What census tract geographies used for recent datasets? 2010 or 2020?


It is unclear which datasets use census tract geographies of 2010 versus 2020. I am trying to download datasets for household income for recent years (2015-2022). However, it is unclear whether datasets have been undated to use 2020 census tract geographies. Please clarify or let me know where I can find this information.


The tables in IPUMS NHGIS that provide household income for 2015-2022 come from the American Community Survey (ACS) tables produced by the Census Bureau. On the Census website, you can find out which vintage of geographic areas each ACS data release uses on this page: Geography Boundary by Year. For census tracts, the ACS began using 2020 census tracts with the 2020 ACS data releases, including the 2016-2020 5-year estimates.

Another NHGIS product, geographically standardized time series tables, provide data from multiple census years for 2010 tracts (and 9 other levels of 2010 census areas), but this product is currently limited to “short-form, full-count” data from decennial censuses, which excludes household income data.

NHGIS also provides geographic crosswalks from 2010 block groups to 2020 tracts, and from 2020 block groups to 2010 tracts. With these, you could reallocate ACS block group data from one year to the tracts of a different year for direct comparisons at the tract level. At this time, however, we haven’t yet extended these crosswalks to account for the changes in all tract IDs in Connecticut in 2022 ACS data, due to changes the identified counties in Connecticut in that year. You might be able to use the relationship files on this Census Bureau page to help with bridging to the new county codes.

Also note: if you’d like to standardize data for median household income, see this post for suggestions on how you could use NHGIS crosswalks to help with that.