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2 The Group Quarters Population and the American Community Survey WHAT ARE GROUP QUARTERS? The Census Bureau classifies living quarters as either housing units or group quarters (GQ). Although living quarters are usually found in residential structures, they can also be found in structures not intended for residential use and in such places as tents, vans, and emergency and transitional shelters (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011d). Most people reside in housing units, which the Census Bureau defines as follows: A housing unit may be a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms or a single room that is occupied (or, if vacant, intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the oc - cupants live separately from any other individuals in the building and which have direct access from outside the building or through a common hall. By this classification, people who do not live in housing units live in group quarters. The Census Bureau’s definition of group quarters is as follows: A group quarters is a place where people live or stay, in a group living ar- rangement, that is owned or managed by an entity or organization providing housing and/or services for the residents. This is not a typical household-type living arrangement. These services may include custodial or medical care as well as other types of assistance, and residency is commonly restricted to those receiving these services. People living in group quarters are usually not related to each other. Group quarters include such places as college residence halls, residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes, military barracks, correctional facilities, and workers’ dormitories. 19
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20 SMALL POPULATIONS, LARGE EFFECTS At the time of the 2010 census, there were approximately 8 million people living in group quarters, representing 2.6 percent of the total U.S. population. This ratio has remained relatively constant over the past few decades. Unlike most surveys that limit their target population to households (peo - ple who live in housing units) and sometimes noninstitutional group quarters, the goal of the American Community Survey (ACS) is to represent all U.S. residents. Samples of most types of group quarters have been included in the ACS since 2006, the second year of the survey’s existence. For practical reasons and in some cases because of privacy concerns, the ACS does exclude a few of the less common GQ types (for example, domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, targeted nonsheltered outdoor locations, commercial maritime vessels, natural disaster shelters, and dangerous encampments), but it remains the most comprehensive survey in the United States in terms of this target population, aside from the decennial census itself. It is also important to note that ACS estimates of the total population are con - trolled to the Population Estimates Program (PEP) estimates of the total GQ population, including residents of group quarters that are not included in the ACS (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009). Box 2-1 describes the group quarters that were included in the 2010 ACS. Half of GQ residents live in institutional settings. Institutional facilities are group quarters that provide formally supervised custody or care to inmates or patients. Examples of institutional group quarters are correctional facilities and nursing homes. The remainder of the GQ population lives in noninstitutional settings, such as student housing and military quarters. Table 2-1 shows the GQ population by type of group quarters based on the 2010 census enumeration. CHARACTERISTICS OF GROUP QUARTERS Although the number of GQ residents is small relative to the total popula - tion, the GQ population is “lumpy” in several senses of the term. First, indi - vidual GQ facilities (e.g., student dormitories, correctional facilities, nursing homes) are unusually homogenous regarding basic demographic characteristics. Hypothetically, communities with identical total GQ populations may differ considerably depending on the types of facilities existing within their bound - aries. Second, although some jurisdictions have very few GQ residents, the population of other jurisdictions may be dominated by a large GQ facility, such as a university or a federal or state prison. Third, the GQ population is system - atically different from the household population in terms of basic demographic characteristics. Table 2-2 shows the characteristics of the GQ population by sex and age group. Table 2-3 summarizes the main characteristics that tend to differ between group quarters and the household population.
