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Census Data: Housing

Guide to statistical information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Housing Topics

The Census Bureau collects data on a variety of housing topics, including Fact Sheets, home ownership, housing affordability, housing vacandy, market absorption of apartments, New York City housing and vacancy, housing patterns (racial segregation), and property owners and managers.


The AHS is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey is the most comprehensive national housing survey in the United States.

The AHS provides current information on a wide range of housing subjects, including size and composition of the nation’s housing inventory, vacancies, fuel usage, physical condition of housing units, characteristics of occupants, equipment breakdowns, home improvements, mortgages and other housing costs, persons eligible for and beneficiaries of assisted housing, home values, and characteristics of recent movers.

In addition to these core indicators, the 2011 AHS includes topical supplements on potential health and safety hazards in the home and modifications made to assist occupants living with disabilities. Mortgage questions have been redesigned, while selected neighborhood and journey to work questions were dropped from the 2011 survey altogether. These topical supplements will likely rotate back into the questionnaire in subsequent surveys.

  • Best bet for pre-1940: try the Census of Population and Housing online at the Bureau of the Census website.
  • 1940 Census.  Housing. (print) (microfilm)
  • 1950 Census of Housing (print) (microfilm)
  • 1960 Census of Housing (print)
  • 1970 Census of Housing (print)
  • 1980 Census of Housing
    • Volume 1: Characteristics of Housing Units (print)
    • Volume 2: Metropolitan Housing Characteristics (print)
    • Volume 3: Subject Reports (print)
    • Volume 4: Components of Inventory Change (print)
    • Volume 5: Residential Finance (print)
  • 1990 Census of Housing.  To find print copies and links to full text online, enter as a title search in the UM LIBRARIES CATALOG: "Census of Housing (1990)"


By nicholas f matranga (nicholas f matranga) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

An apartment building near Huntington Park in San Francisco's Nob Hill

By Marcbela (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons