SocScape - historical census tracts

This website made available a set of ESRI shapefiles with census tracts. This dataset can be used to show how race composition change in US major cities since 1910. We selected 63 metropolitan areas (MSA) for which at least data from 1950 is available (complete list of MSA is available here).   

To each census tract we assigned attribute information about their location (code and name of county, state, MSA and tract information), total number of population and the number of subpopulations by given race, percent of given race and a class from dominant race/diversity classification. The location information is based on 2010 US Decennial Census to assure comparability between years. 

For the purpose of mapping racial composition for the period 1910-2010 we reclassified racial data from particular census years into maximum 5 categories to assure comparability between censuses. 

The final product is made available as a set of zip archives for each metropolitan area. Each zip archive contains ESRI shapefile for the available years and QGIS legend file to map racial diversity classification. 

Detailed information about this dataset is described in 

A. Dmowska, T. F. Stepinski (2019) Mapping changes in racial composition in the United States 1910-2010 using US census tract historical data  (paper submitted to Social Science).

DOWNLOADING HISTORICAL CENSUS TRACTS

  1. From the dropdown menu select the name of metropolitan area. Click on "Download" button to download a zip archive. Name of zip archive is for example "ct_chicago_il. zip". It contains name of MSA (i.e, Chicago) and the 2-letters state code (i.e, il). 
  2. Unzip a downloaded zip archive. Directory will contain a set of ESRI shapefiles and the QGIS legend files with the color scheme for displaying racial diversity/dominant race classification. The name of each ESRI shapefile consists of the name of MSA and the year; for example chicago_il_1930.shp is the file with census tracts for Chicago in 1930.  

Select the name of Metropolitan area from the dropdown menu below and click "Downolad"

Download
 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means that you are free to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material) for any purpose, even commercially, provided attribution is included (appropriate credit and a link to the license).

In addition to Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, we request that publications and research reports employing this data include the following citation:

A. Dmowska, T. F. Stepinski (2019) Mapping changes in racial composition in the United States 1910-2010 using US census tract historical data  (paper submitted to Social Science). 

 

Published on  January 3rd, 2020

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now more detailed (30 m ) population and racial diversity grids for 1990, 2000, 2010 are available here.

Resources for mapping racial segregation and diversity are available here.

Resources for mapping racial segregation and diversity using historical census tract data (1910 -  2010) are available here.