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The Bureau of the Census defines a place as a concentration of population; 
a place may or may not have legally prescribed limits, powers, or functions.
This concentration of population must have a name, be locally recognized, 
and not be part of any other place. 

A place either is legally incorporated under the laws of its respective State, 
or a statistical equivalent that the Census Bureau treats as a census desig-
nated place (CDP). Each State enacts laws and regulations for establishing
incorporated places. The Census Bureau designates criteria of total popula-
tion size, population density, and geographic configuration for delineating
CDPs. Not everyone resides in a place; in 1990, approximately 66 million
people (26 percent) in the United States lived outside of any place, either in
small settlements, in the open countryside, or in the densely settled fringe 
of large cities in areas that were built-up, but not identifiable as places. 

The greater number of places reported in the decennial censuses (19,289 
out of a total of 23,435 in 1990) are incorporated. Most of these incorpo-
rated places have active governments; that is, they have either elected or
appointed officials, usually raise revenue, and perform general-purpose 
local government functions. Incorporated places that have 

inactive

gov-

ernments generally do not have officials or provide governmental services,
but, like active places, they do have legally established corporate limits, 
and may choose to reactivate at any time. The Census Bureau includes, 
in the decennial census, all active incorporated places and inactive incor-
porated places for which it has certified corporate limits as of January 1 
of the census year (the date used to tabulate the census results).

The Census Bureau recognized 4,146 CDPs for the 1990 decennial census. 
These entities, though containing nearly 30 million people, have no sepa-
rate governments, although most of their residents receive governmental
services from county, minor civil division (MCD), special regional or near-
by municipal governments. CDPs usually physically resemble incorporated

Places   9-1

Places

Chapter 9

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9-2   Places

places in that they contain a residential nucleus, have a closely spaced street
pattern and frequently have commercial or other urban types of land use.
The Census Bureau relies on the assistance of local census statistical areas
committees (CSACs), various State authorities, and other organizations to
identify potential CDPs and update existing ones. This chapter contains
separate discussions of incorporated places and census designated places.

Incorporated Places

Characteristics of Incorporated Places

Incorporated places are established under the authorization of the govern-
ments in each of the 50 States. Requirements for incorporation vary widely
among the States; some States have few specific criteria, while others have
established population thresholds and occasionally other conditions (for
example, minimum land area, population density, and distance from other
existing incorporated places) that must be met for incorporation (see Table
9-1). The Census Bureau recognizes incorporated places in all States except
Hawaii; for Hawaii, by agreement with the Office of the Governor, the Cen-
sus Bureau recognizes all places as CDPs rather than as incorporated places.
Puerto Rico and several of the Outlying Areas under United States jurisdiction
(Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau) also have no incorporated
places (for details, see Chapter 7, “Puerto Rico and the Outlying Areas”).

Different States recognize a variety of entities as incorporated places. Usu-
ally, the designations city, town, village, and borough are most frequent; how-
ever, one or more places in Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, and Tennessee have
place-type governments (usually consolidated ones) that do not fit any of
these designations. New Jersey is the only State that has all four kinds of incor-
porated places. Only two other States (Connecticut and Pennsylvania) include
boroughs as incorporated places, 11 States have only cities, and the remain-
der of the States have various combinations of city, town, and village (see
Table 9-1).

The terms 

town

 and 

borough

 do not always refer to places. In the six New

England States, and in New York and Wisconsin, the term 

town

 refers to an

MCD rather than a place. The MCDs in these States, while often functioning

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Places   9-3

with all the powers of city governments, usually contain considerable rural
area; other units of government perform the incorporated place function.
In Alaska, the term 

borough

 refers to territory governed as a county rather

than as a place; in New York, the Census Bureau treats the five boroughs
that comprise New York city as MCDs.

Table 9-1.  

State Requirements for Incorporated Places

Alabama

City

Minimum population requirement of 2,000.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 300; territory located in
Jefferson County, or within 3 miles of an incorporated area,
requires a population 

 1,000 to incorporate; territory in

Jefferson County and within 3 miles of an incorporated area
requires 

 10,000 people to incorporate.

Alaska

City

No minimum population requirement, but approval of Alaska
Department of Community Affairs is required.

Arizona

City

Minimum population requirement of 1,500.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Arkansas

City

Minimum population requirement of 500.

Town

Must have 

 20 qualified voters to incorporate.

