Differentially Private 2010 Census Data

To protect the confidentiality of 2020 Census respondents, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to use a framework termed "differential privacy". The IPUMS team is concerned about the potential impacts of this approach on the scope and quality of census data products.

To help data users assess the impacts of differential privacy, the Census Bureau has released 2010 demonstration data products, which supply differentially private versions of 2010 data.

To facilitate comparisons, we provide both the original and differentially private 2010 data joined together in a simplified format through the links below.

We encourage users to provide feedback about the demonstration data by emailing the Census Bureau. If you send input, please email a copy to IPUMS at nhgis+diffpriv@umn.edu. Several assessments of the demonstration data were presented at the Workshop on 2020 Data Products (December 11-12, 2019) organized by the Committee on National Statistics.

Features of the NHGIS Demonstration Files:

  • We have separated the data for different geographic summary levels into individual files
  • The data files include standard NHGIS "GISJOIN" identifiers and NHGIS variable codes for both the original and demonstration data
  • The ZIP archives contain human-readable codebooks describing the contents of the data files
  • "Wide" files place each data variable in a separate column. "Long" files place each data variable on a separate row (so each row corresponds to a single geographic unit and single data variable).
  • Coverage:

Update on February 4, 2020 - We re-released the NHGIS Demonstration Files to account for an NHGIS processing error. Details are available here.

Level CodeWide FormatLong Format
040 State State
050 County County
060 County Subdivision County Subdivision
140 Census Tract Census Tract
150 Block Group *
160 Place Place
230 Alaska Native Regional Corporation Alaska Native Regional Corporation
250 American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Home Land
310 Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)
400 Urban Area Urban Area
500 111th Congressional District 111th Congressional District
610 State Legislative District (Upper Chamber) State Degislative District (Upper Chamber)
620 State Legislative District (Lower Chamber) State Legislative District (Lower Chamber)
970 School District - Unified School District - Unified

* - The long version of the block group file is too large to distribute through our website.

Please direct any comments or questions about these files to nhgis+diffpriv@umn.edu.

Additional Resources:

The Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) also provides reformatted versions of the 2010 Demonstration Data, including all segments and all geographic summary levels, but organized differently.