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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
In areas of rapid change, Census 2020 blocks may represent a different geographic area and have different geocodes than the corresponding area covered by Census 2010 blocks. Census 2020 block geometry, shapefiles, geocodes and demographics are available for the entire U.S. See more about Census 2020. Use the ProximityOne CV XE GIS software and Visual Data Analytics (VDA) Web GIS to view 2010 and 2020 geography and geodemographics.

Using GIS & GeoDemographics
Whether you are a GIS user or not yet using GIS, you can benefit from our self-paced, online course Using GIS & GeoDemographics. Learn more about using census block shapefiles and mapping, analyzing wide ranging demographic data at the block level. See additional information.

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.
Field#     FieldName     Description  
x     GEOIDBLK20     Census 2020 block code  
  - 15 character code
    2020 state, county, tract, blockgroup, block code
x     PLACE     City/place code  
x     CCD     Census county division  
x     CD116     116th Congressional District code  
x     AREALAND     Land Area, SqMt  
x     AREAWATR     Water Area SqMt  
x     INTPTLAT     Latitude, internal point  
x     INTPTLON     Longitude, internal point  
x     POP20     Total population  
x     POP120     Total population, one race  
x     WH20     White alone  
x     BL20     Black alone  
x     AI20     American Indian/Alaska Native alone  
x     AS20     Asian alone  
x     NH20     Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander alone  
x     OT20     Other race alone  
x     MR20     Multirace  
x     WHNH20     White NonHispanic  
x     BLNH20     Black NonHispanic  
x     HISP20     Hispanic (of any race)  
x     POP1820     Total population, 18 & over  
x     POP11820     Population, one race, 18 & over  
x     WH1820     White alone, 18 & over  
x     BL1820     Black alone, 18 & over  
x     AI1820     American Indian/Alaska Native alone, 18 & over  
x     AS1820     Asian alone, 18 & over  
x     NH1820     Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander alone, 18 & over  
x     OT1820     Other race alone, 18 & over  
x     MR1820     Multirace, 18 & over  
x     WHNH1820     White alone, NonHispanic, 18 & over  
x     BLNH1820     Black alone, NonHispanic, 18 & over  
x     HISP1820     Hispanic (of any race)  
x     GQ20     Group Quarters  
x     GQN20     Group Quarters, noninstitutional  
x     GQI20     Group Quarters, institutional  
x     HSGUNIT20     Housing units  
x     OCCUNIT20     Housing units, occupied  
x     VACUNIT20     Housing units, vacant  
Developed Code & Measures
u     CCN20     Congressional Communities 2020 code  
u     CD118     118th Congressional District code  
x     ZIP     ZIP code  
x     UR     Urban/Rural code  
x     HUDSQMI     Housing unit density (SqMi)  
u     ELEVSQMT     Elevation (SqMt)  
u     TEMP20     Temperature (F) 2020  
u     TEMP40     Temperature (F) 2040  
u     TEMP60     Temperature (F) 2060  
u     TOPO     Topographic index 
u     LOCALE     Locale code  
u     HAZARD     Hazard code (fire/earthquake/flood/etc propensity)  
Demographic & Housing Items (2020 DHC/SF1, ACS2020 based, Model based
s     OWNUNIT20     Owner occupied units  
s     RNTUNIT20     Renter occupied units  
s     FAMILIES20     Families  
s     MALE20     Male population  
s     FEMALE20     Female population  
s     AGE000420     Age, under 5 yrs  
s     AGE051720     Age, 5-17 yrs  
s     AGE183420     Age, 18-34 yrs  
s     AGE356420     Age 35-64 yrs  
s     AGE658420     Age 65-84 yrs  
s     AGE85UP20     Age, 85 yrs & over  
g     MHI20     Median household income  
g     MFI20     Median family income  
g     MRENT20     Median rent  
g     MHV20     Median housing value  
Demographic & Housing Items Estimates & Projections, Model based
m     P20     Population, 7/1/20  
m     P21     Population, 7/1/21  
m     P22     Population, 7/1/22  
m     P23     Population, 7/1/23  
m     P24     Population, 7/1/24  
m     P25     Population, 7/1/25  
m     H20     Housing units, 7/1/20  
m     H21     Housing units, 7/1/21  
m     H22     Housing units, 7/1/22  
m     H23     Housing units, 7/1/23  
m     H24     Housing units, 7/1/24  
m     H25     Housing units, 7/1/25  

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.
New Mexico

Data Record/Field Descriptions .. goto top
Locale Code
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 --

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.

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Additional Information
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 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.

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