DefinitionThe percent of housing units built before 1950 is the number of housing units built before 1950, divided by the total number of housing units in a geographic region.
NumeratorThe number of housing units built before 1950
DenominatorThe total number of housing units
Data Interpretation IssuesThis measure identifies communities where children may be at greater risk of exposure to lead paint in older housing. Limitations of this measure are that it does not account for houses that have been renovated or have had lead paint removed, and information on the condition of the housing is not available from Census data. This measure does not account for other lead sources in the community. Similarly, children may be exposed to lead paint in a county other than their county of residence while visiting family, or attending day care.
Why Is This Important?The risk factors for childhood lead poisoning include living in housing built before 1950, being African American, and living in a family with a poverty-level income. Studies have documented low blood-lead testing rates among children living in households with these risk factors. This measure identifies counties with higher percentages of children who may be at increased risk for lead poisoning. When compared with lead-testing rates by county, populations with inadequate lead testing of young at-risk children may be identified in order to improve testing in these regions.
Other ObjectivesCDC Environmental Public Health Tracking, Nationally Consistent Data and Measures (EPHT NCDM)