Missing place-level data for some states


I’m trying to download some basic time series tables for PLACE over time. Unfortunately, it seems that for some states, some actual PLACE’s don’t appear in the data, and I can’t seem to figure out why.

As one example, none of the time series tables for total population (AV0) from the 1980, 1990, 2000, or 2010 censuses is available for Wilkins Township, PA (FIPS: 4200385184), despite the fact that this PLACE appears to have existed during all of those years:

I expected that basic PLACE-level data like population would be available from the decennial censuses for all PLACE’s in the US, even small ones. Am I wrong about that?

It seems this problem is confined to some states (like PA) but not others. Is there a reason for that?

I am less experienced with NHGIS than other IPUMS products. Am I doing the download wrong? Am I misunderstanding something?

Thank you,

Hi Mitch,

In order to find data for Wilkins township, you will need to download data for County Subdivisions as opposed to Places. Townships in Pennsylvania (along with the other 29 states - see page 8-4 for a map where county subdivisions serve as governmental units) are considered County Subdivisions by the Census Bureau. Even though it technically has a governmental function similar to that of an incorporated place, it isn’t technically considered a place by the Census Bureau.

In order to collect data for place-like entities in the entire United States, you will need to combine data on County Subdivisions (for states where they are legal, administrative entities) and Places (for states where county subdivisions don’t exist).