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Geographic Files and Maps

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Census Data and Geography Issues

Most of the challenges in comparing data from one decennial census to another relate to changes in geography or changes in subject matter content. Changes in geography affect the physical area for which data is being reported. Changes in subject matter affect the questionnaire responses and categories of the data itself. For more information, see the Decennial Census Data Issues page.

The Census Bureau redraws the geography every 10 years for the following reasons:

  • Physical changes such as new streets
  • Increases or decreases in population

2000 to 2010 Geographic Comparability

There were a number of changes in the census geography in the City of Seattle for the 2010 Census. The following table identifies the major geographic changes at the census tract level:

2000 Tract

2010 Tract

Type of Change

17

17.01, 17.02

split

43

43.01, 43.02

split

74

74.01, 74.02

split

100

100.01, 100.02

split

104

104.01, 104.02

split

107

107.01, 107.02

split

110

110.01, 110.02

split

114

114.01, 114.02

split

New Seattle Portion

260.01

reallocate

112

Seattle Portions of 112; four blocks now outside Seattle

reallocate

Additional changes in geography are:

  • Various tract boundaries - tract boundaries may have been adjusted to match physical features
  • Census block identifiers - blocks have been renumbered and will not match the block designations from 2000
  • Census block groups - groups may change significantly and should be carefully compared with 2000

1990 to 2000 Geographic Comparability

There were a number of changes in the census geography in the City of Seattle for the 2000 Census. The following table identifies the major geographic changes at the census tract level:

1990 Tract

2000 Tract

Type of Change

General Area

4

4.01, 4.02

split

Bitter Lake

80

80.01, 80.02

split

Belltown

97

97.01, 97.02

split

Alki/West Seattle

111

111.01, 111.02

split

Rainier Avenue S/South Rainier Valley

23.98, 40.98

40

merge

View Ridge/Magnuson Park

25, 37

25

merge

Wedgwood/Ravenna

55, 57

57

merge

Discovery Park/Magnolia

67.98

67

redesignate

Westlake/Queen Anne

68.98

68

redesignate

Upper Queen Anne

Seattle Portions of 263

109, 117

reallocate

Boeing Field/KC Int. Airport &
MLK Jr. Way S/Boeing Access Road

Additional changes in geography are:

  • Various tract boundaries - tract boundaries may have been adjusted to match physical features; some significant change around shoreline areas
  • Census block identifiers - blocks have been renumbered and are now four digits, with the leading digit representing the block group
  • Census block groups - groups may change significantly and should be carefully compared with 1990

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