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21 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY BOX 2-1 2010 American Community Survey Group Quarters Definitions 1. Correctional Facilities for Adults Correctional Residential Facilities These are community-based facilities operated for correctional purposes. The facility residents may be allowed extensive contact with the community, such as for employment or attending school, but are obligated to occupy the premises at night. Examples are halfway houses, restitution centers, and prerelease, work release, and study centers. Federal Detention Centers Stand alone, generally multi-level, federally operated correctional facilities that provide “short-term” confinement or custody of adults pending adjudication or sentencing. These facilities may hold pretrial detainees, holdovers, sentenced offenders, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inmates, formerly called Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) inmates. These facilities in- clude Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs), Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs), Federal Detention Centers (FDCs), Bureau of Indian Affairs Detention Centers, ICE Service Processing Centers, and ICE contract detention facilities. Federal and State Prisons Adult correctional facilities where people convicted of crimes serve their sen - tences. Common names include prison, penitentiary, correctional institution, fed- eral or state correctional facility, and conservation camp. The prisons are classified by two types of control: (1) “federal” (operated by or for the Bureau of Prisons of the Department of Justice) and (2) “state.” Residents who are forensic patients or criminally insane are classified on the basis of where they resided at the time of interview. Patients in hospitals (units, wings, or floors) operated by or for federal or state correctional authorities are interviewed in the prison population. Other forensic patients will be interviewed in psychiatric hospital units and floors for long-term non-acute patients. This category may include privately operated cor- rectional facilities. Local Jails and Other Municipal Confinement Facilities Correctional facilities operated by or for counties, cities, and American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments. These facilities hold adults detained pending adjudication and/or people committed after adjudication. This category also in- cludes work farms and camps used to hold people awaiting trial or serving time on relatively short sentences. Residents who are forensic patients or criminally insane are classified on the basis of where they resided at the time of interview. Patients in hospitals (units, wings, or floors) operated by or for local correctional authorities are counted in the jail population. Other forensic patients will be interviewed in psychiatric hospital units and floors for long-term non-acute patients. This category may include privately operated correctional facilities. continued
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22 SMALL POPULATIONS, LARGE EFFECTS BOX 2-1 Continued Military Disciplinary Barracks and Jails Correctional facilities managed by the military to hold those awaiting trial or con- victed of crimes. 2. Juvenile Facilities Correctional Facilities Intended for Juveniles Includes specialized facilities that provide strict confinement for its residents and detain juveniles awaiting adjudication, commitment or placement, and/or those being held for diagnosis or classification. Also included are correctional facilities where residents are permitted contact with the community, for purposes such as attending school or holding a job. Examples are residential training schools and farms, reception and diagnostic centers, group homes operated by or for cor- rectional authorities, detention centers, and boot camps for juvenile delinquents. Group Homes for Juveniles (non-correctional) Includes community-based group living arrangements for youth in residential set- tings that are able to accommodate three or more clients of a service provider. The group home provides room and board and services, including behavioral, psycho- logical, or social programs. Generally, clients are not related to the care giver or to each other. Examples are maternity homes for unwed mothers, orphanages, and homes for abused and neglected children in need of services. Group homes for juveniles do not include residential treatment centers for juveniles or group homes operated by or for correctional authorities. Residential Treatment Centers for Juveniles (non-correctional) Includes facilities that primarily serve youth that provide services on-site in a highly structured live-in environment for the treatment of drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, and emotional/behavioral disorders. These facilities are staffed 24-hours a day. The focus of a residential treatment center is on the treatment program. Residential treatment centers for juveniles do not include facilities operated by or for correctional authorities. 3. Nursing Facilities/Skilled Nursing Facilities Nursing Facilities/Skilled Nursing Facilities Includes facilities licensed to provide medical care with 7 day, 24-hour coverage for people requiring long-term non-acute care. People in these facilities require nursing care, regardless of age. Either of these types of facilities may be referred to as nursing homes. 4. Other Institutional Facilities Hospitals with Patients Who Have No Usual Home Elsewhere Includes hospitals if they have any patients who have no exit or disposition plan, or who are known as “boarder patients” or “boarder babies.” All hospitals are eligible
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23 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY BOX 2-1 Continued for inclusion in this category except psychiatric hospitals, units, wings or floors operated by federal, state or local correctional authorities. Patients in hospitals operated by these correctional authorities will be interviewed in the prison or jail population. Psychiatric units and hospice units in hospitals are also excluded. Only patients with no usual home elsewhere are interviewed in this category. Inpatient Hospice Facilities Includes inpatient hospice facilities (both free-standing and units in hospitals) that provide palliative, comfort, and supportive care for the terminally ill patient and their families. All patients in these GQs are included in the ACS GQ sample. Mental (Psychiatric) Hospitals and Psychiatric Units in Other Hospitals Includes psychiatric hospitals, units and floors for long-term non-acute care pa- tients. The primary function of the hospital, unit, or floor is to provide diagnostic and treatment services for long-term non-acute patients who have psychiatric- related illness. Military Treatment Facilities with Assigned Patients These facilities include military hospitals and medical centers with active duty pa- tients assigned to the facility. Only these patients are interviewed in this category. Residential Schools for People with Disabilities Includes schools that provide the teaching of skills for daily living, education pro- grams, and care for students with disabilities in a live-in environment. Examples are residential schools for the physically or developmentally disabled. 