Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart
FAMSIZE
Number of persons in family

Description

FAMSIZE reports the number of persons in a family. FAMSIZE is generated by the National Center for Health Statistics, rather than based on a direct question to survey respondents.

Analysts who wish to know the number of person records for a given household may wish to use the NUMPREC or NUMPRECP variables (located on the household and person records, respectively), which were generated by the IHIS project. The values for NUMPREC do not always agree with those for FAMSIZE. For example, a one-person household consistently has the value "1" in NUMPREC, while, as discussed below, a one-person household is coded "0" in FAMSIZE prior to 1982.

Comparability

In its coding scheme, this variable is not comparable between the two periods 1969-1981 and 1982 forward.

For 1969-1980, a family was implicitly defined as two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption. For this period, the public use files for the NHIS treat unrelated individuals (persons living alone or residing with others not related to them by blood, marriage, or adoption) as non-family units and code such persons as "0" in FAMSIZE.

 

The documentation for the public use samples prior to 1981 does not include an explicit definition of what constitutes a family, though the Field Representative's Manual for some years includes examples of "a typical family group" (i.e., "husband, wife and unmarried children, or a parent and child, two or more sisters or some similar clear-cut arrangement").

The 1981 Field Representative's Manual included the following definition of a "Family Unit": "This includes all household members related by blood, marriage, or adoption, and includes 'foster' persons; e.g., head, wife of head, children (unmarried, married and their spouse, step, foster, wards, adoptive), grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, etc. This does not include unrelated household members. These persons make up their own family unit." While the final two sentences of this definition seem to imply that an unrelated individual constituted a separate family unit, in practice, the 1981 public use files continued to code unrelated individuals as "0" in FAMSIZE.

Beginning in 1982, FAMSIZE no longer includes a code of "0," and, contrary to the practice in earlier years, unrelated individuals are coded "01" in FAMSIZE.

 

The Field Representative's Manual for 1982 and several subsequent years defined a family as "a group of two or more related persons who are living together - same household; for example, the reference person, his/her spouse, foster son, daughter, son-in-law, and their children, and the wife's uncle." The definition continued, "Additional groups of persons living in the household who are related to each other but not to the reference person are considered to be separate families; for example, a lodger and his/her family, a household employee and his/her spouse. Hence, there may be more than one family living in a household." Thus, the documentation text defined a family as unit of two or more persons, while coding practices for FAMSIZE implicitly treated an unrelated individual as a family with a FAMSIZE of 1.

1997 marked another change in definitions.

 

The Field Representative's Manual defined a family as "an individual or a group of two or more related persons who are living together in the same household; for example, the reference person, his/her spouse, foster son, daughter, son-in-law, and their children, and the wife's uncle. Also, unmarried couples (same-sex and opposite-sex couples) are considered as belonging to the same family. Additional groups of persons living in the household who are related to each other, but not to the reference person, are considered to be separate families; for example, a lodger and his/her family, or a household employee and his/her spouse, or a single boarder with no one related to him/her living in the household. Hence, there may be more than one family living in a household, and a family can consist of only one person."

Noteworthy changes here include both the acknowledgement of one-person families and the recognition of family relationship ties other than blood, marriage, and adoption (in the case of unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex couples). The Field Representative's Manual for most subsequent years reproduced the same text. The 2002 Field Representative's Manual employed slightly different wording ("A Family can be a single person or a group of two or more related persons living in the same household; for example, the reference person, his/her spouse (or unmarried partner), foster son, daughter, son-in-law, and their children, and the wife's uncle") but had essentially the same meaning.

Because coding practices prior to 1982 and definitions of "family" prior to 1997 defined families as groups of two or more persons, it is somewhat anomalous that a small number of cases--even prior to 1982--were coded as having a family size of "01." Cross-tabulations of FAMSIZE with the variable for family relationship indicate that the meaning of a FAMSIZE of 1 is also not comparable over time.

 

For 1969-1972, FAMSIZE of 1 means (relative to the variable for family relationships, or FAMREL) either: (a) Head of family or unrelated individual not living alone or (b) Wife (husband living at home and in the Armed Forces).

For 1973-1981, FAMSIZE of 1 means (relative to FAMREL) only "Head of family or unrelated individual not living alone."

For 1982-1994, FAMSIZE of 1 means (relative to FAMREL) either (a) "Reference person, living alone," or (b) "Reference person, 2+ persons in household," or (c) "Child of ineligible reference person."

In 1995, FAMSIZE of 1 means (relative to FAMREL) either (a) "Reference person, living alone," or (b) "Reference person, 2 or more persons in household," or (c) "Spouse, other spouse in Armed Forces and living at home," or (d) "Child of military family with no eligible reference person."

In 1996, FAMSIZE of 1 means (relative to FAMREL) either (a) "Reference person, living alone," or (b) "Reference person, 2+ persons in household," or (c) "Child of military family with no eligible reference person."

Beginning in 1997, FAMSIZE seems to have a unequivocal meaning, referring to the number of people in the family (where, by definition, families for 1997 forward may have 1 or more members).

Universe

  • 1964-2012: All persons.

Codes and Frequencies



Availability

  • 1964-2012
Ajax-loader
Loading...

Weights

Ajax-loader
Loading...