Census Blocks and Block Codes
Census blocks are "statistical areas bounded by visible features, such as streets, roads, streams, and railroad tracks, and by nonvisible boundaries, such as selected property lines and city, township, school district, and county limits and short line-of-sight extensions of streets and roads." Use the interactive table in this section to view Census 2010 tallies of census tracts, block groups and census blocks.
Census 2020 Blocks
Using GIS & GeoDemographics
2020 Census Blocks Database
.. Census 2020 Census Block with Integrated Attributes Library
.. Census 2020 census block shapefile attributes (base version)
.. Data fields include shown in scroll section below.
.. Fields showing an "x" in column 1 are populated.
Census 2020 demographics are sourced from Census 2020 P.L. 94-171 file.
note the ZIP code was not available from the P.L. 94-171 file and has been developed otherwise.
using the ZIP code, aggregate block data to obtain ZIP code summaries not available from Census.
.. Fields showing a "s" in column 1 wiill be populated from Census 2020 SF1/DHC file (summer 2022).
.. Fields showing a "g" in column 1 are being populated based on ACS 2020 (and later) block group level estimates.
.. Fields showing a "u" in column 1 are being populated on a flow basis.
.. Fields showing a "m" in column 1 are model-based estimates & projections; updated/extended annually
a development scheduled for later in 2022.
State 2020 block files (links shown below) are available for download by authorized users.
.. these are state by block zip files that expand to dbase files (dbf).
.. files are structured as dbase files for optional direct integration with block shapefiles. download shapefiles here.
.. for non-mapping/GIS applications, the dbf files may be opened directly with Excel.
.. caution, these files update freuqently; check for updates.
Data Record/Field Descriptions .. goto top
11 City, Large: Territory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population of 250,000 or more.
12 City, Midsize: Territory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population < 250,000 and >= to 100,000.
13 City, Small: Territory inside an urbanized area and inside a principal city with population < 100,000.
21 Suburban, Large: Territory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population of 250,000+.
22 Suburban, Midsize: Territory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population < 250,000 and >= 100,000.
23 Suburban, Small: Territory outside a principal city and inside an urbanized area with population < 100,000.
31 Town, Fringe: Territory inside an urban cluster that is <= 10 miles from an urbanized area.
32 Town, Distant: Territory inside an urban cluster that is > 10 miles and <= 35 miles from an urbanized area.
33 Town, Remote: Territory inside an urban cluster that is > 35 miles from an urbanized area.
41 Rural, Fringe: Census-defined rural territory that is <= 5 miles from an urbanized area & <= to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster.
42 Rural, Distant: Census-defined rural territory that is > 5 miles but <= 25 miles from an urbanized area, & > 2.5 miles but <= 10 miles from an urban cluster.
43 Rural, Remote: Census-defined rural territory that is > 25 miles from an urbanized area and is > than 10 miles from an urban cluster
Related Sections .. goto top
census tracts and tract codes
census block groups and block group codes
boundaries defined by TIGER/Line shapefiles
Warren Glimpse blog on this topic ... searchable list of blog posts
Determine Block Codes Based on Address .. goto top
Key in an address here to find codes/names based on address.
Census blocks are the smallest unit of tabulation geography defined by the Census Bureau - there were a total of 11,166,336 defined for the 2010 census, covering the U.S. and its territories - but are diverse in size. While the largest block is over 8,500 square miles (in Alaska), half the blocks are smaller than a tenth of a square mile (6.4 acres). Census blocks cover the U.S. from wall-to-wall.
Subject Matter Data
An important feature of census blocks is that they are the smallest geography for which decennial census data are tabulated. Census block subject matter data, e.g. population, are tabulated only for the decennial census. Their "hierarchical" structure makes it possible to aggregate subject matter data, such as the population of a certain age, to higher level geography including tracts, cities, congressional districts, etc.
Census blocks are statistical area geography. Boundaries and codes may be redefined for each decennial census. Census 2010 block boundaries and codes will generally remain unchanged until Census 2020. There are a few exceptions.
Codes, Geocodes & Referencing
The codes used to identify blocks reflect the basic census geographical hierarchy: the country is made up of states, states are made up of counties (and county equivalents like parishes and independent cities), counties are made up of census tracts, and census tracts are made up of census blocks. Even though a block code only occurs once in each tract, it may be used again in another tract. Same goes for tracts in counties. Therefore, a particular census block within the nation must be identified by: its state code, its county code, tract code and its block code.
States and the territories are identified by a 2-digit code.
Counties within states are identified by a 3-digit code.
Tracts within counties are identified 6-digit code.
Blocks within tracts are identified by a 4-digit code.
Combine these codes to uniquely identify a census block in U.S. (15 characters). For example, the census block containing the Office of the California Secretary of State, located at 1500 11th St, Sacramento, CA 95814, is uniquely identified by the code 060670011011085. In the map views shown below the table, the address has been geocoded using the APIGeocoder and is shown as a red marker.
Census blocks are numbered uniquely with a four-digit census block number from 0000 to 9999 within census tract which nest within state and county. The first digit of the census block number identifies the block group. Block numbers beginning with a zero (in Block Group 0) are only associated with water-only areas.
Tracts. Block Groups & Blocks by State/Area -- interactive table
Click ShowAll button to refresh/reset; click column header to sort on that column; click again to sort other direction.
See ranking table usage notes below ranking table. See related ranking tables -- http://proximityone.com/rankingtables.htm.
Map View: Census Tracts
Tracts are labeled with green tract codes.
Address 1500 11th St, Sacramento, CA 95814 is shown by red marker.
View created using CV XE GIS.
Map View: Zoom-in to Census Block
Blocks are labeled with yellow block codes.
View created using CV XE GIS.
Map View: Further Zoom-in Showing Streets
Streets are labeled with street names.
Identify tool is used to show mini-profile for 1500 block of 11th Street.
View created using CV XE GIS.
Is the tract code 11.01 or 001101?
Both. Census tracts within a county are identified by a 4-digit basic code between 0001 and 9999, and may have a 2-digit suffix ranging from .01 to .98; for example, 6059.02. The decimal point separating the 4-digit basic tract code from the 2-digit suffix is shown in Census Bureau printed reports and maps. For geo-referencing, the decimal point is implied and does not appear; the 6-character tract code with lead zeroes is used -- a character string with no blanks and all numbers.
Support Using these Resources
Learn more about accessing and using demographic-economic data and related analytical tools. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session. There is no fee for these one-hour Web sessions. Each informal session is focused on a specific topic. The open structure also provides for Q&A and discussion of application issues of interest to participants.
ProximityOne User Group
Join the ProximityOne User Group to keep up-to-date with new developments relating to geographic-demographic-economic decision-making information resources. Receive updates and access to tools and resources available only to members. Use this form to join the User Group.
ProximityOne develops geographic-demographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data. Follow ProximityOne on Twitter at www.twitter.com/proximityone. Contact ProximityOne (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.