We ask questions about the units in the structure, number of rooms, and number of bedrooms to create data about housing types and housing density.
Local, state, tribal, and federal agencies use these data in government programs to analyze whether adequate housing is available and affordable for residents, and to provide and fund housing assistance programs. The number of rooms in combination with the number of people living in a unit provides a ratio of people to rooms, which can be used to measure the extent of overcrowding in our nation's households. These statistics also help enforce laws, policies, and regulations against discrimination in government programs and in society.
We use your confidential survey answers to create statistics like those in the results below and in the full tables that contain all the data—no one is able to figure out your survey answers from the statistics we produce. The Census Bureau is legally bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Individual records are not shared with anyone, including federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone—not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency.
We ask two questions about the units in the structure, number of rooms, and number of bedrooms to produce statistics about housing types and housing density.
We compile the results from these questions to provide communities with important statistics for infrastructure development and emergency planning. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
We ask about different types of housing, and how many people occupy that housing, to help communities understand whether available housing meets the needs of residents. For example, these data help measure overcrowding in communities and are integral components to set Fair Market Rents for all areas of the country.
When housing is not sufficient, data can help communities:
These data provide benchmark statistics that measure progress toward the Congressional declaration of goals for a national housing policy--a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.
These data are used to identify adequate housing and may be useful in identifying types of structures in disaster-prone areas during emergency planning and preparation.
Units in structure and rooms originated with the 1940 Census, while bedrooms originated with the 1960 Census. They were transferred to the ACS in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form.