(1) Census Geography Entities and Concepts (Jan 2012)


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2012 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) training by Census. Training sponsored by WVAGP.

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  • This presentation is designed to give users a quick overview of the Census Bureau’s geographic entities and concepts.
  • Census geographic areas can be divided into two types: legal/administrative and statistical. Legal/administrative areas have legally described boundaries; they may provide governmental services or may be used to administer programs. Statistical geographic areas are defined primarily for data tabulation and presentation purposes. They may relate to other kinds of geographic concepts. For instance, census tracts can be thought of as roughly similar to neighborhoods (at least in urban and suburban areas– the analogy breaks down in rural areas). Census designated places (CDPs) represent unincorporated places that are known locally and may be identified by name in the landscape (through street signs, business names, and so forth), but do not have legally prescribed boundaries. Statistical areas may be defined to represent geographic concepts, such as urbanization or metropolitanization. Urban areas and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, respectively, are representations of discernible patterns on the landscape (urbanization) and less visible processes of social and economic interaction between and urban center and a surrounding region.
  • This diagram depicts the geographic hierarchy, as a series of nesting relationships, based on the legal, administrative, or areal relationships of the entities. For example, a line joining the lower-level entity “place” and the higher-level entity “state” means that a place cannot cross a state boundary.
  • This diagram depicts the geographic hierarchy for legal American Indian Areas (AIAs). Note that a Tribal Census Tract and Tribal Block Group is different from a Census Tract and Block Group. Also note that the Tribal Block Group nests within the Tribal Census Tract, which nests within the Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land; the Tribal Subdivision only nests within the Reservations and Off-Reservation Trust Land
  • The primary goal of census tracts is data comparability between censuses. E.g., census tracts support a multi-temporal statistical understanding of an area. Beginning with the first census tract delineation in 1910, tracts have been delineated with the intention of being stable over many decades, so they generally follow permanent visible features. However, they may follow governmental unit boundaries and other non-visible features in some instances; the boundary of a state or county is always a census tract boundary. In 1990 and previous censuses, the Census Bureau created tract-like geographic units, called Block Numbering Areas or BNAs, outside of metropolitan areas. BNAs were discontinued for Census 2000; instead, one or more census tracts were identified for every county and statistically equivalent entity. Tribal tracts can cross state and/or county boundaries and are held to lower population size thresholds. Group quarters/special place tracts are also held to lower population size thresholds. Low population counties often only contain one BG which is coextensive with one census tract. Again, in most cases the lowest level of geography that should be used when working with sample data is census tracts, as tracts are relatively consistent over time and used by many programs. Census tracts and BGs are usually reviewed for data presentation purposes by a local group of census data users and/or governments through the PSAP (Participant Statistical Areas Program), or the geographic staff of a regional census center in accordance with Census Bureau guidelines. Currently this is done before the decennial census to support the decennial census, but with the advent of the ACS, the Census Bureau is considering the review of these boundaries more often.
  • Census tracts: Identified by a six-digit number composed of a four-digit basic number and a two-digit numeric suffix; for example, 0203.06. This suffix (.06) indicates that the original tract, tract 0203, was split possibly into 6 pieces as a result of population growth. Census tracts are uniquely identified nationwide if the two-digit state and three-digit county Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code is concatenated with the six-digit tract number. In maps the census tract is generally represented by its tract name, in some cases a single digit number for those tracts that the three leading zeroes were omitted in the name, for example, the tract name could be tract 1, and the tract code would be 000100. These lines (tracts, blocks, and block groups) do not show up on the BAS maps. They are shown here only to illustrate the multiple layers of geography.
  • Block Groups: BG 5 within a census tract includes all blocks numbered from 5000 to 5999. Block Group identifiers are single-digit numbers (1-9) and are unique within an individual census tract.
  • Blocks: Census block numbers have four-digits. Block numbers are unique within an individual census tract.
