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USA Counties Information

Basic Information
Parts of Excel Spreadsheet
Four Excel Columns in Reference to One Data Source
Introduction to MASTGROUPS
Introduction to MASTDATA
Introduction to Flag_Reference
Introduction to Footnote_Reference
Introduction to Unit_Reference
Introduction to Source
How do Excel Data Sources Relate?
Additional Detail Information
Windows XP File Download Settings

Data File Downloads
Data File Information (e.g. USA Counties™ data, Flag_reference, etc.)
USA Counties™ with Margin of Error
USA Counties™ Database (CenStats)
New Items

[Back to Top]I. Parts of Excel Spreadsheet

Sample Excel spreadsheet with descriptions of various components (see table)

Parts of the Excel Spreadsheet
Part: Description:
A, B, C, & D Four columns providing flag, datavalue, footnote1, and footnote2 data of original AFN110197D data source. Each additional data source will require four Excel columns, e.g. [Excel columns G, H, I, and J], or [Excel columns K, L, M, and N], etc. (Excel spreadsheet columns C and continuing right)
A Flag column header - e.g. AFN110197F - flag data stored in this column (Excel spreadsheet column C) from rows 2 to 3197.
B DataValue column header - e.g. AFN110197D - data values stored in this column (Excel spreadsheet column D) from rows 2 to 3197.
C Footnote1 column header - e.g. AFN110197N1 - footnote1 values stored in this column (Excel spreadsheet column E) from rows 2 to 3197.
D Footnote2 column header - e.g. AFN110197N2 - footnote2 values stored in this column (Excel spreadsheet column F) from rows 2 to 3197.
E Column E header "Areaname" located in cell A1 - Areaname values stored in Excel cells A2 to A3197.
F Microsoft standard column references, e.g. A, B, C, D, etc.
G Code column header - FIPS State and County Code stored in this column (Excel spreadhseet column B) from rows 2 to 3197.
H Microsoft standard row numbers, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...
I Sample of areaname values - values refer to 1) UNITED STATES, 2) a state name, or 3) a county name followed by comma and state abbreviation. (Excel spreadsheet column A)
J Sample of STCOU values - text 5 positions - first two positions refer to state code and last three positions refer to county code. It should be noted that all states have "000" in their last three positions, e.g. "01000". Moreover, the UNITED STATES code is always "00000". (Excel spreadsheet column B)
K Sample of FLAG values - integer value of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8.(Excel spreadsheet column C)
L Sample of Data values - long integer format e.g., 545068, 6955, 50, etc. (Excel spreadsheet column D)
M Sample of Footnote1 values - text 4 positions - each unique footnote code has corresponding note which is available in the MASTFOOT table. (Excel spreadsheet column E)
N Sample of Footnote2 values - text 4 positions - each unique footnote code has corresponding note which is available in the MASTFOOT table. (Excel spreadsheet column F)

NOTE: More detail about data source (Excel column) names is available at II. Excel Columns in Reference to One Data Source and more detail about table (column) groups is available at III. Introduction to MASTGROUPS


[Back to Top]II. Four Excel Columns in Reference to One Data Source

Deciphering data group names
Data groups names have four components:

For example the data group, AFN110197D, would be:

Sample

Explanation of data group names and table structure
Part: Description:
A The first three characters make up a three-character abbreviation (acronym) for a particular data group. In this case, "AFN" stands for "Accommodation and Food Services - NAICS Only." All acronyms and their corresponding title are available in the Excel file MASTGROUPS.xls.
B The first three digits (positions 4-6) makes up a subgroup-code of the group (positions 1-3). There is no one pattern; each group has its own series of sub-groups, e.g. 110, 120, 130, 200, 210, etc.
C The next three digits (positions 7-9) represent the year of the data. Position 7 may be 1 or 2; 1 is for a year in the 20th century and 2 is for a year in the 21st century. Positions 8-9 are the last two digits of a particular year. For example, 197 stands for 1997 and 207 stands for 2007.
D The last character "D" (position 10) stands for "data". However, data from one data source file is loaded into four Excel columns; as an example, for the data source AFN110197D, there would be four Excel columns AFN110197F, AFN110197D, AFN110197N1, AFN110197N2 (used for Flag, DataValue, Footkey1 data, Footkey2 data)
E This column is FLAG data (Excel spreadsheet column C)
F This column is the data value (Excel spreadsheet column D)
G This column is FOOTKEY1 data (Excel spreadsheet column E)
H This column is FOOTKEY2 data (Excel spreadsheet column F)

NOTE: More detail about data source (Excel column) names and descriptions is available at IV. Introduction to MASTDATA


[Back to Top]III. Introduction to MASTGROUPS

Q: What is MASTGROUPS.xls?
A: MASTGROUPS.xls is an Excel file that has two columns KeyAbr and Descript. A three character abbreviation (acronym) for its official title is listed under KeyAbr, and the official title is listed under Descript.

