Roomers and Boarders: 1880-2005

Melissa Scopilliti, University of Maryland
Martin O'Connell, U.S. Census Bureau

The household relationship categories of roomers and boarders have appeared in all decennial census forms and published tabulations in various formats for over 100 years, but little has been written about this population. Currently comprising less than one percent of the total household population in 2000, people living as roomers or boarders made up about 2 percent (1 million people) of the household population in 1880, rising to 3 percent (3.8 million) in 1930 during the Great Depression. This paper uses data from the 1880, 1900-2000 Censuses and the 2005 American Community Survey, obtained from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series developed by the University of Minnesota Population Center, to highlight trends in this population between 1880 and 2005. We will present descriptive characteristics of both this population and the characteristics of householders who provide these living accommodations.

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Presented in Poster Session 7