  • A minor civil division (MCD) is the the primary governmental or administrative division of a county or statistically equivalent entity in many states and statistically equivalent entities. An MCD is created to govern or administer an area rather than a specific population.(e.g. Town, Township, District) The Census Bureau recognizes MCDs in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. A census county division (CCD) is a statistical subdivision of a county, delineated by the Census Bureau in cooperation with state and local government officials for data presentation purposes. A CCD usually represents one or more communities, trading centers or, in some instances, major land uses. CCDs are designed to be stable from census to census, and correspond to more obvious physical boundaries.
  • MCDs and CCDs together cover the entire country and provide a standard level of geography below the county level. MCDs are more common in the East, while CCDs are more common in the West. In this map, MCDs exist in the purple and lavender shaded states; the purple states are covered by “strong MCDs”, or MCDs that actively functioning governmental functions as incorporated places, while the states represented by lavender have a combination of functioning and non-functioning MCDs. In the states shaded green, CCDs exist.
  • There are seven consolidated cities in the U.S.
  • Boundaries of incorporated places and CDPs do NOT necessarily correspond to census tracts, block groups or MCDs. For Census 2000, for the first time, CDPs did not need to meet a minimum population threshold to qualify for tabulation of census data. CDP boundaries, which usually coincide with visible features or the boundary of an adjacent incorporated place or other legal entity boundary, have no legal status, nor do these places have officials elected to serve traditional municipal functions. CDPs usually are delineated in cooperation with county, state, and tribal officials based on Census Bureau guidelines. Hawaii has only CDPs and no incorporated places. Three states (Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) also contain Boroughs.
  • Paradise, NV is an example of a CDP. This well known area of Las Vegas, which includes the strip, is actually outside the city of Las Vegas in an unincorporated part of Nevada.
  • The Census Bureau uses a series of geographic identifiers to uniquely identify geographic areas. In Census Bureau data products, FIPS, or the numeric Federal Information Processing Series codes identify higher level geographic units such as states, counties, places, congressional districts, and MAs/CBSAs. The FIPS codes were developed by the National Institute of Standards (NIST), and were called Federal Information Processing Standards codes. Since 2005, these codes have been under the oversight authority of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is maintained by the USGS, and were renamed as Federal Information Processing Series codes. For lower levels of geography, for example census tracts or blocks, the Census Bureau establishes its own set of codes if there is no FIPS code for the geographic entity or if the FIPS codes is not adequate for data presentation. These codes are used for each unique geography to allow users to link their own databases to the census data. The FIPS Codes are being retired. Once these 5-digit codes are retired, the Census Bureau will use the 10-digit Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) coding scheme, developed and maintained by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the US Board on Geographic Names. A census code exists for each state to organize the states by census region and census division, but these codes were not assigned to the states in alphabetical sequence.
  • Explain why these are different than other Census codes. Other codes are FIPS, and are state-based, but TRs/TAs can cross state boundaries (hence ‘99’ in the State FIPS code area). Two examples why TA and TR must be different: Paiute-Shoshone Tribe has two tribal areas – Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Colony and Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Reservation (so they have the same TR code, but different TA codes). Wind River Reservation is shared by two tribes – Arapahoe and Shoshone – so there are two BasIDs (different TR codes, same TA code).
  • We’ll talk more about the first one on the next slide A Compass for Understanding and Using ACS Data isn’t actually in the packet – a few printed copies are available? – and it’s available online
  • This is a special time for the Census Bureau. We are preparing to release several key geographic and data sets over the next few months… To adhere to the PL-94-171, we deliver data to each state that they then use to redraw their congressional and state legislative districts.
  • Click on the video on the TIGERweb screen for a how-to video for using TIGERweb.
