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Household Crowding Measures: A Comparison and External Test of Validity

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Analysts may have multiple measures of household crowding, and so need to know which measure to emphasise.

We analyse the relationships between alternative subjective and objective crowding measures and assess how well these alternative measures predict a measure of residential satisfaction. Statistically, a perceived crowding (PC) measure outperforms the people per bedroom (PPBR) measure, an objective measure of crowding. However, there may be bias in the relationship between PC and the residential satisfaction variable. Amongst objective measures, the Canadian National Occupancy Standard also outperforms PPBR. Nevertheless, all three measures are highly correlated and each helps to predict levels of residential satisfaction. Thus, any of the three measures provides a valid indicator of household crowding when assessing housing stress.

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