NHGIS News

Improved breakdown codes

April 15, 2014

NHGIS has made several improvements to its breakdown coding scheme. (See the FAQ for an explanation of NHGIS breakdowns.) The most significant changes:

  • Previously, breakdown codes in NHGIS data files were all 4 characters long. Now, to reduce noise in column identifiers, breakdown codes may be 2, 3, or 4 characters long depending on how many characters are needed to uniquely identify all breakdown combinations in use by a given dataset.
  • Previously, the ordering of codes was somewhat arbitrary, determined by the sequence of breakdowns in the NHGIS metadata database. Now, codes are ordered according to their original logical sequence.
  • Previously, in multi-year datasets like County Business Patterns, codes varied by both breakdown and year, so a single industry breakdown category would have different codes in different years. Now, within each dataset, a breakdown has a single code across all years, making it easier to identify files and columns associated with the same breakdown.

Note: as a consequence of these updates, most breakdowns have new codes. Users who would like to re-obtain previous data requests with codes that match the current codes may simply resubmit their older requests through the Extracts History page.

 

Time series now include 2008-2012 ACS data

February 26, 2014
With Release 4.1 of time series tables, NHGIS has updated all tables that include American Community Survey (ACS) statistics to use 2012 5-year data instead of 2011 5-year data.
 
This change affects past data requests as well as new requests: users who return to the NHGIS Extracts History page and resubmit a prior request of time series tables will now receive new 2012 5-year data and not 2011 5-year data. Users may still find and select individual tables from the original 2011 ACS 5-year Summary Files by searching under the Data Finder's "source tables" tab.
 
Because the 2008-2012 period is centered on the year 2010, we believe it is the most suitable ACS period for use in decade-interval time series. Therefore, this update should be the last of its kind. NHGIS may in the future release new time series tables that include ACS data from other time periods, but there are no plans to again swap old data with new.
 
 

2012 ACS 5-Year Summary File now available

February 17, 2014
NHGIS has added the 2008-2012 5-Year Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 1,000 new tables are available for geographic areas as small as block groups. These data correspond to the previously released 2012 shapefiles on NHGIS.
 
These data, for the first time within a 5-Year ACS dataset, include tables on health insurance coverage. For additional information, see the Release Log.
 
 

2012 ACS 3-Year Summary File now available

November 21, 2013
NHGIS has added the 2010 - 2012 3-Year Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 1,400 new tables are now available for geographic areas with populations exceeding 20,000, the minimum set by the US Census Bureau for the 3-year data.  These data also correspond to the 2012 shapefiles recently released.
 
For additional information, see the Release Log.
 
 

New 2012 & improved 2000 GIS boundary files

November 6, 2013
NHGIS has released 105 new GIS boundary files including 2012 files based on 2012 TIGER/Line Shapefiles and improved 2000 files based on 2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles from the U.S. Census Bureau.
 
The 34 new 2012 shapefiles correspond to the already released 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year dataset and the soon-to-be released 3- and 5-Year datasets. The Release Log provides a complete list of the new 2012 files.
 
The 71 new 2000 shapefiles, based on 2010 TIGER/Line Files, correspond to the 2000 Census datasets. These files are more spatially accurate than the shapefiles based on 2000 TIGER/Line files due to the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project. The Release Log provides a complete list of the new 2000 files. 
 
 

Time Series Release 4: 47 new tables

October 2, 2013
With Time Series Release 4, NHGIS has added 47 new time series tables to its collection. Newly covered subjects include Median Age, Place of Birth, Educational Attainment, Labor Force and Employment Status, Family Income, and Per Capita Income.
 
For additional information, see the Release Log or the Time Series Documentation.
 
 

2012 ACS 1-Year Summary File now available

October 2, 2013
NHGIS has added the 2012 Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 1,400 new tables are now available for many different geographic levels. NHGIS will also supply 2012 GIS boundary files soon. Until then, users may use the 2011 boundary files with 2012 tables for most geographic levels.
 
 

New "time varies by column" layout for time series

August 7, 2013

NHGIS now provides a third layout option for time series tables in addition to the existing options of "time varies by file" and "time varies by row." The new "time varies by column" option places data for different times in separate columns within one file. For example, a table of state-level 2000 and 2010 census data is delivered in one file with one row for each state and two columns for each time series: one column for 2000 and one column for 2010.

NOTE: this layout matches area units across time according to area names and codes only without regard to geographic relationships. A single row may provide statistics for distinctly different areas at different times in cases where a matched code refers to distinct areas at different times.