California

City

Minimum of 500 registered voters to incorporate.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Colorado

City

Minimum population requirement of 2,000.

Town

Petition must be signed by 

 40 registered voters in counties

with < 25,000 people, and 

 150 registered voters in counties

with a population 

 25,000. Population density must be 

 50

people per square mile.

Connecticut

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

Borough

Same requirements as for a city.

Delaware

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement, except for home-
rule cities, which require a minimum of 1,000 inhabitants.

Town

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

Village

Same requirements as for a town.

District of Columbia

City

No minimum population requirement; has a single incorpo-
rated place covering its entire area.

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9-4   Places

Table 9-1.  (cont.)

Florida

City

In counties with < 50,000 residents, at least 1,500 residents are
required for incorporation; in other counties, at least 5,000 res-
idents are required. Population density must be 

 1.5 people

per acre, except under extenuating circumstances.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Village

Same requirements as for a city.

Georgia

City

Total population must 

 200, and population density must be

 200 people per square mile.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Hawaii

None

Hawaii has no incorporated places, only CDPs; the Census of
Governments counts the combined city and county of Hono-
lulu as a municipality; other censuses recognize the Honolulu
judicial district as a separate place within the county.

Idaho

City

A minimum of 125 qualified voters to incorporate.

Illinois

City

Minimum population requirement of 2,500; if located in Cook
County, may incorporate with a minimum of 1,200 residents
if the area consists of less than 4 square miles and contains all
the registered voters of a township not already within the
corporate limits of a municipality.

Town

No minimum population requirement

Village

If counties with a population 

 150,000, a minimum of 2,500

residents are required to incorporate; a minimum of 200 resi-
dents are required in other counties.

Indiana

City

If a town has a minimum of 2,000 inhabitants, it may hold a
referendum on conversion to city status.

Town

A petition signed by > 50 landowners is needed to incorporate.

Iowa

City

No minimum population requirement, but approval of the
State City Development Board is required.

Kansas

City

A population 

 300, or territory containing 

 300 platted lots,

each served by water and sewer lines owned by a non-profit
corporation, and a petition signed by at least 50 registered
voters are required for incorporation; there are no minimum
population requirements if the territory has been designated a
national landmark by the U.S. Congress.

Kentucky

City

Minimum population requirement of 300.

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Places   9-5

Table 9-1.  (cont.)

Louisiana

City

Minimum population requirement of 5,000.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 1,000.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 300.

Maine

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there is
no minimum population requirement.

Maryland

City

Minimum population requirement of 300.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Village

Same requirements as for a city.

Massachusetts

City

Minimum population requirement of 12,000.

Michigan

City

Minimum population requirement of 750, except home-rule
cities, which require a minimum population of 2,000 and a
population density 

 500 people per square mile.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 250 and a minimum area
of 3/4 square mile, unless situated in the upper peninsula.

Minnesota

City

No minimum population requirement, but approval of the
Minnesota Municipal Board is necessary.

Mississippi

1

City

Minimum population requirement of 2,000.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 300.

Village

Under current Mississippi law, new villages may no longer
be incorporated. Those that incorporated before this law
was enacted needed a population > 100 and < 300 to main-
tain their incorporated status (villages that fall below a pop-
ulation of 100 are decertified by the State, reverting to
unincorporated status).

Missouri

City

Minimum population requirement of 500.

Town

No minimum population requirement.

Village

No minimum population requirement; a village, once incor-
porated, may choose to become a city if it has a population

 200.

Montana

City

Minimum population requirement of 1,000.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 300, and a population
density 

 500 people per square mile, unless the community

was a town site owned and built by the U.S. Government
prior to April 3, 1981.

Nebraska

City

Minimum population requirement of 800.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 100.

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9-6   Places

Table 9-1.  (cont.)

Nevada

City

Minimum requirement of 250 voters; minimum population
density requirement of 4 people per acre if the city is with-
in 7 miles of a county seat, or within 7 miles of another city
at least equal to the density of the proposed city; otherwise,
there are no density requirements. These requirements do
not apply to special charter cities.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

New Hampshire

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

New Jersey

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Village

Same requirements as for a city.

Borough

Same requirements as for a city.

New Mexico

City

Minimum population requirement of 150, and the population
density must be at least one person per acre, except in Hidal-
go and Sierra counties where the density must be 1 person
per 4 acres.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Village

Same requirements as for a city.

