Change Indicator

Crowded housing in Hawaii

Crowded housing

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Why This Indicator Matters

Living in crowded housing conditions can adversely affect children’s development, academic achievement, and future life outcomes. Children who experience crowded housing are at greater risk of behavioral problems and poor health.1

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Definition and Source



Percent of households that have 1.01 or more persons per room

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau, various years, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, DP04 "Selected housing characteristics."

Technical Note:

Please note, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates provide average characteristics aggregated over a 5-year period. The primary advantage of using multiyear estimates is the increased statistical reliability of the data for less populated areas and small population subgroups. However, 5-year estimates are less current than single year estimates (i.e., since they are derived from averages over five calendar years) and should not be compared to single year estimates. The Census Bureau suggests comparing periods that do not overlap, such as comparing 2007-2011 with 2012-2016, which means waiting longer to identify a trend (for more information, read the comparison guidance and Period Estimates in the American Community Survey). However, in areas undergoing fundamental shifts in the size or composition of the population, change may be so substantial that it will be obvious after only a few years. Please see the ACS handbook on Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data for more information. 

Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government and business uses. To learn more about changes to the methodology, view the methodology user note.



1 Solari, Claudia D. and Robert D. Mare. 2012. “Housing Crowding Effects on Children’s Wellbeing.” Social Science Research 41(2): 464-476.

Crowded housing.

Last Updated

December 2023