  • We will visit the page later in the presentation
  • (1) Census Geography Entities and Concepts (Jan 2012)

    1. 1. <ul><li></li></ul>The Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) U.S. Census Bureau Geography Division & National Processing Center
    2. 2. <ul><li></li></ul>Outline <ul><li>Census Bureau Geographic Entities and Concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to the BAS </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Digital BAS </li></ul><ul><li>Digital BAS (ArcGIS & MTPS) Demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>Paper BAS Demonstration </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li></li></ul>Overview of Census Bureau Geographic Areas and Concepts
    4. 4. Census Geographic Areas <ul><li>Legal Areas: </li></ul><ul><li>States </li></ul><ul><li>Counties </li></ul><ul><li>Minor civil divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporated places </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional districts </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative areas </li></ul><ul><li>School districts </li></ul><ul><li>Urban growth areas </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical Areas: </li></ul><ul><li>Census county divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Census designated places </li></ul><ul><li>Census tracts </li></ul><ul><li>Census blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Metro and micropolitan statistical areas </li></ul><ul><li>Urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>Public use microdata areas </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic analysis zones </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li></li></ul>Hierarchy of Census Geographies
    6. 6. <ul><li></li></ul>American Indian Areas (AIA) Hierarchy <ul><li>American Indian Reservations (federal) & Off-Reservation Trust Land </li></ul><ul><li>Tribal Subdivision </li></ul><ul><li>Tribal Census Tract </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tribal Block Group </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Small Geographic Areas <ul><li>Blocks: </li></ul><ul><li>Smallest units for decennial Census data tabulation </li></ul><ul><li>Cover entire nation </li></ul><ul><li>Nest within all other types of geographic areas </li></ul><ul><li>Generally bounded by visible features or boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Block Groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Groups of blocks sharing first digit of block number </li></ul><ul><li>Smallest units for tabulation of American Community Survey (ACS) data </li></ul><ul><li>Population ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Nest within census tracts </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    8. 8. Census Tracts <ul><li></li></ul><ul><li>Small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively consistent boundaries over time </li></ul><ul><li>Size: optimally 4,000 people; range between 1,000 and 8,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 74,000 census tracts in U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Defined nationwide for the first time in Census 2000; however Block Numbering Areas (BNAs) and tracts covered the entirety of the nation in 1990 </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li></li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li></li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li></li></ul>
    12. 12. County Subdivisions <ul><li>Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs) </li></ul><ul><li>Legally bounded entity </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-county entities in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas </li></ul><ul><li>May have a formal government with elected officials </li></ul><ul><li>Census County Divisions (CCDs) </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical entity </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-county units that have stable boundaries and recognizable names in 21 states </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to be a statistical equivalent to MCDs </li></ul><ul><li>No minimum or maximum population requirement </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    13. 13. Minor Civil Division (MCD) <ul><li>Township and Town – the most common names </li></ul><ul><li>Other MCD names: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Election district </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magisterial district </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parish governing authority district (Louisiana only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervisor district (Mississippi only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Election precinct (Illinois and Nebraska) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gore (Maine and Vermont) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grant (New Hampshire and Vermont) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location (New Hampshire only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plantation (Maine only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase (New Hampshire only) </li></ul></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li></li></ul>
