N/A of variable "ownershp"

Hi IPUMS staff,

I’m looking at the varialbe “ownershp”, where there are three answers: N/A, owned or being bought, rent. I have a few questions:

  1. The ownership does not nessary mean that the person live in the house own the house, is that correct? For example, an adult child live with his parents, and I can’t distinguish who actually own the house? I also find some cases where a vistor or partner or roommate report they own the house. So I’m wondering what is the real meaning of “ownershp”.

  2. I tabulate ownershp and famsize. I find all N/A comes from individuals live alone. It looks wired to me why all these individuals report N/A. Do you have any idea?



OWNERSHP indicates whether the housing unit was rented or owned by its inhabitants. This is a household level variable, not a person level variable, so as you have noted, you will not be able to distinguish who actually owns the house. That is, the owner of a house may or may not be the head of the household.

The N/A for OWNERSHP are actually those individuals who do not fall within the universe statement. That is, they are those individuals who are part of group quarters. If you tab OWNERSHP and GQ, you will see this is true. The reason that those individuals all also have a FAMSIZE of 1 is that, in accordance with the description for GQ, people living in group quarters are generally sampled as individuals. Additionally, note that most household-level variables are not available for group quarters or for vacant units.