Creating an overcrowding measure?

Hello, I am trying to create an overcrowding variable using the IPUMS USA 5 year data. The variable that I am looking for would help identify persons per room (similar to this variable: IPUMS USA: descr: NOCCUP). Is there currently anyway to make this calculation using the most recent 5 year dataset? I see there are variables to determine the rooms per household, but I haven’t been able to find a variable that identifies number of persons per household or room.


The ACS is a questionnaire which gathers information on every person within a sampled housing unit (i.e. household). The variable NUMPREC will tell you the number of person records associated with the household. You could then divide that number by ROOMS or BEDROOMS to calculate your measure. Note that a household may include multiple unrelated families, but it only includes those individuals for whom the unit is their usual residence (you can review the residence rules here). However, you will not be able to obtain this data on the neighborhood-level as the lowest geographic detail reported in the Public Use Microdata Sample is on the Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA). Luckily, this data is also available in geographically aggregated tables through IPUMS NHGIS that are not bound by the same geography disclosure rules as the ACS. Using the Data Finder tool, you can select Occupants per Room as your topic as well as the time period and geographical level of your choice. The table Tenure by Occupants per Room provides a breakdown of occupancy rates into five intervals for renter, owner, and general occupied housing.

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