Ambiguous Census Survey regarding fuel usage--

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Burning Hunk
Feb 24, 2010
I received a census survey today (American Community Survey) and the section on fuel used in house has multiple options to pick from-- but not pellets. I need to decide if I should check "Wood" or "Other fuel". Wood makes sense because that is what pellets are, but then the resulting census data would erroneously imply that cord wood is being used. On the other hand "Other fuel" would fail to recognize pellet usage. Maybe there just aren't that many pellet users in the U.S. to merit a separate category? I think I will go with wood.


Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
South Central NH
The NH government considers is bagged wood, so I think "wood" is your best choice.



Burning Hunk
Feb 24, 2010
Yup, there is no distinction in the census data between cord wood and pellets.

Here's the wood usage (cord wood, pellets, etc.) by state from the 2021 community census survey. I was surprised that Vt was the leader and that my state, Mass. was so low on the list. But I'm in W. Mass and abut Vt. so it is obviously a regional/rural phenomenon. ---
"The state that has the largest portion of its residents heating with wood is Vermont, where 12.3% of all homes indicate using wood as the primary heating source. Maine comes in at a distant second with 7.8% of homes using wood. Most states have a small number of homes heating with wood:

Table 1: Number and percentage of homes that heat with wood, 2021.

State Number Percent

Vermont 33125 12.3
Maine 46227 7.8
Montana 29979 6.7
N Mexico 49041 5.9
Idaho 40497 5.8
NH 30381 5.5
Oregon 86517 5.1
W Virginia 37047 5.1
Alaska 11092 4.1
Wyoming 9586 3.9
Wash 87688 2.9
Wisconsin 67980 2.8
Arkansas 30391 2.6
Missouri 63043 2.6
Michigan 89594 2.2
Penn 109832 2.1
Kentucky 34474 1.9
Indiana 45859 1.7
Arizona 45318 1.6
Conn. 22992 1.6
Minnesota 35887 1.6
Virginia 53547 1.6
Ohio 74259 1.5
Colorado 31404 1.4
New York 108202 1.4
California 170065 1.3
Oklahoma 20873 1.3
N Carolina50353 1.2
Tennessee32907 1.2
Iowa 14319 1.1
Mass 30651 1.1
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