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Geography

Highlights

  • The 2013 ACS data release marks the first time estimates for the new Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (Core Based Statistical Areas - CBSAs) are available. These geographic areas use the February 2013 CBSA definitions, based on 2010 Census results.

Release Notes

  • Explanation of changes to Louisville/Jefferson County metro government (balance), Kentucky >> Get details

Highlights

  • The 2012 ACS estimates include data products for the 113th Congressional Districts, and the 2008-2012 ACS 5-year data release will include 2013 State Legislative District estimates. These geographic areas will only include a limited set of summary levels for the 2012 data releases. The 113th Congressional District and 2013 State Legislative District definitions took effect in January 2013.
  • ACS estimates for Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas continue to use December 1, 2009 definitions. These geographic areas will use the February 2013 delineation based on 2010 standards and Census Bureau data for the 2013 ACS data release planned for 2014.

Release Notes

  • There are census tract numbering corrections and a change for 2010 Census tracts in Pima County, Arizona and Los Angeles County, California. >> Get details
  • The 2012 ACS data release marks the first time estimates based on 2010 Census definitions for Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), Urban Areas, and Urban/Rural are available. >> Get details

Highlights

  • The 2007-2011 ACS 5-year data release marks the first time estimates for ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) are available. Learn how ZCTAs are different from ZIP Codes.
  • ACS Estimates for Urban Areas and PUMAs continue to use Census 2000 definitions. These geographies will use 2010 Census definitions in the 2012 ACS data release planned for 2013.

Release Notes

  • There are census tract numbering changes and some geographic definition changes for 2010 Census tracts in Madison, Oneida and Richmond counties, New York. >> Get details

Highlights

  • The 2010 ACS data release marks the first time ACS will use 2010 tabulation geography for most statistical areas, the same definitions as the 2010 Census.
  • 2006-2010 ACS 5-year is the first release of estimates for tribal tracts and tribal block groups.

Release Notes

  • Geographic areas whose definitions were updated for the 2010 Census include Census Designated Places (CDPs), census tracts, and block groups. >> Get details

Release Notes

  • Changes in some County and County Equivalents
  • Geographic Areas with Duplicate Names
  • Exceptions to Vintage of Census Tracts and Block Groups

>> Get details

Vintage of Geographic Areas for ACS Estimates

The ACS typically publishes estimates using the latest available geographic boundaries (also known as "vintages"). For more information on geographic concepts used in the ACS, visit Geography and the ACS.

The Census Bureau annually conducts the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) to collect information about selected legally defined geographic areas. The ACS usually uses legal boundaries as of January 1 of the last year of the estimate period.

Geographic AreaACS Estimate Year
Legal Areas2009-2013 ACS 5-year
State and State EquivalentJanuary 1, 2013
County or equivalent (Alaska boroughs, Louisiana parishes, Puerto Rico municipios, independent cities)January 1, 2013
County Subdivision
Minor Civil Division (MCD)/Barrio and Barrio-PuebloJanuary 1, 2013
Place
Incorporated PlaceJanuary 1, 2013
American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land
Alaska Native Regional Corporations (ANRCs)2010 Census
Federal American Indian Reservation (federal AIR)January 1, 2013
State American Indian Reservation (state AIR)2010 Census
American Indian Tribal Subdivision, federal AIRJanuary 1, 2013
Hawaiian Home Land (HHL)January 1, 2013
Other Legal Areas
Congressional District, Delegate District DC, Resident Commissioner District PRJanuary 1, 20131
School District (Elementary, Secondary, Unified)*2011-2012 January 1, 2012
Consolidated CityJanuary 1, 2013

*School district boundaries are updated every two years as part of the School District Review Program.