Q: Can I download MASTGROUPS? What does MASTGROUPS data look like?
A: Yes. The MASTGROUPS data information can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file. Listed below are examples of standard groups (subject to change each year).

Key Abbreviation - Description
AFN - Accommodation and Food Services - NAICS only
AGE - Age
AGN - Agriculture - NAICS
AGS - Agriculture - SIC
ANC - Ancestry
BNK - Banking
BPS - Building Permits
BZA - Business, Private Nonfarm - (U.S. Census Bureau) - Total
BZN - Business, Private Nonfarm - (U.S. Census Bureau) - NAICS
BZS - Business, Private Nonfarm - (U.S. Census Bureau) - SIC
CLF - Civilian Labor Force (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
CRM - Crime
EAN - Earnings, Total and Selected Industries (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - NAICS
EAS - Earnings, Total and Selected Industries (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - SIC
EDU - Education
ELE - Elections (CQ Press)
EMN - Employment (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - NAICS
EMS - Employment (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - SIC
FED - Federal Government
GAN - Government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - Earnings - NAICS
GEE - Government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - Earnings/Employment - SIC
GEN - Government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - Employment - NAICS
HEA - Health
HIS - Hispanic or Latino Population
HSD - Households
HSG - Housing
GEN - Government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - Employment - NAICS

Key Abbbreviation - Description
HEA - Health
HIS - Hispanic or Latino Population
HSD - Households
HSG - Housing
INC - Income, Money (U.S. Census Bureau)
IRS - Internal Revenue Service - Individual Taxes
IPE - Income and Poverty
LFE - Labor Force (U.S. Census Bureau)
LND - Land Area
LOG - Local Area Government
MAN - Manufactures - NAICS
MAS - Manufactures - SIC
NES - Nonemployer Statistics
PEN - Personal Income (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - NAICS
PIN - Personal Income (Bureau of Economic Analysis) - SIC
POP - Population - Total and Selected Characteristics
PPQ - Population - Group Quarters
PST - Population Estimates
PVY - Poverty
RHI - Race data
RTN - Retail Trade - NAICS
RTS - Retail Trade - SIC
SBO - Survey of Business Owners
SEX - Sex data
SPR - Social Programs - Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
VET - Veterans
VST - Vital Statistics - Births, Deaths, and Infant Deaths
WAT - Water Usage
WTN - Wholesale Trade - NAICS



[Back to Top]IV. Introduction to MASTDATA

Q: What is MASTDATA.xls?
A: MASTDATA.xls is an Excel file that has six columns Item_id, Item_description, Unit_indicator, Decimal_indicator, US_Total, and Source. To help identify what specific Excel data you are looking for, the Item_Id identifies the table series (as discussed in Part II.)

Q: What are Item_id and Item_description?
A: Item_Id AFN110197D refers to the Excel columns (AFN110197F, AFN110197D, AFN110197N1, AFN110197N2). The title of AFN110197D is provided in the Item_description column.

Q: What are Unit_indicator, Decimal_indicator, US_Total, and Source?
A: Unit_indicator refers to the measurement units applied to the data values (in a D column, e.g. AFN110197D); see section VII. for more information. Decimal_indicator refers to number of decimal places involved in data-value (e.g. with a decimal_indicator = 1 and with a data-value = 102, this implies 10.2 is the actual value). The US_Total is the sum total of all state and county values in a table. The Source value specifies the provider of the data information.

Q: Can I download MASTDATA? What does MASTDATA data look like?
A: Yes. The MASTDATA data information can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file.

Examples of standard MASTDATA Item_id names and titles (subject to change each year)
Item_ID Item_Description Unit_indicator Decimal_indicator US_Total Source
AFN110197D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - establishments with payroll 1997 ABS 0 545068 CENSUS
AFN110202D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - establishments with payroll 2002 ABS 0 565590 CENSUS
AFN120197D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - sales of establishments with payroll 1997 TH$ 0 350399194 CENSUS
AFN120202D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - sales of establishments with payroll 2002 TH$ 0 449498718 CENSUS
AFN130197D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - annual payroll 1997 TH$ 0 97007396 CENSUS
AFN130202D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - annual payroll 2002 TH$ 0 127554483 CENSUS
AFN140197D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - paid employees for pay period including March 12, 1997 ABS 0 9451226 CENSUS
AFN140202D Accommodation and Food Services: total (NAICS 72) - paid employees for pay period including March 12, 2002 ABS 0 10120951 CENSUS

[Back to Top]V. Introduction to Flag_Reference.