5. College/University Student Housing College/University Student Housing Includes residence halls and dormitories, which house college and university stu- dents in a group living arrangement. These facilities are owned, leased, or man- aged either by a college, university, or seminary, or by a private entity or organi- zation. Fraternity and sorority housing recognized by the college or university are included as college student housing. Students attending the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy are interviewed in military group quarters. 6. Military Group Quarters Military Quarters These facilities include military personnel living in barracks (including “open” bar- rack transient quarters) and dormitories and military ships. Patients assigned to military treatment facilities and people being held in military disciplinary barracks and jails are not interviewed in this category. Patients in military treatment facilities with no usual home elsewhere are not interviewed in this category. continued
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24 SMALL POPULATIONS, LARGE EFFECTS BOX 2-1 Continued 7. Other Noninstitutional Facilities Emergency and Transitional Shelters (with Sleeping Facilities) for People Experiencing Homelessness Facilities where people experiencing homelessness stay overnight. These include (1) shelters that operate on a first-come, first-serve basis where people must leave in the morning and have no guaranteed bed for the next night; (2) shelters where people know that they have a bed for a specified period of time (even if they leave the building every day); and (3) shelters that provide temporary shelter during extremely cold weather (such as churches). This category does not include shelters that oper- ate only in the event of a natural disaster. Examples are emergency and transitional shelters; missions; hotels and motels used to shelter people experiencing homeless- ness; shelters for children who are runaways, neglected or experiencing homeless- ness; and similar places known to have people experiencing homelessness. Group Homes Intended for Adults Group homes are community-based group living arrangements in residential set- tings that are able to accommodate three or more clients of a service provider. The group home provides room and board and services, including behavioral, psychological, or social programs. Generally, clients are not related to the care giver or to each other. Group homes do not include residential treatment centers or facilities operated by or for correctional authorities. Residential Treatment Centers for Adults Residential facilities that provide treatment on-site in a highly structured live-in environment for the treatment of drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, and emotional/ behavioral disorders. They are staffed 24 hours a day. The focus of a residential treatment center is on the treatment program. Residential treatment centers do not include facilities operated by or for correctional authorities. Religious Group Quarters These are living quarters owned or operated by religious organizations that are intended to house their members in a group living situation. This category includes such places as convents, monasteries, and abbeys. Living quarters for students living or staying in seminaries are classified as college student housing not reli- gious group quarters. Workers’ Group Living Quarters and Job Corps Centers Includes facilities such as dormitories, bunkhouses, and similar types of group living arrangements for agricultural and nonagricultural workers. This category also includes facilities that provide a full-time, year-round residential program offering a vocational training and employment program that helps young people 16- to-24 years old learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED and get help finding a job. Examples are group living quarters at migratory farm worker camps, construction workers’ camps, Job Corps centers, and vocational training facilities, and energy enclaves in Alaska. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau. Available: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/data_ documentation/GroupDefinitions/2010GQ_Definitions.pdf.
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25 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY TABLE 2-1 GQ Population by Type of Group Quarters, 2010 Census GQ Type Number Percentage Correctional facilities for adults 2,263,602 28.3 Federal detention centers 68,577 0.9 Federal prisons 172,020 2.2 State prisons 1,248,167 15.6 Local jails and other municipal confinement facilities 682,043 8.5 Correctional residential facilities 91,006 1.1 Military disciplinary barracks and jails 1,789 0.0 Juvenile facilities 151,315 1.9 Group homes for juveniles (noncorrectional) 37,618 0.5 Residential treatment centers for juveniles (noncorrectional) 48,010 0.6 Correctional facilities intended for juveniles 65,687 0.8 Nursing facilities/skilled nursing facilities 1,502,264 18.8 Other institutional facilities 76,478 1.0 Mental hospitals and psychiatric units in other hospitals 42,035 0.5 Hospitals with patients who have no usual home elsewhere 16,902 0.2 Inpatient hospice facilities 7,751 0.1 Military treatment facilities with assigned patients 266 0.0 Residential schools for people with disabilities 9,524 0.1 Total Institutional Population 3,993,659 50.0 College/university student housing 2,521,090 31.6 Military group quarters 338,191 4.2 Military barracks and dormitories 288,718 3.6 Military ships 49,473 0.6 Other noninstitutional facilities 1,134,383 14.2 Emergency and transitional shelters for people experiencing homelessness 209,325 2.6 Group homes intended for adults 304,688 3.8 Residential treatment centers for adults 139,420 1.7 Maritime/merchant vessels 2,382 0.0 Workers’ group living quarters and Job Corps centers 168,549 2.1 Other (noninstitutional) 310,019 3.9 Total Noninstitutional Population 3,993,664 50.0 Total GQ Population 7,987,323 100.0 SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Summary File 1 (PCT20). Available: http://factfinder2.census. gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. DATA COLLECTIONS FROM GROUP QUARTERS Because of the particular characteristics of the GQ population and their potentially large impact on the estimates in small areas, GQ data play a crucial role in the accuracy of the total population data from the ACS. The Census Bureau has been refining the ACS procedures used for collecting and produc - ing GQ estimates over the years, building on decades of experience measuring these populations as part of the decennial census.
