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Census of Population and Housing, 1990 [United States]: Modified Age/Race, Sex, and Hispanic Origin (MARS) State and County File

Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data
  • United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Census of Population and Housing, 1990 [United States] Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
age; census data; demographic characteristics; ethnicity; Hispanic origins; household composition; housing; housing conditions; population; race
  • Abstract

    The MARS file contains modified race and age data based on the 1990 Census. Both race and age are tabulated by sex and Hispanic origin for several layers of geography. The race data were modified to make reporting categories comparable to those used by state and local agencies. The 1990 Census included 9,804,847 persons who checked the "other race" category and were therefore not included in one of the 15 racial categories listed on the Census form. "Other race" is usually not an acceptable reporting category for state and local agencies. Therefore, the Census Bureau assigned each "other race" person to the specified race reported by another person geographically close with an identical response to the Hispanic-origin question. Hispanic origin was taken into account because over 95 percent of the "other race" persons were of Hispanic origin. (Hispanic-origin persons may be of any race.) The assignment of race to Hispanic-origin persons did not affect the Hispanic-origin category that they checked (i.e, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc.). Age data were modified because respondents tended to report age as of the date they completed the 1990 questionnaire, instead of age as of the April 1, 1990 Census date. In addition, there may have been a tendency for respondents to round up their age if they were close to having a birthday. Age data for individuals in households were modified by adjusting the reported birth-year data by race and sex for each of the 1990 Census's 449 district offices to correspond with the national level quarterly distribution of births available from the National Center for Health Statistics. The data for persons in group quarters were adjusted similarly, but on a state basis. The age adjustment affects approximately 100 million people. In this file their adjusted age is one year different from that reported in the 1990 Census.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1990
  • Collection date: 1990
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All persons in the United States.
Collection Mode
  • Data are provided for counties with state totals. State records can be identified by blanks in the county code field.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9878 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09878.v1
  • Smith, Stanley K., Nogle, June M.. An experimental methodology for estimating Hispanic residents for states and counties. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement.23, (4), 263-275.1997.
  • Hirschman, Charles. Studying Immigrant Adaptatoin from the 1990 Population Census: From Generational Comparisons to the Process of 'Becoming American'. The New Second Generation.New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 1996.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census (1993): Census of Population and Housing, 1990 [United States]: Modified Age/Race, Sex, and Hispanic Origin (MARS) State and County File. Archival Version. Census of Population and Housing, 1990 [United States] Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.