Q: What is Flag_Reference.xls?
A: Flag_Reference.xls is an Excel file that has two columns Id and Description.

Q: What are Id and Description?
A:Excel Flag_Reference.xls column, e.g. AFN110197F has an ID value of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. These are the nine valid "flag" values. The Description field provides an explanation of its corresponding "ID" value. However, the Flag_Reference.xls file currently defines the flag values of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Q: Can I download Flag_Reference data? What does Flag_Reference data look like?
A: The Footnote_Reference data information can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file.

Examples of Standard Flag_Reference ID and Descriptions (subject to change each year)
ID DESCRIPTION
3 Data not enumerated, tabulated, or otherwise available separately
4 Figure withheld to avoid disclosure pertaining to a specific organization or individual.
5 Figure not applicable because column heading and stub line make entry impossible, absurd, or meaningless.
6 Figure does not meet publication standards for reasons other than that covered by the ID 8 below.
7 Entry would amount to less than half the unit of measurement shown.
8 Base figure too small to meet statistical standards for reliability of a derived figure.

[Back to Top]VI. Introduction to Footnote_Reference.

Q: What is Footnote_Reference.xls?
A: Footnote_Reference.xls is an Excel file that has two columns, Id and Description.

Q: What are ID and Description?
A: Excel footnote columns, e.g. AFN110197N1 and AFN110197N2 usually have default values of "0000" in each cell. However, some cells have a non-zero footnote value in their cell, e.g. 5002, 5016, etc. To help understand what these values mean, you can use the Footnote_Reference.xls file. The Id field holds the unique footnote (4 text characters) and the Description field provides a definition of the footnote code.

Q: Why are there two footnote columns?
A: In reference to each Item_id in MASTDATA, e.g. AFN110197D, AFN110202D, etc, each of their records is entitled to a maximum of two footnotes at the most. However, very few use two footnotes. Most records (federal, state, county) only have one footnote or else a default value of '0000'. Because it is possible to have two footnotes, this is why each Item_id in MASTDATA has two Excel columns, e.g., AFN110197N1 and AFN110197N2 for the Item_id of AFN110197D.

Q: Can I download Footnote_Reference data? What does Footnote_Reference data look like?
A: The Footnote_Reference data information can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file.

Examples of standard Footnote_Reference Id and Description (subject to change each year)
ID DESCRIPTION
0000 (No Description)
5002 Independent city of Bedford included with Bedford County; data not available separately. **51515 incl. with 51019.
5003 Independent city of Bristol included with Washington County; data not available separately. **51520 incl. with 51191.
5004 Independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington included with Rockbridge County; data not available separately.**51530 and 51678 incl. with 51163.
5005 Independent city of Charlottesville included with Albemarle County; data not available separately. **51540 incl. with 51003.
5006 Independent cities of Clifton Forge and Covington included with Alleghany County; data not available separately. **51560 and 51580 incl. with 51005.
5007 Independent city of Colonial Heights included with Chesterfield County; data not available separately. **51570 incl. with 51041.
5009 Independent city of Covington included with Alleghany County; data not available separately. **51580 incl. with 51005
5010 Independent city of Danville included with Pittsylvania County; data not available separately. **51590 incl. with 51143

[Back to Top]VII. Introduction to Unit_Reference.

Q: What is Unit_Reference.xls?
A: Unit_Reference.xls is an Excel file that has two columns, Id and Description.

Q: What are Id and Description?
A: First, data values may occur as a long integer or float (decimal) number. However, in reference to different Item_ids, e.g. AFN110197D, POP110202D, WAT110202D, etc. data may vary in reference to unit being used. The acronyms for the different units are available in the column Id. The descriptive meaning of Id is stored in the column Description.

Q: Can I download Unit_Reference data? What does Unit_Reference data look like?
A: The Unit_Reference data information can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file.

Examples of standard Unit_Reference Id and Description (subject to change each year)
ID DESCRIPTION
ABS Absolute Number
ACR Acres
AVG Average
DOL Dollars
GLD Gallons per Day
MGD Millions of Gallons per Day
MIL Millions
MIN Minutes
ML$ Millions of Dollars
PCT Percent
RNK Rank
RTE Rate
SQM Square Miles
SYM Symbol
TH$ Thousands of Dollars
THO Thousands
YRS Years

[Back to Top]VIII. Introduction to Source.