 

Improved topic filtering

August 7, 2013
NHGIS has completely revised and verified its topic filtering system. The new set of selectable topics more closely and completely represents the topics available in NHGIS data, and we have thoroughly reviewed associations between topics and tables to help ensure that all relevant tables--and only relevant tables--appear for any selected topics.
 
Using the new topics, this summary of available NHGIS data tables indicates which topics are covered across time by NHGIS data source.
 
 

2011 GIS boundary files now available

May 16, 2013
NHGIS has released shapefiles compatible with the 1, 3, and 5-year 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) datasets. The new shapefiles are derived from the 2011 TIGER/Line Shapefiles from the U.S. Census Bureau. Geographic levels from the census block group to the nation level are now available.
 
Please note that ACS population thresholds cause incomplete correspondence between the shapefile records and the 1 and 3-year tabular data. For example, the 1-year ACS tables include no records for areas with populations less than 65,000, but the 2011 shapefiles include all areas, regardless of population.
 
 

Streamlined NHGIS shapefiles now available

May 16, 2013
NHGIS shapefiles now have a more streamlined, unified structure. Previously, NHGIS provided boundaries in separate shapefiles for the Contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Now, for each geographic level larger than block groups, NHGIS includes all areas in one unified shapefile, simplifying many file management and data analysis tasks.
 
For additional information on this change and some other minor revisions, see the Release Log.
 
 

New time series tables including ACS data

April 8, 2013
With two recent releases, NHGIS now provides 27 additional time series tables in its collection. Highlights of Release 2.0 include urban/rural counts and totals for households and families. Release 3.0 is the first to include data from the American Community Survey, using the 5-year 2007-2011 data to produce tables on marital status, nativity, and median household income.
 
For additional information, please see the Release Log or the Time Series Documentation.
 
 

New SABINS data released

April 3, 2013
The Minnesota Population Center and the College of William & Mary are pleased to announce a new release of 2009-2010 school attendance boundaries. The Minnesota Population Center re-processed all data released in September 2012 and added additional attendance boundaries. The database contains 200,155 school attendance boundaries for 6,058 school districts.
 
For more information, see the Release Log on the SABINS website.
 
 

Realigned GIS boundary files now available

February 8, 2013
NHGIS has added realigned GIS boundary files for counties (1790-2000) and tracts (1910-2000). Because the Census Bureau made major accuracy improvements to TIGER/Line features between the 2000 and 2008 TIGER/Line releases, the original NHGIS shapefiles based on 2000 TIGER/Line features are not comparable with newer TIGER/Line data. We therefore generated new boundary files by systematically realigning the boundaries for tracts and counties to fit with 2008 TIGER/Line features. When comparing historical county or tract data to 2010 or newer boundary files, it is advisable to use these realigned files. 
 
Additional information on the realigned GIS boundary files can be found here
 
 

2011 ACS 1-, 3- and 5-Year Summary Files now available

January 28, 2013
NHGIS has added the 2011 1-Year, 3-Year and 5-Year Summary Files from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 3,800 new tables are now available for many different geographic levels. NHGIS will be adding 2011 GIS shapefiles soon, but until then the existing 2010 shapefiles will join the 2011 tables with little to no complications for most geographic levels.

 

Summary File 2 of the 2010 Census now available

December 10, 2012
NHGIS is excited to announce the availability of the 2010 Census Summary File 2. This dataset includes 71 tables with extremely detailed 100% count race/ethnicity breakdowns at the census tract and higher geographic levels.
 
For additional information, please review the Summary File 2 Technical Documentation found here.
 
 

The 1st anniversary of the new NHGIS 

November 5, 2012
The new NHGIS website celebrated its 1st anniversary last month. From day 1, the new website has been a hit!
 
Some of the most popular requests:
 
Most popular tables
  1. "Total Population" from 2010 Census Summary File 1
  2. "Persons" from 1990 Census Summary File 1  
  3. "Total Population" from 2000 Summary File 1 

Most popular datasets

  1. 1990 STF1 - 100% Data
  2. 2010 SF1a - P & H Tables [Blocks & Larger Areas]
  3. 2000 SF1a - 100% Data [Areas Larger Than Block Groups]

Most popular geographic levels

  1. County
  2. Tract
  3. State
 
 

Urban/Rural Update File for 2010 SF1 now available

October 30, 2012
NHGIS has released the 2010 Summary File 1 Urban/Rural Update File. This update adds data for urban area geographic levels, urban/rural tables, and urban/rural breakdowns.

