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GQ
Group quarters status

Description

GQ classifies all housing units as falling into one of three main categories: households, group quarters, or vacant units. It also identifies fragmentary sample units for 1850-1930 (see below). In all years, the data available about a person and their co-residents depend on whether the person lives in a household or in group quarters. Households are sampled as units, meaning that everyone in the household is included in the sample, and most household-level variables are available. People living in group quarters are generally sampled as individuals; other people in their unit may or may not be included in the sample, and there is no way of linking co-residents' records to one another. If, however, a sampled person in group quarters was living with relatives, the related group was sampled for 1850-1930. Most household-level variables are not available for group quarters or for vacant units.

Group quarters are largely institutions and other group living arrangements, such as rooming houses and military barracks. The definitions vary from year to year, but the pre-1940 samples have generally used a definition of group quarters that includes units with 10 or more individuals unrelated to the householder. See the comparability discussion below and "Sample Designs" for more details about changing definitions of group quarters. Group-quarters types are identified in further detail by GQTYPE and GQFUNDS.

Codes and Frequencies



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Comparability

There are three slightly different definitions of group quarters in the IPUMS. For the period 1940-1970 (excluding the 1940 100% dataset), group quarters are housing units with five or more individuals unrelated to the householder. Before 1940 and in 1980-1990, units with 10 or more individuals unrelated to the householder are considered group quarters. In the 2000 census, 2010 census, the ACS and the PRCS, no threshold was applied; for a household to be considered group quarters, it had to be on a list of group quarters that is continuously maintained by the Census Bureau. In earlier years, a similar list was used, with the unrelated-persons rule imposed as a safeguard.

The GQ variable identifies the following categories of housing units:

  • Vacant units: These units are only identified in 1860-1870, 1970-2010, the ACS and the PRCS. The household-level variables for vacant units, and thus the household record for vacant units, are dropped from the data if the data are "rectangularized" (i.e., the household variables are reproduced on each person record) when extracted through the IPUMS system.
  • Households: As noted above, households are sampled in their entirety. Their value in the variable GQ is 1 or 2, and their value in GQTYPE (detailed) is 000, 010, or 020. In most cases, a working definition of "household" as GQ = 1 or 2 is appropriate. Categories are not completely comparable across all years.

  • Households with 0-4 persons unrelated to the head (GQ=1): In every year, these units are considered households rather than group quarters. These are the only units classified as households in 1940-1970; in these years, the PUMS coded units with five or more unrelated persons as group quarters.
  • User Caution: Users who want a completely comparable definition of household across multiple years, including the 1940-1970 period, should select only households coded GQ=1; these are households rather than group quarters under the 1940-1970 definition. This definition may be appropriate for those studying family and household composition, especially with respect to non-relatives. Users should be aware, however, that this narrow definition may improperly classify as group quarters many large households with servants or boarders prior to 1940.
  • Households with 5-9 persons unrelated to the head (GQ=2): In the 1850-1930 and 1980-2010 censuses, the ACS and the PRCS, these units were classified as households. In 1940-1970, the PUMS coded these units as group quarters, and they retain this classification in the IPUMS.
  • Group quarters: Group quarters consist of both institutions and units housing either a primary family or a primary individual plus a given number of persons unrelated to the head. See GQTYPE for a more detailed discussion of the distinction between institutions and other group quarters.
  • User Caution: For all samples except the 2000 census, 2010 census, the ACS, and the PRCS, households containing 10 or more individuals unrelated to the household head were considered by the Census Bureau to be group quarters. In the 2000 census, 2010 census, and all ACS and PRCS samples, this condition did not apply, and housing units were classified as group quarters only if they belonged to a list of such units. Examination of the data for the 2000 census reveals that most units with 10 or more unrelated individuals should probably be considered group quarters even though they appear as households in the original Census Bureau data. The IPUMS has placed them in a distinct group quarters category (GQ = 5). Note that this applies to the 2000-2005 ACS samples and the PRCS as well: although the Census Bureau did not intend to include group-quarters cases in the sample, it is likely that their list of "group quarters" was incomplete and that some group-quarters units were included in the sample of households. While the IPUMS has retained all information contained in the public Census Bureau release, users who do not want these cases in their analyses should be sure to remove them manually.
  • Fragments: In 1850-1930, GQ also identifies fragments. Fragments are individuals or groups of individuals who were enumerated separately from their household or group quarters. Most often this occurred when, at the end of a district, an enumerator added the names of individuals who had been missed. For these individuals, the unit's status as household versus group quarters cannot be classified.

User Note:
The 1850-1930, 1960, and 1970 samples include non-inmates living in institutions in the "institution" GQ (and GQTYPE) category (code 3). In other years, such persons are coded to non-institutional group quarters (code 4).

Universe

  • All households and group quarters

Availability

United States
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  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
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  • 2009: All samples
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  • 2007: All samples
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  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1960: All samples
  • 1950: All samples
  • 1940: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples
  • 1900: All samples
  • 1880: All samples
  • 1870: All samples
  • 1860: All samples
  • 1850: All samples
Puerto Rico
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  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples

Flags

QGQ 

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.