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Cartographic Boundary Shapefiles

What Are They?

The cartographic boundary files are simplified representations of selected geographic areas from the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER geographic database.   These boundary files are specifically designed for small scale thematic mapping. 

Generalized boundary files are clipped to a simplified version of the U.S. outline.  As a result, some off-shore areas may be excluded from the generalized files.

For more details about these files, please see our Cartographic Boundary File Description page.

Download Files

Cartographic Boundary files are available in shapefile format for the 2010 Census, Census 2000, and selected geographies for other years.  File-based metadata is included in all files except for the Alabama block group zip file ( It is missing the FGDC metadata file but includes metadata in the ISO format.

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Other Mapping Files


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Geography | (301) 763-1128 |  Last Revised: August 13, 2014