 

NHGIS featured in Planning

October 10, 2012

NHGIS is prominently featured in the October 2012 issue of Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association. The article, "Demographic Data for a Changing Nation" highlights the unique features of NHGIS and explains how to use the website to access census tables, GIS files, and the new time series tables.

Update: November 6, 2012
Free online access to the article has ended, but APA members may still access the article here after logging in. Most others can access the article online or in print through their academic or local library.

 

Time series tables now available

September 19, 2012
NHGIS has added time series tables to its data collection. Time series tables link together comparable statistics from multiple censuses in one table. The first release is mainly comprised of 100% count statistics from the 1970-2010 censuses for eight different geographic levels ranging from the nation down to census tracts. Planned future releases will also provide sample-based data, including the latest American Community Survey data.
 
For additional information, please review the Release Log or the Time Series Documentation page.
 

2008-2010 ACS 3-Year Summary File now available

July 10, 2012
NHGIS has added the 2008-2010 3-Year Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 1,400 new tables are now available for geographic areas with populations exceeding 20,000, the minimum set by the US Census Bureau for the 3-year data. For additional information on how NHGIS is handling the ACS datasets, including "." jam values, please review the release log here.
 
 

2006-2010 ACS 5-Year Summary File now available

May 21, 2012
NHGIS has added the 2006-2010 5-Year Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 900 new tables are now available for geographic levels ranging from block groups to the nation. For additional information on how NHGIS is handling the ACS datasets, including "." jam values, please review the release log here.
 
The next planned release will add the 2008-2010 3-Year data.

 

2010 ACS 1-Year Summary File now available

April 9, 2012
NHGIS has added the 2010 1-Year Summary File from the American Community Survey (ACS). Over 1,400 new tables are now available for geographic areas with populations exceeding 65,000, the minimum set by the US Census Bureau for the 1-year data. For additional information on how NHGIS is handling the ACS datasets, including "." jam values, please review the release log here.
 
Additional ACS datasets will be released over the coming months. The next planned release will add the 2006-2010 5-Year data.
 
 

NHGIS Panel Session at AAG Annual Meeting

Sunday, February 26, 2012 - 8 AM to 9:40 AM  - Green Room, Hilton New York

NHGIS will be the focus of discussion during The Future of Historical U.S. Census Data: Charting the Course of the New NHGIS. Six panelists and the audience will discuss the past, present, and future of NHGIS. All conference attendees are welcome to attend and participate. User feedback is crucial to the evolution of NHGIS so let us know what you like and dislike about NHGIS and how we should move forward with new data and features. For complete information about this panel session, please go here.

 

NHGIS unavailable January 28th

January 20, 2012

The NHGIS web extract system will be temporarily unavailable on Saturday, January 28th for IT upgrades.  We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

 

2010 Census Summary File 1 now available

January 10, 2012

NHGIS is pleased to announce that 2010 Census Summary File 1 is now available for download. Summary File 1 includes 331 tables that offer detailed cross-tabulations of age, sex, race, household structure, housing units, and other related topics.

Most tables are tabulated at many geographic levels, ranging from the national level down to the block level.

 

NHGIS announces conference exhibitor schedule

November 1, 2011
NHGIS and the Minnesota Population Center are hitting the road to help spread the news about our new website and to meet users in person.  If you find yourself at any of the conferences listed below, please stop by the exhibitor area and say hello.

Social Science History Association (SSHA) Annual Meeting in Boston, November 17-20 2011.

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in New York City, February 24-28 2012.

American Educational Research Association
(AERA) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, April 13-17 2012.

American Planning Association
(APA) National Conference in Los Angeles, April 14-17 2012.

Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 3-5 2012.

American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 21-26 2012. 

More conferences and workshops to be announced later!

 

A new website and new 2010 data!

October 11, 2011

NHGIS is excited to announce a totally redesigned website. Several years in the making, the site provides a range of new features to make it easier to find and acquire data. Users can specify a set of data filters, in any combination, to narrow the thousands of tables down to just those they want. It is also possible to select and download data for any number of years, topics or geographic levels all at once.

Over the next year, NHGIS will also be expanding to include data from the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey, beginning with the 2010 PL 94-171 Redistricting Data, available now through the new website! Be sure to check back often for new data, site features, tutorials and documentation as we continue through several phases of planned site improvements.