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32. 1997 Economic Census
1 Recording of amounts for earnings from longest job increased to $299,999. Full implementation of 1980 census-based sample design.
2 Implementation of a new March CPS processsing system.
3 Implementation of 1990 census population controls.
4 Data collection method changed from paper and pencil to computer assisted interviewing. In addition, the March 1994 income supplement was revised to allow for the coding of different income amounts on selected questionnaire items. Limits either increased or decreased in the following categories: earnings increased to $999,999; social security increased to $49,999; supplemental security income and public assistance increased to $24,999; veterans' benefits increased to $99,999; child support and alimony decreased to $49,999.
5 Introduction of 1990 census sample design.
6 Full implementation of the 1990 census-based sample design and metropolitan definitions, 7,000 household sample reduction, and revised race edits.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Internet site http://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/hhes/income/histinc/rdi02.html (accessed 8 June 1999). Note: 1997 is the latest information available. http://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/hhes/income/histinc/incexper.html
Households consist of all people who occupy a housing unit. The Census Bureau regards a house, an apartment or other group of rooms, or a single room as a housing unit when it is occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters: the occupants do not live and eat with any other people in the structure and there is direct access from the outside or through a common hall.
A household includes the related family members and all unrelated people, if any, such as lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. The Census Bureau also counts a person living alone in a housing unit or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit as partners as a household. The count of households excludes group quarters.
The householder refers to the person (or one of the people) who owns or rents (maintains) the housing unit. If a married couple owns the housing unit jointly, the interviewer may list either as the householder. The person listed first is the householder and is the "reference person" to whom the Census Bureau designates the relationship of all other household members. The number of householders is equal to the number of households. Also, the number of family householders is equal to the number of families.
For each person in the sample 15 years old and over, the CPS asks questions on the amount of money income received in the preceding calendar year from each of the following sources:
1. Earnings 2. Unemployment compensation 3. Workers' compensation 4. Social security 5. Supplemental security income 6. Public assistance 7. Veterans' payments 8. Survivor benefits 9. Disability benefits 10. Pension or retirement income 11. Interest 12. Dividends 13. Rents, royalties, and estates and trusts 14. Educational assistance 15. Alimony 16. Child support 17. Financial assistance from outside of the household 18. Other income
It should be noted that although the income statistics refer to receipts during the preceding calendar year, the demographic characteristics, such as age, labor force status, and family or household composition, are as of the survey date. The income of the family/household does not include amounts received by people who were members during all or part of the income year if these people no longer resided in the family/household at the time of interview. However, the CPS collects income data for people who are current residents but did not reside in the household during the income year.
Data on consumer income collected in the CPS by the Census Bureau cover money income received (exclusive of certain money receipts such as capital gains) before payments for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, medicare deductions, etc. Therefore, money income does not reflect the fact that some families receive part of their income in the form of noncash benefits, such as food stamps, health benefits, rent-free housing, and goods produced and consumed on the farm. In addition, money income does not reflect the fact that noncash benefits are also received by some nonfarm residents which often take the form of the use of business transportation and facilities, full or partial payments by business for retirement programs, medical and educational expenses, etc. Data users should consider these elements when comparing income levels. Moreover, readers should be aware that for many different reasons there is a tendency in household surveys for respondents to underreport their income. Based on an analysis of independently derived income estimates, the Census Bureau determined that respondents report income earned from wages or salaries much better than other sources of income and that the reported wage and salary income is nearly equal to independent estimates of aggregate income.
Median income is the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having incomes above the median, half having incomes below the median. The medians for households, families, and unrelated individuals are based on all households, families, and unrelated individuals, respectively. The medians for people are based on people 15 years old and over with income.
These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.
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