Income and poverty data in this report for 1985 are the first estimates based entirely on households selected from the 1980 census-based sample design. Estimates by type of residence categories such as metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, farm, and nonfarm, which were omitted from the 1984 report because of the mixed 1970 and 1980 census sampling frame used for the March 1985 CPS, have been resumed in this report. The residence categories reflect metropolitan areas defined as of June 1984. In addition, the March 1986 CPS income supplement was revised to allow for the coding of larger earnings amounts on the questionnaire. A description of this change and its effect on estimates in this report can be found in the section discussing the revised earnings question.
This report contains data on the characteristics of households and persons receiving noncash benefits in 1985. These data were obtained from the March 1986 Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Bureau of the Census. Noncash benefits can be defined as benefits received in a form other than money that serve to enhance or improve the economic well-being of the recipient.
Data collection in March 1986 concentrated on two major categories of noncash benefits: those usually defined as public transfers and employer- or union-provided benefits to employees. In the area of public noncash transfers, the survey covered the following programs: the Food Stamp Program, the National School Lunch Program, public and other subsidized rental housing, Medicare health insurance, Medicaid health insurance, and CHAMPUS, VA, or military health insurance. Data were collected for two types of employer- or union-provided noncash benefits: pension plans and group health insurance plans. The income data in this report are limited to money income before the payment of Federal, State, local, or Social Security (FICA) taxes or any other deductions. They do not include the monetary value of any noncash benefits these households received.
Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.