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Census Geography Montana SDC Affiliate meeting Helena November 6, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Census Geography Montana SDC Affiliate meeting Helena November 6, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Census Geography Montana SDC Affiliate meeting Helena November 6, 2013

2 Geospatial Foundation at Census TIGER

3 Classes of Census Geography Political Geography: –States, Counties, Cities, American Indian Reservations, Minor Civil Divisions, etc… –These boundaries may change between censuses Statistical Geography: –Census Tracts, Census Blocks, Voter Districts, Traffic Analysis Zones, etc… –Designed to display Census data for research and analysis in the public and private sector and most do not change between censuses

4 County Census Tract – Relatively homogeneous population characteristics – Population ~ 1200-8000 Block Group – Lowest level for ACS data Block – Bounded on all sides by visible and nonvisible features – A city block in urban areas Geographic Hierarchy

5 State

6 County

7 Tract


9 Block Group

10 Block



13 History of the Census Tract 13 1790First census 1890 First delineation of small geographic areas called sanitary districts 1906 1910 Dr. Walter Laidlaw suggested the delineation of permanent, small geographic areas that would retain their boundary census to census Dr. Laidlaw divided NYC into “districts” and asked Census to do the same for seven other cities 1920 Dr. Laidlaw published data by district for NYC 1930 Howard Wipple became chairman of the Committee on Census Enumeration Areas and promoted the use of census tracts

14 History of the Census Tract 14 1940The census tract became an official geographic entity for which the Census Bureau would publish data. Census tracts covered major cities and block number areas (BNAs) covered many other cities 1980 The number of BNAs increased and the criteria of the BNA matched the census tract Census tracts or BNAs covered the entire nation (and so do blocks)1990 2000The BNA concept was retired and census tracts were defined nationwide. 100 th anniversary of the census tract!!2010





19 Where can you get TIGER data?

20 Sources of Census Geography TIGER/Line ® Shapefiles – Download files by county Get all levels of geography available for a county or state TIGERweb – Interactive and WMS access to roads, streams and various boundaries that are found in TIGER data. Shapefiles with Demographic Data Select Geographic areas with SF1 data pre-joined Shapefiles or Geodatabases

21 What About Updates? How does the Census Bureau keep the geography current?

22 Some Geographic Participant Programs Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) –Updates all legal boundaries and names –Boundaries used to tabulate data in: American Community Survey, Decennial Census, Population Estimates Program Redistricting Data Program –Public Law 94-171 Participant Statistical Areas Program(PSAP)

23 Public Law 94-171 Enacted in 1975, directs the U.S. Census Bureau to provide redistricting data needed by the 50 states. Specifies that within a year following Census Day (by April 1), the Census Bureau must send the governor and legislature in each state the data they need to redraw districts for the United States Congress and state legislature.

24 Statistical Areas Program Involves local governments Conducted once each decade Includes; –Tracts –Block Groups –Census Designated Places (CDP)

25 Summary TIGER ® holds all Census Geography –The public can access the data through TIGER/Line ® or via TIGERWeb Each piece of geography has a unique identifier that is needed to link it to the demographic data

26 The End!

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