When assessing the US census data's housing characteristics by occupied housing, it provides a breakdown by Units in Structure. My question is should I look at the total units in a 2 unit apartment structure and divide by 2 to determine number of buildings that are 2 units or is the number listed the total number of buildings with 2 units.

Based on the snapshot below the total number of buildings with 2 units = ?

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1 Answer 1


I'm not an expert on this specific subject matter, but I think the helpful 2017 AHS Definitions.pdf (found on page Definitions, Accuracy, Historical Changes, and Questionnaires) clarifies this topic. On page 18 it states:

Housing units. A housing unit is a house, apartment, group of rooms, or single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.

It took me several readings, but together with the following paragraph clarifying the term separate living quarters, I think that you should divide by 2 to get the number of buildings that provide those housing units within 2 apartments buildings.

Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other people in the structure and that have direct access from the outside of the structure or through a common hall, lobby, orvestibule that is used or intended for use by the occupants of more than one unit or by the general public. This means that the hall, lobby, or vestibule is not part of any unit, and must be clearly separate from all units in the structure [this emphasis me].

In other words, a housing unit corresponds in number to the number of households living in the structure. Unfortunately, this will make it hard to estimate the number of buildings with "10 or more apartments", except if there is a helpful decomposition of that category somewhere.

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