Support #567

Household Income vs. Housing costs

Added by Emily Murray about 8 years ago. Updated about 8 years ago.

Data analysis
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I am trying to derive a measure of the % of household income that is spent on housing. I am using gross household income (fihhmngrs_dv) for household income, as the traditional way of calculating 'affordable housing' is >30% of gross household income being spent on housing costs.

However, I have noticed that quite a few US respondents have quite strange housing cost to household income ratios. Essentially having mortgage or rent payments but no, or next to none, household income. I would assume of this may be people temporarily unemployed or using savings, but these doesn't seem to be the case for quite a few. What do you think could be the explanation of the discrepancy?



Updated by Gundi Knies about 8 years ago

  • Category set to Data analysis
  • Assignee set to Emily Murray
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Hi Emily,
sorry this took a bit longer to reply.

We have checked with experts on income and expenditure data to see whether they are aware of anything unusual in the Understanding Society data. This does not appear to be the case. Under- and overreporting, as well as refusing to provide information on income, incomplete responses from all members of the household are known issues in income (and expenditure) data that analysts will need to deal with in their analysis (e.g., by excluding odd cases, imputation, undertaking robustness tests etc.). Having said that, if you do happen to find that there are issues with the data itself, please let us know and we can look into it.

Best wishes,


Updated by Victoria Nolan about 8 years ago

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  • % Done changed from 50 to 100
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