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26 TABLE 2-2 GQ Population by Sex and Age, 2010 Census Number Percentage Age Male Female Total Male Female Total Under 20 years 910,270 877,497 1,787,767 18.7 28.0 22.4 20 to 34 years 1,965,139 850,832 2,815,971 40.4 27.2 35.3 35 to 64 years 1,529,210 396,669 1,925,879 31.5 12.7 24.1 65 years and over 453,591 1,004,115 1,457,706 9.3 32.1 18.3 4,858,210 3,129,113 7,987,323 100.0 100.0 100.0 Total GQ Population Under 20 years 183,481 51,191 234,672 6.8 4.0 5.9 20 to 34 years 1,022,949 118,492 1,141,441 37.7 9.3 28.6 35 to 64 years 1,115,096 204,596 1,319,692 41.0 16.0 33.0 65 years and over 395,351 902,503 1,297,854 14.6 70.7 32.5 2,716,877 1,276,782 3,993,659 100.0 100.0 100.0 Total Institutional Population Under 20 years 726,789 826,306 1,553,095 33.9 44.6 38.9 20 to 34 years 942,190 732,340 1,674,530 44.0 39.5 41.9 35 to 64 years 414,114 192,073 606,187 19.3 10.4 15.2 65 years and over 58,240 101,612 159,852 2.7 5.5 4.0 2,141,333 1,852,331 3,993,664 100.0 100.0 100.0 Noninstitutional Population SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Summary File 1 (PCO2 and PCO7). Available: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.
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27 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY TABLE 2-3 Comparisons Between Group Quarters and the Household Population Characteristic Comparison Sex Correctional facilities are overwhelmingly male. Nursing homes are predominantly female. Age Student housing is almost exclusively for ages 18-24. Nursing homes are predominantly for ages 65 and over. Race Correctional facilities have a higher percentage of African Americans or blacks than the household population. Hispanic origin Correctional facilities have a higher percentage and nursing homes have a lower percentage of persons of Hispanic origin than the household population. Marital status Correctional facilities and college dorms have high never- married rates. Nursing homes have high widowed rates. Disability status Nursing homes have high rates of disabilities. School enrollment Residents of student housing are almost all enrolled in college. Veteran status Nursing homes have higher rates of veterans. Student housing has very few veterans. Residence 1 year ago GQ residents have a high rate of having lived somewhere else a year ago. Employment status Most persons living in college dorms are not in the labor force. Income GQ residents have lower income than the household population. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau (2011e). The concept of group quarters started to gradually emerge beginning with the 1830 census, with the term group quarters first appearing as part of the 1850 census (Ruggles and Brower, 2003). Prior to that, all individuals living together were enumerated as if they were part of a large family. The categorization of GQ facilities and the procedures used for the enumeration have generally been modified and updated with each census, but measuring this population remains extremely challenging, even in the decennial census. One reason is that it is difficult to develop standardized definitions for these types of complex living arrangements that are both operationally practical and consistent with the broad range of terminologies used by GQ facility managers and residents. Another reason is that many small GQ facilities are not easily distinguishable from traditional housing units. Third, the unique circumstances of many GQ residents means that some of the questions asked are not equally applicable to residents of all GQ types, which can result in the need to impute a large per- centage of the responses to individual questions. This is especially true for the questions that were on the census long form and are now on the ACS. Although it is too early to assess the success of the enumeration of group quarters in the
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28 SMALL POPULATIONS, LARGE EFFECTS 2010 census, the 2000 census was criticized because some GQ residents were counted more than once, some were missed, and some were assigned to the wrong geographic location (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2010). The ACS faces the arguably more complex task of producing estimates of the total population based only on samples of this relatively small subset of the total population. The main steps in the current approach to the ACS GQ data collection are summarized in Box 2-2. Key aspects of the ACS survey design and GQ data collection are discussed in further detail in subsequent chapters. The ACS was envisioned as a survey that would provide the same informa - tion about the U.S. population and entities in the geographic hierarchy as small as census block groups as did the census long-form questionnaire. Historically, the content of the census long form was determined by including only questions that met the following criteria (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009): • They were mandated by federal law calling for the use of decennial census data for a particular federal program. • They were required because a federal law or implementing regulation called for the use of specific data, and the decennial census was the historical or only source. • They were required because of case law requirements imposed by the U.S. federal court system. • They were necessary to meet Census Bureau operational needs. In developing the content of the ACS, the Census Bureau was assisted by the Office of Management and Budget Interagency Committee for the ACS, which includes representatives from dozens of federal agencies; it is cochaired by the Office of Management and Budget and the Census Bureau. The commit- tee continues to advise the Census Bureau as new data needs and the need for questionnaire revisions arise. This is a difficult task because of several impor- tant but often competing considerations: concerns about respondent burden, increasing data needs, and the consistency required to preserve the continuity of time series. Changes made to the ACS questionnaires over the years have been relatively small. Some new questions have been added to the ACS, includ- ing health insurance coverage, marital history, Veterans Administration service- connected disability rating, and field of college degree. Box 2-3 summarizes the current content of the housing unit and the GQ questionnaires. Appendix B includes the full 2011 ACS housing unit questionnaire, and Appendix C includes the full 2011 ACS GQ question- naire. The content of the GQ questionnaire is essentially the same as the housing unit questionnaire, except that the housing sections (physical and financial characteristics related to housing) are not asked of GQ residents. The only other question not asked of GQ residents is the “relationship to householder” question, which provides users with data on family structure in households.