New York

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 500 and must have a
population density of 

 100 people per square mile.

North Carolina

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

Town

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there is
no minimum population requirement.

Village

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there
is no minimum population requirement.

North Dakota

City

No minimum population requirement; the total territory of a
city may not exceed 4 square miles and the population density
must be 

 100 people per square mile.

Ohio

City

Minimum population requirement of 25,000 for new cities; ex-
isting cities have a minimum population requirement of 5,000.
Cities must be at least 4 square miles in area, have a minimum
population density of 1,000 people per square mile, and an
assessed property valuation of $2,500 per capita.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 1,600, a minimum popu-
lation density requirement of 800 people per square mile, and
an assessed property valuation of at least $3,500 per capita.

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Places   9-7

Table 9-1.  (cont.)

Oklahoma

City

Minimum population requirement of 1,000.

Town

Petition signed by 

 25 registered voters needed to incorporate.

Oregon

City

Minimum population requirement of 150.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Pennsylvania

City

Minimum population requirement of 10,000.

Town

No minimum population requirement.

Borough

No minimum population requirement.

Rhode Island

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there is
no minimum population requirement.

South Carolina

City

No minimum population requirement; a minimum density of
300 people per square mile is required, except for (1) areas
bordering on or being within 2 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, and
(2) areas on all sea islands bounded on at least one side by the
Atlantic; both require a minimum of 150 dwelling units, at least
1 dwelling unit per 3 acres, and 50 resident voters.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

South Dakota

City

Minimum requirement of 100 people or 30 registered voters;
historical and educational municipalities require 1 resident
to incorporate.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Tennessee

City

Minimum population requirement of 500, except cities under
the manager-council form of government, which require a
population of 

 5,000 to incorporate.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Texas

2

City

Minimum population requirement of 600 if organized under
1875 legislation, or 201 if organized under 1909 legislation.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

Village

Minimum population requirement of 201.

Utah

City

Minimum population requirement of 800.

Town

Population requirement 

 100 and 

 800.

Vermont

City

Incorporation is by special act of the State legislature; there is
no minimum population requirement.

Village

Must contain 30 or more houses.

Virginia

City

Minimum population requirement of 5,000.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 1,000.

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9-8   Places

Table 9-1.  (cont.)

Washington

City

Minimum population requirement of 1,500; territory within
5 air miles of a city whose population is >15,000 requires
a minimum population of 3,000 to incorporate.

Town

Minimum population requirement of 300; territory within
5 air miles of a city whose population is >15,000 requires
a minimum population of 3,000 to incorporate.

West Virginia

City

Minimum population requirement of 2,001.

Town

Towns of 1 square mile or less require 100 residents to
incorporate; otherwise at least 500 residents are required.

Village

Same requirements as for towns.

Wisconsin

City

Minimum requirements for isolated cities are a population
of 1,000, an area 

 1 square mile, and a population density

of 

 500 people per square mile; metropolitan cities are

those that are situated in a county containing two cities
with an aggregate population 

 25,000; metropolitan cities

require a population of 

 5,000, an area of 

 3 square miles,

and a population density of 

 750 people per square mile.

Village

Minimum population requirement for isolated villages is
150; metropolitan villages are those that are situated in a
county containing two cities with an aggregate population
of 

 25,000; metropolitan villages require a population

of 

 2,500, an area of 

 2 square miles, and a density of

 500 people per square mile.

Wyoming

City

Minimum population of 500 within an area of 3 square miles
or less is required to incorporate.

Town

Same requirements as for a city.

1 Cities, towns, and villages may be incorporated, regardless of population, in an area not less than 1 square

mile wherein there is in existence or under construction not less than 1 mile of hard surface streets, with
a total of not less than 6 streets, and there exists, or is under construction, a public utilities system that 
includes a waterworks or sewerage system, or both.

2 Cities, towns, and villages with a population below 2,000 may not have an area over 2 square miles. A mu-

nicipality whose population is between 2,000 and 4,999 may not have an area greater than 4 square miles, 
and those whose population is between 5,000 and 9,999 may not have an area in excess of 9 square 
miles. Home-rule municipalities require a population of at least 5,000.

Note: The information in this table is based on research of State statutes by the Governments Division of
the Census Bureau and is current through 1990. Some of this information may be superseded by subse-
quent legislative acts.