Q: What is Source?
A: Source.xls is an Excel file that has two columns Id and Description.

Q: What are Id and Description?
A: First, Id values are acronyms for the values in Description. Description provides the full-title of an organization providing data. Both of these fields are text data. The Source values also are used in the MASTDATA.xls file.

Q: Can I download Source data? What does Source data look like?
A: The Source data is located in the Source.xls file and can be downloaded as an Excel file or as a ZIP file.

Examples of standard Source Id and Description (subject tochange each year)
ID DESCRIPTION
AMA American Medical Association
BLS-CPS Bureau of Labor Statistics-Current Population Survey
CDC-NCHS Center for Disease Control-National Center for Health Statistics
CENSUS-1940 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1940
CENSUS-1950 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1950
CENSUS-1960 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1960
CENSUS-1970 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1970
CENSUS-1980 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1980
CENSUS-1990 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 1990
CENSUS-2000 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 2000
CENSUS-2010 U.S. Census Bureau-Census 2010
CENSUS-ACS U.S. Census Bureau-American Community Survey
CENSUS-AGRIC U.S. Census Bureau-Census of Agriculture
CENSUS-CBP U.S. Census Bureau-County Business Patterns
CENSUS-CONST U.S. Census Bureau-Construction Division
CENSUS-ECON U.S. Census Bureau-Economic Census
CENSUS-GOVTS U.S. Census Bureau-Governments Division
CENSUS-NONEMP U.S. Census Bureau-Nonemployer Statistics
CENSUSPOPEST U.S. Census Bureau-Population Estimates
CENSUS-SAHIE U.S. Census Bureau-Small Area Health Insurance Estimates
CENSUS-SAIPE U.S. Census Bureau-Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates
CQ Press SAGE Publications
DOC-BEA Department of Commerce-Bureau of Economic Analysis
DOE-NCES Department of Education-National Center of Educational Statistics
DOJ-FBI Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Investigation
FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
HHS-CMS Health and Human Services-Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services
SSA Social Security Administration
Treasury-IRS Department of Treasury-Internal Revenue Service
USDA-NASS U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agriculture Statistics Service
USGS United States Geological Survey

[Back to Top]IX. How do Excel Data Souces Relate?

Sections I. and II. introduced the parts of an Excel spreadsheet and how four Excel columns relate to one data source.
Section III. - Section VII. introduce the MASTGROUPS.xls, MASTDATA.xls, Flag_Reference.xls, Unit_reference.xls,
and SOURCE.xls files. How do these files relate to each other? To help simplify the relationship between an Excel data
sheet (e.g. AFN01.xls, BZA01.xls, POP01.xls, etc.) and the MASTGROUPS.xls, MASTDATA.xls, Flag_Reference.xls,
Unit_Reference.xls, and SOURCE.xls files, see the diagram below.

Relationship diagram


[Back to Top]X. Additional Detail Information

Q: Where can I find additional information on MASTDATA, MASTGROUPS, data type, file formats, finding correct data file, finding corresponding Excel columns, etc.?
A: For information on standard USA Counties data, Flag_reference, Footnote_reference, Mastdata, Mastgroups, Source, and Unit_Reference files, please visit ==> Basic Data File Information

Q: Where can I find information on data quality?
A: For comments on data quality, see Appendix A: Source Notes and Explanations [PDF, 203KB] from the 2007 edition of the County and City Data Book

Q: Where can I find additional information on CenStats - USA Counties?
A: For further information visit CenStats - USA Counties™

Q: Where can I find additional information?
A: For further information visit https://ask.census.gov

Q: What is the Margin of Error (MOE)?
A:
Some American Community Survey (ACS) products provide an Margin of Error (MOE) instead of confidence intervals. An MOE is the difference between an estimate and its upper or lower confidence bounds. Confidence bounds can be created by adding the MOE to the estimate (for the upper bound) and subtracting the MOE from the estimate (for the lower bound). All published ACS MOEs are based on a 90 percent confidence level.
Source: American Community Survey - Methodology - Glossary of Terms [PDF, 518 KB]
See Also: American Community Survey - Methodology


[Back to Top]XI. What Windows XP File Download Settings are needed?

Windows XP File Download Setting

  1. Double-Click My Computer icon
  2. Select Tools from Windows Toolbar
  3. Select Folder Options...
  4. Select File Types Tab
  5. Under Registered File Types, select XLS Microsoft Excel
  6. Click Advanced button
  7. Make sure the Confirm open after download box is checked
  8. Click OK button
  9. Click Close button

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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