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29 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY BOX 2-2 Data Collection Steps for Group Quarters in the American Community Survey Sample Development The GQ sample is derived from data extracts from the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF) and information from other sources. The sample is divided into two strata: (1) GQ facilities with 15 or fewer expected residents and facilities with an unknown population count and (2) GQ facilities with more than 15 expected residents. In small group quarters, everyone is eligible to be interviewed. In large group quarters, the residents are divided into groups of 10 and a systematic sample of 1-in-40 groups of 10 is selected. The facilities and groups of 10 respon- dents are randomly assigned to data collection months throughout the year (with some exceptions, which are described below). Facility-Level Data Collection Phase The Census Bureau’s National Processing Center mails an advance letter and brochure about the ACS to each sampled GQ facility prior to the beginning of the fieldwork. Field representatives contact sampled group quarters by phone to schedule an appointment for visiting the facility. During the visit to sampled facilities, field representatives administer the computer-assisted Group Quarters Facility Questionnaire to a contact person. The facility type, population size, and the sample of individuals to be interviewed are determined during this process. Person-Level Data Collection Phase Person-level interviews can be completed by: −in-person interview (computer-assisted personal interview) with the sample person (the method preferred by the Census Bureau); −telephone interview with the sample person; −in-person proxy interview with the GQ contact, relative, or guardian of the sample person; −leaving the questionnaire with the sample person to complete by self-response (the field representative must return to collect the completed questionnaire); or −leaving the questionnaire with the GQ contact, who agrees to give it to the sample person (the field representative must return to collect the completed questionnaire). If a GQ contact is involved in distributing the questionnaires or providing responses, he or she must take an oath of nondisclosure, under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Special Procedures In remote Alaska, the GQ data collection is conducted twice a year, from January through mid-April and from September through mid-January. Data collection in federal prisons is completed during a 4-month period, from September through December. The Bureau of Prisons provides a list of inmates to the Census Bureau and conducts security clearances of field representatives who will be visiting these facilities. Correctional and military facilities selected into the sample for more than one month of the year are visited only once a year, during a randomly selected month. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau (2009).
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30 SMALL POPULATIONS, LARGE EFFECTS BOX 2-3 Topics Covered in the 2011 ACS Questionnaires HOUSING UNIT QUESTIONNAIRE GROUP QUARTERS QUESTIONNAIRE Demographic Characteristics Demographic Characteristics Age Age Sex Sex Hispanic origin Hispanic origin Race Race Relationship to householder Economic Characteristics Economic Characteristics Income Income Food stamps benefit Food stamps benefit Labor force status Labor force status Industry, occupation, and class of Industry, occupation, and class of worker worker Place of work and journey to work Place of work and journey to work Work status last year Work status last year Health insurance coverage Health insurance coverage Social Characteristics Social Characteristics Ancestry Ancestry Place of birth, citizenship, and year Place of birth, citizenship, and year of entry to United States of entry to United States Language spoken at home Language spoken at home Educational attainment and school Educational attainment and school enrollment enrollment Undergraduate field of degree Undergraduate field of degree Residence one year ago Residence one year ago Marital status and marital history Marital status and marital history Fertility Fertility Grandparents as caregivers Grandparents as caregivers Veteran status, period of military Veteran status, period of military service, and Veterans Administra- service, and Veterans Administra- tion service-connected disability tion service-connected disability rating rating Disability Disability Housing—Physical Characteristics Year structure built Units in structure Year moved into unit Rooms Bedrooms Kitchen facilities Plumbing facilities
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31 GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY BOX 2-3 Continued House heating fuel Telephone service available Vehicles available Farm residence Housing—Financial Characteristics Tenure (owner/renter) Housing value Rent Selected monthly owner costs SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey Questionnaire Archive. Avail- able: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/questionnaire_archive/.
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