    15. 15. Places <ul><li>Incorporated Places </li></ul><ul><li>Legally bounded entity </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the state, examples include cities, boroughs, towns, and villages </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidated Cities </li></ul><ul><li>Legally bounded entity </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporated place that has consolidated its government functions with a county or sub-county. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    16. 16. Places <ul><li>Census Designated Places (CDPs) </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical entity </li></ul><ul><li>Created to present census data for an area having a concentration of population, housing, and commercial structures </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries delineated by the Census Bureau, with assistance from planning organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Locally identifiable name </li></ul><ul><li>Not inside an existing incorporated place </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    17. 17. Places <ul><li>Census Designated Places (CDPs) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Paradise, Nevada </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul><ul><li>Source: http://www.public-domain-photos.com/ </li></ul>
    18. 18. Geographic Identifiers <ul><li></li></ul><ul><li>Code Sets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American National Standard Institute (ANSI) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Census Bureau (BAS Code) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Code Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Area Name FIPS Code ANSI Code </li></ul><ul><li>State North Carolina 37 01027616 </li></ul><ul><li>County Transylvania 175 01008589 </li></ul><ul><li>Place Wilmington 74440 02405754 </li></ul>
    19. 19. BAS Codes <ul><li>There are 5 types of entities recognized for the BAS: </li></ul><ul><li>Entity Code Entity Type . </li></ul><ul><li>0 Consolidated City </li></ul><ul><li>1 Incorporated Place </li></ul><ul><li> 2 County or County Equivalent </li></ul><ul><li>3 Minor Civil Division (MCD) </li></ul><ul><li>4 Federally recognized American Indian reservations and off-reservation trust lands </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>The BAS entity code is an 11-Digit Code </li></ul><ul><li>Entity types 0 through 3 use FIPS codes </li></ul><ul><li>Entity type 4 uses unique code developed by Census </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>State FIPS Code Entity FIPS Code County FIPS Code BAS Codes 9 99 999 99999 Entity Type {0, 1, 2, 3, 4}
    21. 21. <ul><li>Example: Wilmington (city), NC </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>State FIPS Code Entity FIPS Code County FIPS Code BAS Codes (Place) 1 37 000 74440 Entity Type {0, 1, 2, 3}
    22. 22. <ul><li>Example: Transylvania County, NC </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>State FIPS Code Entity FIPS Code County FIPS Code BAS Codes (County) 2 37 175 00000 Entity Type {0, 1, 2, 3}
    23. 23. <ul><li>Example: Long Creek Township, ND </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>State FIPS Code Entity FIPS Code County FIPS Code BAS Codes (Minor Civil Division) 3 38 023 47780 Entity Type {0, 1, 2, 3}
    24. 24. <ul><li>Example: Navajo Nation Reservation </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>State FIPS {99} Tribal Area (TA) Code Tribal Name (TR) Code Example: Navajo Reservation and Off Reservation Trust Land BAS Codes (American Indian Area) 4 99 0161 2430 Entity Type {4}
    25. 25. <ul><li></li></ul>Census Bureau Geographic Products
    26. 26. <ul><li>2010 Census Data Products: United States </li></ul><ul><li>2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles Flyer </li></ul><ul><li>Standard Hierarchy of Census Geographic Entities </li></ul><ul><li>Map of 2010 Population Distribution in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Working with TIGER/Line Shapefiles: Downloading </li></ul><ul><li>Working with TIGER/Line Shapefiles: Downloading from AFF </li></ul><ul><li>American FactFinder Flyer </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>Packet Materials http://www.census.gov/geo/www/index.html
    27. 27. <ul><li>December 31, 2010 – Apportionment Data to the President </li></ul><ul><li>Feb to Mar 2011 – Redistricting Data </li></ul><ul><li>Nov 2010 to Jan 2011 – Redistricting Geographic Files </li></ul><ul><li>Oct 2012 – Urban/Rural Data </li></ul><ul><li>Jul to Aug 2013 – Core-Based Statistical Areas Data </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>Key Census Data Products <ul><li>Metropolitan Statistical Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Micropolitan Statistical Areas </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Public product created from the MAF/TIGER database </li></ul><ul><li>Digital files containing geographic features (roads, rivers, legal & statistical boundaries, address ranges, etc.), including information about the features and their location </li></ul><ul><li>Covers United States, Puerto Rico, and Island Areas </li></ul><ul><li>2010 Shapefiles released state-by-state from December 2010 – February 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Updated data is released yearly </li></ul><ul><li>www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/index.html </li></ul><ul><li></li></ul>TIGER/Line Shapefiles
    29. 29. TIGERweb <ul><li></li></ul><ul><li>http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/tigerwebmain/tigerweb_main.html </li></ul>
    30. 30. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/bas/bashome.html <ul><li></li></ul>BAS Homepage
    31. 31. <ul><li></li></ul>Census Tract Outline Maps Census Block Outline Maps Reference Maps: Census Geography <ul><li>http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/CP_MapProducts.htm </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li></li></ul>Reference and Thematic Maps Population Distribution of the U.S. American Indian and Alaska Native Areas <ul><li>http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/CP_MapProducts.htm </li></ul>