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Definition of Data Items

1997 Census Update Survey

Access to Metrorail: of employed residents who use Metrorail or other rail, the primary method used to get to the station on the most recent workday preceding the survey. Data may not be reported in areas that have a low percentage of Metrorail commuters because there may be too few returned survey forms for a reliable estimate.

Age Distribution: the percent distribution of the household population across the following age cohorts: 0-4, 5-17, 18-29, 30-44, 45-64, 65-74, and 75 and older.

Average Age: the average age of the household population. As the large cohort of "baby boomers" has aged over the past decade, the average age in the County has crept up and is expected to do so well into the next century.

Average Age of Household Head: the average age of those who identified themselves as householder on the survey form.

Average Household Size: the average number of people living in a household. Average household size is calculated by dividing the household population by the number of households.

Average Monthly Housing Costs: the average monthly housing costs for owners and renters. Owners' cost include principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Average Number of Cars: the average number of passenger cars, vans, or pick-up trucks owned or regularly used by the household. Company cars kept at home are included.

Educational Attainment: the highest level of education completed by persons ages 25 and older. Those with some graduate training, but no professional degree are included in "% Bachelor's Degree."

Employer: the type of employer of residents, ages 16 and older, who are employed full- or part-time. If an individual has more than one job, the primary employer is reported.

Estimated Land Area in Square Miles: the total square miles of land in the area excluding water. Parts of the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers fall within Montgomery County's borders but are not included in these estimates. The land area figures are the best estimates currently available and are subject to revision. The area estimate may be used to calculate population density by dividing the total population by land area.

% Female: the percentage of females in the household population. The population is usually roughly evenly split between the sexes. A higher percentage of females may indicate a large proportion of elderly living in the area.

% Females Who Are Employed: the percentage of women, ages 16 and older, employed full- or part-time.

% Hispanic Origin: the percent of the household population indicating Spanish or Hispanic descent. It is important to note that persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

1996 Household Income Distribution: the respondent's estimate of the combined total 1996 pre-tax income of all persons in the household. Income from all sources is included. Low-income households may be underreported due to the typically lower survey response rate of such households.

Household Population: the estimated number of people living in households in July 1997. This does not include persons living in group quarters such as jails, college dormitories, nursing homes, etc.

% of Households with Computers: the percentage of households with at least one personal computer. Of these households with computers, the percentage that have access to the Internet is reported.

% Households with Foreign Born Head of Spouse: the percentage of households where either the householder or spouse was born outside of the United States. This is not an estimate of foreign born population and it is not comparable to the 1990 U.S. Census data.

% Households Spending More than 25% of Income on Housing: an indicator of the housing cost burden facing a household. Housing costs are considered burdensome when the proportion of annual housing costs to household income is greater than 25 percent.

Households by Type: the designation of households as either "family" or "nonfamily." A family household includes a householder and one or more persons who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. A family household may also include nonrelatives living with the family. Two family types are highlighted, married-couple and single-parent. A nonfamily household includes a householder living alone or a group of unrelated individuals.

1996 Median Household Income: the 1996 household income value for which half of the incomes are above this midpoint and the other half fall below.

Median Years in Same Home: the median number of years a household has lived in the present house or apartment. This and the "% in the Same Home 5 Years Ago" are indicators of the degree of stability in the community.

Number of Employed Residents: the number of persons, ages 16 and older, employed full- or part-time.

Persons in Households: the percentage of households by household size from one person through five or more persons.

Race: the self-classification by the respondents according to the race with which they most closely identify. The racial categories used in the survey are White, Black (African American), Asian or Pacific Islander, and Other. The "Other" category includes American Indians and write-in entries such as multi-racial, multi-ethnic, or Hispanic origin groups; the majority of people who chose "Other" are Hispanic. It is important to note that persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race and the percentage is reported as a separate data item, "% Hispanic Origin."

% in Same Home 5 Years Ago: the percentage of households which had not moved between April 1992 and mid-1997.

Tenure: % Rental: the percentage of households renting their residence.

% Total Households by Structure Type: the percentage distribution of occupied housing units by structure type in July 1997. The four categories are: (1) single-family detached house; (2) townhouse, duplex, or multi-plex unit; (3) garden apartment building, i.e., a low-rise apartment or condominium building with four or four floors and (4) high-rise apartment or condominium building with five floors or more. Structure type does not distinguish between renter and owner occupancy.

Women with Children Under Age 6 - % Employed: the percentage of women with children under the age of six who are employed full- or part-time. This is one indicator of the need for day care resources.

Work Location: the percent of employed residents commuting within the County (inside and outside the Beltway), elsewhere in Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Virginia. Persons with more than one place of work reported the location at which the most time was spent during the week preceding the survey. The categories listed may not sum to 100 percent because the small percentage of workers who reported commutes outside of the area is not included in the table.

Work Trip: the main mode of transportation used to go to work on the most recent workday preceding the survey. The categories listed may not sum to 100 percent because the small percentage of persons who worked at home are not shown in the table.