1113th Congress of the United States

Geographic AreaACS Estimate Year
Legal Areas2005-2009 ACS 5-year2006-2010 ACS 5-year 2007-2011 ACS 5-year2008-2012 ACS 5-year
State and State EquivalentJanuary 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
County or equivalent (Alaska boroughs, Louisiana parishes, Puerto Rico municipios, independent cities)January 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
County Subdivision
Minor Civil Division (MCD)/Barrio and Barrio-PuebloJanuary 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
Place
Incorporated PlaceJanuary 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land
Alaska Native Regional Corporations (ANRCs)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Federal American Indian Reservation (federal AIR)January 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
State American Indian Reservation (state AIR)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
American Indian Tribal Subdivision, federal AIRJanuary 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
Hawaiian Home Land (HHL)January 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
Other Legal Areas
Congressional District, Delegate District, DC, Resident Commissioner District PR1 January 1, 20092 January 1, 20092 January 1, 20113 January 1, 20134
School District (Elementary, Secondary, Unified)* 2007-2008 January 1, 20082009-2010 January 1, 20102009-2010 January 1, 20102011-2012 January 1, 2012
Consolidated CityJanuary 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012

*School district boundaries are updated every two years as part of the School District Review Program.

1The congressional district boundaries for the 112th Congress are the same as the 111th Congress.

2111th Congress of the United States

3112th Congress of the United States

4113th Congress of the United States

For statistical areas, boundary changes most often take place with each decennial census. Statistical areas are designed to have stable boundaries.

Geographic AreaACS Estimate Year
Statistical Areas2009-2013 ACS 5-year
County Equivalent (Census Areas in Alaska)January 1, 2013
County Subdivision
Census County Division (CCD)2010 Census
Place
Census Designated Place (CDP)/Zona Urbana and Comunidad2010 Census
American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land
Tribal Designated Statistical Area (TDSA)2010 Census
State Designated Tribal Statistical Area (SDTSA)2010 Census
Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area (OTSA)2010 Census
American Indian Tribal Subdivision, OTSA2010 Census
Tribal Tract2010 Census
Tribal Block Group2010 Census
Alaska Native Village Statistical Area (ANVSA)2010 Census
Other Statistical Areas
Metropolitan Statistical Area/Micropolitan Statistical AreaFebruary 28, 2013
Metropolitan Statistical Area/Micropolitan Statistical Area - Principal CityFebruary 28, 2013
New England City and Town Area (NECTA)February 28, 2013
New England City and Town Area - Principal cityFebruary 28, 2013
Urban Area2010 Census
Census Tract2010 Census
Census Block Group2010 Census
Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA)2010 Census
5-digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA)2010 Census
Geographic AreaACS Estimate Year
Statistical Areas2005-2009 ACS 5-year2006-2010 ACS 5-year2007-2011 ACS 5-year2008-2012 ACS 5-year
County Equivalent (Census Areas in Alaska)January 1, 2009January 1, 2010January 1, 2011January 1, 2012
County Subdivision
Census County Division (CCD)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Place
Census Designated Place (CDP)/Zona Urbana and ComunidadCensus 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land
Tribal Designated Statistical Area (TDSA)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
State Designated Tribal Statistical Area (SDTSA)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area (OTSA)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
American Indian Tribal Subdivision, OTSACensus 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Tribal Tract Not Included2010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Tribal Block Group Not Included2010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Alaska Native Village Statistical Area (ANVSA)Census 20002010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Other Statistical Areas
Metropolitan Statistical Area/Micropolitan Statistical AreaNovember 2008December 1, 2009December 1, 2009December 1, 2009
Metropolitan Statistical Area/Micropolitan Statistical Area - Principal CityNovember 2008** December 2009**December 1, 2009December 1, 2009
New England City and Town Area (NECTA)November 2008December 1, 2009December 1, 2009December 1, 2009
New England City and Town Area - Principal cityNovember 2008**December 2009**December 1, 2009December 1, 2009
Urban AreaCensus 2000Census 2000Census 20002010 Census
Census TractCensus 2000***2010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Census Block GroupCensus 2000***2010 Census2010 Census2010 Census
Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA)Census 2000Census 2000Census 20002010 Census
5-digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA)Not IncludedNot Included2010 Census2010 Census

**While the American Community Survey (ACS) data generally reflect the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) definitions of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas; in certain instances the names, codes, and boundaries of the principal cities shown in ACS tables may differ from the OMB definitions due to differences in the effective dates of the geographic entities.

***Census 2010 definitions were included in the 2005-2009 ACS estimates for tracts and block groups in select counties.

Related Topics

Geography and the American Community Survey in Guidance for Data Users

Additional Resources

Census Bureau Geography Division's website

Geographic Areas and Concepts for the American Community Survey in Guidance for Data Users: Training Presentations

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: November 04, 2014
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