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Places   9-9

Relationships of Incorporated Places to Other Geographic Entities

Incorporated places have legally prescribed relationships with govern-
mental entities such as States, counties, and MCDs. Incorporated places
have geographic relationships with nongovernmental statistical entities
such as census tracts, block numbering areas (BNAs), block groups and
census blocks, census county divisions (CCDs), and urbanized areas (UAs).
The geographic hierarchy shows the interrelationships of these entities
to places (see Figures 2-1 and 2-2 in Chapter 2, “Geographic Overview”).

States and counties

  Because incorporated places are chartered by States,

no place may extend into more than one State. Thus, cities of the same name
that might appear to be one are each distinct geographic entities. Examples
include Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas; Texarkana, Arkansas,
and Texarkana, Texas; and Bristol, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee.

In most States, multi-county places are common; however in the New Eng-
land States and the States of California, Montana, Nevada, and New Jersey,
incorporated places do not cross county lines. In Virginia, the 41 cities
are independent of any county, and the Census Bureau treats them as the
statistical equivalents of counties; also, there is one independent city each
in Maryland (Baltimore), Missouri (St. Louis), and Nevada (Carson City).

County subdivisions

  Incorporated places have varying relationships with

county subdivisions in their respective States. In 21 States, the Census
Bureau, in cooperation with State officials and the census statistical areas
committees, has designated 

census county divisions

 

(CCDs)

. These have

no governmental or administrative functions, and incorporated places
in these States appear as 

dependent

 within the CCDs; that is, in statistical

tables, the data for the places also are included in the totals for the CCDs,
and the place names appear indented under the CCD names. Places may
be located in more than one CCD.

In the remaining States, the county subdivisions are MCDs. Some of the
MCDs have strong governments (in some States, they perform functions

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9-10   Places

identical or similar to those of incorporated places). Others have govern-
ments performing few if any functions, or no governments whatsoever, as
is the case with unorganized territories, the election districts of Maryland,
the magisterial districts of Virginia, and similar units. All incorporated places
within a State may be independent of any MCD (as in Wisconsin), dependent
within an MCD (as in Mississippi), or there may be a mixture of independent
and dependent incorporated places (for example, in Vermont, villages are
dependent within MCDs, while cities are independent of any MCD). Depen-
dent places frequently are located in more than one MCD.

The places that are independent of any county subdivision stand alone in
the Census Bureau’s statistical presentations; that is, they appear in the same
alphabetical format within counties as the MCDs, and their statistical infor-
mation is not included in that of another entity except the county. Although
they are not shown as part of any MCD, the Census Bureau assigns these
places MCD geographic identification codes so that there is complete county
subdivision coverage for the entire United States. (For details, see the “Place
Codes” section at the end of this chapter.)

There are complex place/MCD relationships in several States. For example,
in Ohio, places that are in more than one county may be independent of
any MCD in one county, yet be dependent within an MCD in another county.
In some States, there are some places that are coextensive with one or more
MCDs. When these places annex or detach territory, the MCD boundary
automatically changes with the place boundary, adding area from or losing
area to, surrounding MCDs. (For further information on the geographic rela-
tionships between places, MCDs, and CCDs, refer to Chapter 8, “County
Subdivisions,” specifically Table 8-4, which describes the relationship of
places to county subdivisions in each State.)

Relationships to other geographic entities

  Census Bureau criteria that estab-

lish the relationships of incorporated places to the statistical entities gen-
erally do not vary among the States. For the 1990 census, places consisted
of whole census blocks. When a place boundary split a previously existing
census block, the split block number was assigned suffixes, with each

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Places   9-11

suffixed part representing a new block (see Chapter 11, “Census Blocks
and Block Groups”). The boundaries of census tracts, BNAs, and block
groups generally do not follow incorporated place boundaries because place
boundaries are subject to frequent change, whereas census tracts and BNAs
are designed to be essentially stable units for intercensal data comparisons
(see Chapter 10, “Census Tracts and Block Numbering Areas”). An excep-
tion is the use of incorporated place boundaries as census tract, BNA, and
block group boundaries in States of the Northeast; another exception occurs
where there are conjoint (shared) boundaries between two incorporated
places. Urbanized areas include whole CDPs, and generally include whole
incorporated places except in the case of extended cities (see the “Extended
Cities” section in this chapter).

