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Geography Release Notes for 2011

What is the difference between ZCTAs and ZIP Codes?

ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Tabulation Areas, or ZCTAs, are not the same concepts. ZIP Codes are linear, as they are a collection of postal delivery routes, while ZCTAs are approximate area representations of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) 5-digit ZIP Code service areas. The Census Bureau creates ZCTAs by using whole blocks to present statistical data from censuses and surveys. ZCTAs are defined by allocating each block that contains addresses to a single ZCTA, usually to the ZCTA that reflects the most frequently occurring ZIP Code for the addresses within that tabulation block. The Census Bureau identifies 5-digit ZCTAs using a five-character numeric code that represents the most frequently occurring USPS ZIP Code within that ZCTA, and this code may contain leading zeros.

What’s New with 2010 ZCTAs?

  • For the first time, Puerto Rico has ZCTA coverage.
  • There is no universal area coverage for 2010 ZCTAs, and only full 5-digit areas are defined.
  • The 2010 ZCTAs better represent the actual ZIP Code service areas. However, data users should not use ZCTAs to identify the official USPS ZIP Code for mail delivery. The USPS makes periodic changes to ZIP Codes to support more efficient mail delivery.

For more information on ZCTAs, visit http://www.census.gov/geo/reference/zctas.html.

Census Tract and Block Group changes in New York State

For the 2011 ACS data release, there are tract numbering corrections and minor geographic definition changes to census tracts in Madison, Oneida and Richmond counties, New York. The census tract changes in Madison and Oneida Counties are the result of corrections to the Oneida American Indian Reservation boundary after the 2010 Census tract definitions had been finalized. The change to the census tracts in Richmond County corrects a tract boundary definition error.

Madison County, New York

In Madison County, the numbering of nine census tracts changed, but their geographic definitions remain the same as their 2010 census tract definitions.

    Census Tract 9401.01 is now 0301.01

    Census Tract 9401.02 is now 0301.02

    Census Tract 9401.03 is now 0301.03

    Census Tract 9402.00 is now 0302.00

    Census Tract 9403.00 is now 0303.00

    Census Tract 9404.01 is now 0304.01

    Census Tract 9404.03 is now 0304.03

    Census Tract 9406.00 is now 0306.00

    Census Tract 9407.00 is now 0304.02

Oneida County, New York

In Oneida County, the numbering of three tracts changed, and there is a minor geographic definition change that affects two tracts.

    Census Tract 9400.00 is now 0248.00

    Census Tract 9401.00 is now 0247.00

    (2010) Census Tract 9402.00 forms a portion of (2011) tract 0249.00

    Part of (2010) Census Tract 0230.00 forms a portion of (2011) tract 0249.00

    Part of (2010) Census Tract 0230.00 is now (2011) tract 0230.00

    For additional details, please see 2010 Census geography errata note.

Richmond County, New York

Census Tract 0089.00 merged into Census Tract 0097.00. The area merged into Census Tract 0097.00 is entirely water.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: June 27, 2014
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