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SAMEPLAC
Lived same incorporated place 5 years ago

Description

SAMEPLAC indicates whether individuals were living in the same community ("place") on April 1, 1935 as they were living at the time of enumeration.

The exact meaning of "same community" (code 2) for this variable is ambiguous. The 1940 census PUMS documentation gives two apparently contradictory definitions of "same community": 1) the same incorporated place or nonplace residual of the same county; and 2) "same incorporated place" or "an area of the same county in 1935 and 1940 which was indicated as being neither an incorporated place nor a rural area." Under the first definition, persons who moved to a different dwelling unit in a rural area of the same county where they lived in 1940 would count as living in the "same community;" under the second definition, such persons would be coded as "in a different community in 1935 and 1940."

Further confusion arises from the multiple meanings of "place" in both common parlance and 1940 Census Bureau terminology, as discussed below.

The 1940 census form and instructions directed enumerators to enter "same house" if the person was living in the same dwelling unit and "for one living in a different house but in the same city or town, enter 'same place.'" Evaluations by the Census Bureau concluded that, contrary to these instructions, many enumerators used "same place" to mean the "same house" and "same farm" as well as "same city or town."

The original census form and instructions left ambiguous what response should be given for persons who changed dwelling units but were living in a rural, nonincorporated area of the same county (not in a "city or town"). For persons who were living in a different place (not simply in a different housing unit), the enumerator was to enter the name of the city, county, and state where the person lived in 1935. The name of the city, town, or village was to be entered only if that city, town, or village had 2,500 or more inhabitants; all other "places" were to be specified by an "R" for "rural" (matching the long-time Census Bureau practice of treating all localities with less than 2,500 inhabitants as rural). In this step, the term "place" was reserved for legally-incorporated entities of 2500+ inhabitants (i.e., locales that were both legally-incorporated and technically "urban"). In post-enumeration processing, Census Bureau coders were directed, "'Same place' is to be accepted only for persons whose residence in 1940 was in an incorporated place."

Given these multiple definitions of "same place," the code of 2, "Yes, same community," might refer to any of the following: 1) persons who were living in the same incorporated place of 2500+ inhabitants in 1935 and 1940; 2) persons who were living in the same incorporated place without a specific population threshold; 3) persons who were living in the same incorporated place or an area of the same county that was not incorporated but not technically rural (i.e., that did not have less than 2,500 inhabitants); or 4) the same incorporated place or the nonplace (i.e., not an incorporated town or city) residual portion of the county where they were living in 1940, including the rural portion of that county. As noted, the 1940 PUMS documentation is ambiguous and contradictory on this point. In addition, some enumerators entered "same place" for all persons who resided in the same dwelling unit in 1935 and 1940.

Some enumerators entered a response for the 1940 migration questions only for the household head. The 1940 Census Bureau practice was to assume the same response applied to the relatives of the head and to code unrelated persons as "unknown" (not ascertained).

Codes and Frequencies



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Comparability

This variable is only available for 1940.

Universe

  • Persons age 5+.

Availability

United States
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  • 1940: All samples
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Puerto Rico
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Flags

QSAMEPLA 

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.