Address Counts Overview: Definitions
The address type specifies the format of the address related to where and how the mail is delivered. It conveys if the mail is delivered to the housing unit or a PO Box, and if the housing unit can be located via the address.
- An address with a physical house/building number and street name, in addition to city, state, and ZIP code. Only city-style addresses are considered to be physically locatable.
- Highway Contract Box
- Non-city-style address with mail delivered to a box by a contractor hired by the USPS to deliver mail.
- Rural Route Box
- Non-city-style address with mail delivered to a box corresponding to a stop on a rural delivery route.
- PO Box, OWGM
- Non-city-style address type with mail delivered to a private box at a post office instead of a dwelling unit.
- PO Box, not OWGM
- Non-city-style address type with mail delivered to a private box at a post office for mail customers who could also receive mail directly to the dwelling unit.
- Drop Points and Drop Units
- An address corresponding to a mail receptacle that is shared by multiple housing units (i.e., drop units). The drop point and drop units share a street number and name, but the drop units are missing a unit or apartment number and may look like duplicate entries on the sample frame.
- Commercial Mail Receiving Agency
- Also known as a mail drop, typically a private mail box operator that can receive mail and deliveries for customers.
Carrier Route Type
A postal carrier route is the group of addresses to which the USPS assigns the same code to aid in mail delivery. Typically, each carrier route is related to where a particular mail carrier delivers.
- PO Box Route
- Addresses on this route are PO Boxes. See Address Type definitions for more information on PO Boxes.
- City Route
- Most, if not all, addresses on this route should be city-style. See Address Type definitions for more information on city-style addresses.
- Highway Contract Delivery Service Route
- Mail delivery is managed by a non-USPS contractor. See Address Type definitions for more information on highway contract boxes.
- Rural Route
- Most addresses on this route will be in more rural areas. Addresses will likely be a mix of city-style addresses and rural route boxes. See Address Type definitions for more information on city-style addresses and rural route boxes.
Address flags are categorical variables indicating the status of an address for a characteristic of interest.
- An indicator for addresses that have been vacant for 90 days or more, according to the USPS. (Such addresses on rural carrier routes are typically removed from the frame.)
- An indicator that specifies whether a given address receives mail only during a portion of the calendar year (e.g., a summer-only residence).
- An indicator for an address corresponding to a school, dormitory, or other student housing. This flag almost exclusively refers to informal housing, i.e., housing rented to students by private owners. University-owned properties are rarely found on the residential frame.
- OWGM (Only way to get mail)
- An indicator whether a P.O. box is a dwelling unit’s only way of receiving mail. Note that this indicator is created by vendors, not the USPS directly.