: a 19-year old in a secondary or consolidated school district who completed the 9th grade is assigned to the 10th grade and is relevant to the secondary or consolidated district. If you want to know how many children the district is not reaching, this child is one of them.

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Children 3-19 Years

Excludes high school graduates.


Citizenship

The data on citizenship were derived from answers to questionnaire item 9, which was asked of a sample of persons.

Citizen: 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.")
Naturalized Citizen: 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.
Not A Citizen: Foreign-born persons who were not citizens, including persons who had begun but not completed the naturalization process at the time of the census.

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Dropouts

Persons 16 to 19 years of age in households who are not enrolled in school and not high school graduates.

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Educational Attainment

Data on educations 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.

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.

Employment Status

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 the 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.

Employed: 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.
Unemployed: 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.
Civilian Labor Force: Consists of persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described above.
Experienced Unemployed: 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.
Labor Force: All persons classified in the civilian labor force plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Not In Labor Force: 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).

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Group Quarters

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").

Institutionalized Persons: 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 has responsibility for their safekeeping and supervision.
Correctional Institutions: Includes prisons, Federal detention centers, military stockades and jails, police lockups, halfway houses, local jails, and other confinement facilities, including work farms.
Prisons: 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.
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.
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 group 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.
Rooming Houses: Includes persons residing in rooming and boarding houses and living in quarters with 10 or more unrelated persons.
Group Homes: Included "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.
Other Group Homes: 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.

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Hispanic Origin

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.

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.

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Household Type and Relationship

Household: 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.
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, 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.
Spouse: Includes a person married to and living with a householder. This category includes persons in formal marriages, as well as person in common-law marriages.
The number of spouses 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.
Child: 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.
Other Relatives: 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).
Nonrelative: Includes any household member, including foster children not related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption.
Family Type: 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.
Other Family
Male Householder, No Wife Present: A family with a male householder and no spouse or householder present.
Female Householder, No Husband Present: A family with a female householder and no spouse of householder present.
Subfamily: 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.

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Housing Characteristics

Living Quarters: Living quarters are classified as either housing units or group quarters. (For more information, see the discussion of "Group Quarters".) Usually, living quarters are in structures intended for residential use (i.e., 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 (i.e., 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.
Housing Units: 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 person 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.
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 contain eight or fewer persons unrelated to the householder or person in charge, it is classified as a housing unit.
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.

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Income in 1989

Data on income in 1989 were derived from answers to questionnaire from 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 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.

Wage or Salary Income: Includes total money earnings received for work performed as an employee during the calendar year 1989. It includes wages, salary, Armed Forces pay, commissioners, tip, piece-rate payments, and cash bonuses earned before deductions were made for taxes, bonds, pensions, union dues, etc.
Income of Households: 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.

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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.
Household Language: 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.
Ability to Speak English: 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.
Linguistic Isolation: 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.

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Marital Status

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.

Never Married: Includes all persons who have never been married, including persons whose only marriage(s) was annulled.
Ever Married: 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."
Separated: 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.
Widowed: Includes widows and widowers who have not remarried.
Divorced: 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.
Now Married: All persons whose current marriage has not ended by widowhood or divorce. This category includes persons defined above as "separated."
Spouse Present: 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.
Spouse Absent: 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.
Spouse Absent, Other: 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 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.
Comparability: 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

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.

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Not High School Graduate (NHSG) Children 3-19 Years Old

A category of children that may be in school district geography or not. If they are in school district geography, they are "Relevant Children" to a school district. (For more information, see the discussion under "Relevant Children.") If they are not in school district geography, they are classified as "Balance of County". (For more information, see the discussion under "Balance of County.")

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Place of Birth

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. Person allocated as foreign born were not assigned a specific country of birth but were classified as "Born abroad, country not specified."

Native: 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.
Foreign Born: Includes persons not classified as "Native." Prior to the 1970 census, persons not reporting place of birth were generally classified as native.

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Poverty Status in 1989

Data on poverty status were derived from answers to the same questions as the income data, questionnaire items 32 and 33. 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 income 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.


Pre-School Children

Children who are attending a pre-kindergarten program or would be in such a program if they were enrolled in school.

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Race

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 no 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 clearly 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.

White: Includes persons who indicated their race as "White" or reported entries such as Canadian, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near-Easterner, Arab, or Polish.
Black: 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.
American Indian: 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.
American Indian Tribe: 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 (i.e., Iroquois, Sioux, Colorado River, etc.) 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.
Eskimo: Includes persons who indicated their race as "Eskimo" or reported entries such as Arctic Slope, Inupiat, and Yupik.
Aleut: 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. In some data products, information is presented separately for the Asian population and the Pacific Islander population.
Asian: 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.
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.
Other Race: 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 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 were missing for the daughter of the householder, then the race of her mother (as female householder or female spouse) would be assigned. If there were 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.
Limitation 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 might be over reporting of the Cherokee tribe. An evaluation of 1980 census data showed over reporting 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 in 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.
Comparability: 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 population. 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 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 Japanese 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.

