American Housing Survey, 1985: National Core File (ICPSR 9091)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census


This data collection provides information on the characteristics of a national sample of housing units. Data include the year the structure was built, type and number of living quarters, occupancy status, access, number of rooms, presence of commercial establishments on the property, and property value. Additional data focus on kitchen and plumbing facilities, types of heating fuel used, source of water, sewage disposal, heating and air conditioning equipment, and major additions, alterations or repairs to the property. Information provided on housing expenses includes monthly mortgage or rent payments, cost of services such as utilities, garbage collection, and property insurance, and amount of real estate taxes paid in the previous year. Similar data are provided for housing units previously occupied by recent movers. Indicators of housing and neighborhood quality are also supplied. For housing quality, indicators include such things as privacy of bedrooms, condition of kitchen facilities, basement or roof leakage, breakdowns of plumbing facilities and equipment, and overall opinion of the structure. For quality of neighborhood, indicators include exterminator service, boarded-up buildings, and overall quality of the neighborhood. In addition to housing characteristics, some demographic data are provided on household members, such as age, sex, race, marital status, income, and relationship to householder. Additional data are provided on the householder, including years of school completed, Spanish origin, length of residence, and length of occupancy.

Series: American Housing Survey Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. American Housing Survey, 1985: National Core File. ICPSR09091-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1989.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    energy assistance, commuting (travel), energy conservation, energy consumption, home ownership, housing, housing conditions, housing costs, housing occupancy, housing units, income, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, municipal services, neighborhood conditions, property insurance, property taxes, property values, rental housing, relocation, transportation, utility rates

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1985

Date of Collection:   

  • 1985

Universe:    Housing units in the United States

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The Annual Housing Surveys have been renamed the American Housing Surveys by the Census Bureau, reflecting the fact that since 1981 the National survey has been conducted every two years. In addition, the National sample for American Housing Surveys prior to 1985 was drawn from the universe of housing units enumerated in the 1970 Census, with the same housing units followed from year to year. Beginning in 1985, the National sample was based on the 1980 Census. Consequently, users wishing to conduct longitudinal analysis will not be able to link the 1985 files with previous years, although such analysis will be possible with subsequent years through 1993. Also beginning in 1985, a special survey of neighbors was conducted. The neighborhood sample covers the ten nearest neighbors around each of 680 AHS homes in urban areas, and includes the same questions as the regular national sample. The neighborhood survey will be conducted again in 1989 and 1993. In most other survey years an extra sample of rural units will be undertaken for the national sample.


Sample:    The sample of 47,000 housing units was selected from the 1980 Census of Population and Housing records and updated by a sample of addresses from building permits to include new construction and conversions.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-05-04

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