Mapping Urban/Rural Patterns by Census Block
... using GIS tools & resources
This section is companion to related Mapping Census Blocks section. It is focused on use of GIS tools and resources for visual, mapping and geospatial analysis of urban/rural patterns by census block. Applications illustrated here make use of the Austin-Round Rock, TX metro; similar views/applications may be developed for any county or metro. Members of the ProximityOne User Group ( join now, no fee) may use the GIS software and project files to create similar and more detailed views/analyses.
Defining Urban/Rural Geography and Census Blocks
For Census 2010, an urban area is a densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements, along with adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses as well as territory with low population density included to link outlying densely settled territory with the densely settled core. To qualify as an urban area, the territory identified according to criteria must encompass at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of which reside outside institutional group quarters. Rural encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.
A census block is the smallest geographic tabulation area and is classified as either all urban or all rural. More about census blocks.
GIS Tools & GIS Project Resources
The urban/rural patterns by census block GIS applications use the CV XE GIS software. To use the urban/rural patterns by census block GIS project,
install the Windows CV XE GIS softwareon your computer.
expand the GIS project fileset to c:\cvxe\1\ folder (User Group userid required).
start CV XE GIS.
open the GIS project c:\cvxe\1\austinblks1_tract.gis (File>Open>Dialog).
About the Census Block Shapefile
Each of the "TIGER2014 Blocks" layers shown in the map graphic legend panel uses the same Austin metro 5-county TIGER 2014 census block shapefile (TL_2014_48_TABBLOCK10_12420.SHP). The shapefile dBase file field attributes are shown in the scroll section below.
Note that the geographic area codes are Census 2010 vintage. For example, the CBSA code is 2009 vintage and does not reflect the February 2013 CBSA designations. Notable geographies potentially affected: city/place, school district, congressional district, state legislative district, PUMA.
Developing GIS Project Applications for Other Areas
The following notes summarize general steps to develop the above applications for any area. The 1) Census 2010 Summary File 1 (SF1) Urban/Rural Update Files and 2) TIGER 2014 census block shapefiles are packaged for download as a single zip file for each state. It is recommended that the "target" geographic area be one county or a set of counties (e.g., a metro) rather than an entire state.
ProximityOne User Group
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Support Using these Resources
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