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Relevant Population

The total relevant population for this tabulation is children 3 to 19 years of age who are not high school graduates. For states, counties and consolidated districts, this entire group is assigned as the relevant population.

For elementary and secondary districts, which co-exist on the same area, this group is divided between them based on grade. Children whose grade is equal to or less than the highest grade taught in the elementary district are assigned as relevant for the elementary district. The remainders are assigned as relevant for the secondary district.

The concept of relevant population applies only to school district tabulations. Since two or more school districts can cover the same earth surface area, the concept of relevant persons is used to designate that set of the population for which a school district is responsible.


Relevant Children 3-19 Years

These children reside in a school district and are of an appropriate grade for the school district. Children relevant to an elementary district are children enrolled or assigned in grades PS-8 or whatever the standards are for that state. Children relevant to a secondary district may be, for example, enrolled or assigned grades 9-12. Children relevant to a consolidate school district may be enrolled or assigned grades PS-12. Note that in the School District Analysis Book (SDAB), children of preschool age are all classified as relevant for the elementary school district in their geography.

The total relevant population for this tabulation is children 3 to 19 years of age who are not high school graduates. For states, counties and consolidated districts, this entire group is assigned as the relevant population. For elementary and secondary districts, which co-exist on the same area, this group is divided between them based on grade. Children whose grade is equal to or less than the highest grade taught in the elementary district are assigned as relevant for the elementary district. The remainders are assigned as relevant for the secondary district.

The concept of relevant population applies only to school district tabulations. Since two or more school districts can cover the same earth surface area, the concept of relevant persons is used to designate that set of the population for which a school district is responsible. School districts differ relative to school district and within age range for school district.


Residence in 1985

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 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.

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School District

A school district is a geographic area within a state whereby a public school system operates as a governmental entity with responsibility for operating public schools in that geographic area. School districts may be wholly contained in one county or parts of many counties.

For purposes of these tabulations, the boundary of the school district area served by the public school system is defined through the Census Mapping Project coordinated by the National Center for Education Statistics and individual participating states through the Council for Chief State School Officers. Boundaries of the 17,000 school districts represented in the Census tabulation are defined as of the 1989-1990 school year.

School district boundaries, unlike other geographic areas, used for Census tabulations may pass through census block geographic areas. Likewise school districts may be wholly contained in one counties or include parts of many counties.

In most cases school districts are assigned a name and geographic code identical to that used in the Common Core of Data.

School districts may include either Indian reservation or military school districts, depending upon whether or not the respective state identifies the corresponding school system agency for purposes of carrying out the state's public school program.

Consolidated School District: A public school district, which provides education for persons in grades from pre-kindergarten (or kindergarten) through grade 12.
Elementary School District: A public school district, which provides education for persons in grades from pre-kindergarten (or kindergarten) through grades 6 or 8.
Intermediate School District: A public school district, which provides education for persons in grades 7, 8 and 9.
Secondary School District: A public school district, which provides education for persons in grades 9 through grade 12.

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School District Geographic Characteristics

Urban School District: A school district with 70% or greater urban population. Urban school districts are classified as Central City, Suburban and Outside Urbanized Area (OUA) according to which of these has the largest population.
Rural School District: A school district with 30% or less urban population. Rural school districts are classified as "in a place " ("town"), and "not in a place" ("country") according to which has the dominating population.
Mixed School District: A school district with 50% to less than 70% urban population and a rural population of 30% to 50%.

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.


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.

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."

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Sex

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.

Comparability: A question on the sex of individuals has been asked of the total population in every census.

Single Year of Grade

In the 1990 Census, people were asked their highest grade (grouped as grade 4, 8 or 9-12) and whether they had completed that level. Consequently, single year data are not available for most grade levels. The School District Analysis Book (SDAB) uses imputation to break out the grouped data into single years; this single year detail is needed in order to establish whether the child is a "relevant" child for the school district. The consequence is that some of the distributions may look funny, especially at the margins of the grouped data (e.g. grade 5).

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Universe

A child appears in the School District Analysis Book (SDAB) only once and a school district appears only once. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the child and the school district. There are only two kinds of universes (populations) for which tabulations are available in SDAB--the population of school districts and the population of children. In the child tabulations, school district attributes are available as classification characteristics. In the school district tabs, child attributes are available as classification characteristics.

Other units never appear as populations. For example, children can be shown by attributes of their households and their parents. But households, parents and families never appear in the School District Analysis Book (SDAB) as a population for which tabulations can be presented.

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Veteran Status

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 for initial training or yearly summer camps. All other civilians 16 years old and over are classified as nonveterans.

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Work Disability Status

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.

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.


Work Status in 1989

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 one 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."

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Year of Entry

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.")

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