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Overview of the 2010 ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) Relationship Files

The 2010 ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) Relationship files provide simple relationships between the 2010 ZCTAs and other 2010 Census tabulation geography: counties, county subdivisions, places (incorporated places and census designated places), census tracts, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, New England city and town areas (NECTAs), and congressional districts. From these files, data users may determine which ZCTAs exist within the other geographies and vice versa

The ZCTA relationship files are nation-based comma-delimited ASCII files and include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

These files represent intersections of geography only.  For instance, for the ZCTA to place relationship file, a unique combination of ZCTA and place FIPS code must exist for a record to be included in the file. Areas where the Census Bureau has delineated a ZCTA, but no place exists, are considered remainder records and are not included in this file. Situations where no ZCTA exists or where there is neither a ZCTA nor a place are also excluded from this file. The same logic applies to all other relationship files. However, data users should be aware that the totals given for the ZCTA or the geographic entity are full totals as published for the 2010 Census, therefore, data users should note that summing the part record totals may not match the totals for the ZCTAs and/or the related entities.

For more information on ZCTAs, please see our ZIP Code Tabulation Areas page

For more information on specific Geographies, please utilize the following links:


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Geography | (301) 763-1128 |  Last Revised: February 24, 2014