Places and the Urban and Rural Classifications

At one time, places were the only geographic units the Census Bureau used
for determining the urban and rural populations and areas of the United
States. Before 1950, the Census Bureau classified incorporated places having
2,500 or more residents as urban; it classified all smaller incorporated places,
together with nonplace territory, as rural. In addition to incorporated places,
the Census Bureau designated certain densely settled MCDs as 

urban places

.

For 1950, the Census Bureau introduced urbanized areas (UAs) to better
define large agglomerations of population (see Chapter 12, “The Urban and
Rural Classifications”). It also introduced census designated places (CDPs),
then known as 

unincorporated places.  

These two measures provided a bet-

ter classification of densely developed area outside of incorporated places.

Large-area incorporated places

  Incorporated places vary greatly in popu-

lation, in physical extent, in the stability of their boundaries, and in their
usefulness as a measure of the urban population of an area. The largest
incorporated place in the Nation has more than seven million inhabitants,
the smallest, fewer than ten. The largest incorporated place, in areal mea-
sure, has more than 2,800 square miles; the smallest, a few acres. (Table 9-2
lists the places that encompass more than 100 square miles of land.)

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9-12   Places

Table 9-2.  

Places of More Than 100 Square Miles on January 1, 1990

Place Name

State

Land Area (sq. mi.)

Sitka

AK

2,881.49

Juneau

AK

2,593.57

Anchorage

AK

1,697.65

Jacksonville (consolidated city)

FL

773.85

Anaconda-Deer Lodge

1

MT

736.94

Butte-Silver Bow (consolidated city)

MT

718.33

Oklahoma City

OK

608.16

Houston

TX

539.88

Nashville

 

(consolidated city)

2

TN

502.26

Los Angeles

CA

469.34

Skagway

AK

454.68

Phoenix

AZ

419.91

Suffolk

VA

400.08

Indianapolis (consolidated city)

IN

366.81

Dallas

TX

342.41

Chesapeake

VA

340.68

San Antonio

TX

333.04

San Diego

CA

324.01

Kansas City

MO

311.54

New York

NY

308.95

Lexington-Fayette

KY

284.52

Fort Worth

TX

281.08

Memphis

TN

256.05

Virginia Beach

VA

248.33

El Paso

TX

245.36

Chicago

IL

227.23

Valdez

AK

218.82

Austin

TX

217.78

Columbus  (consolidated city)

GA

216.31

Columbus

O H

190.93

California City

CA

184.60

Scottsdale

AZ

184.37

Tulsa

OK

183.52

Colorado Springs

CO

183.19

Hibbing

MN

181.68

New Orleans

LA

180.65

Norman

OK

177.03

Charlotte

NC

174.26

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Places   9-13

Table 9-2.  (cont.)

Place Name

State

Land Area (sq. mi.)

San Jose

CA

171.26

Huntsville

AL

164.40

Tucson

AZ

156.29

Denver

CO

153.28

Birmingham

AL

148.49

Carson City

NV

143.55

Sierra Vista

AZ

142.37

Detroit

MI

138.72

Philadelphia

PA

135.13

Montgomery

AL

134.98

Corpus Christi

TX

134.97

Aurora

CO

132.53

Albuquerque

NM

132.20

Atlanta

GA

131.78

Lynchburg, Moore County

TN

129.17

Portland

OR

124.66

Chattanooga

TN

118.43

Mobile

AL

118.03

Columbia

SC

117.14

Wichita

KS

115.14

Goodyear

AZ

115.04

Salt Lake City

UT

109.02

Jackson

MS

109.01

Tampa

FL

108.68

Mesa

AZ

108.59

Kansas City

KS

107.79

Babbitt

MN

105.66

Cape Coral

FL

105.12

Unalaska

AK

104.27

Lubbock

TX

104.11

Abilene

TX

103.09

Little Rock

AR

102.86

Omaha

NE

100.65

Official name is Anaconda-Deer Lodge County.

2 

Official name is Nashville-Davidson.

Note: Multiply square miles by 2.59 to convert to square kilometers.

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9-14   Places

There are incorporated places, particularly in the Northeast that have not had
a boundary change this century; there are a few places in Alabama and Cali-
fornia that have, in recent years, had boundary changes virtually every month.

There is only a limited relationship between place size and place popula-
tion, and the relationship seems to vary by region. The most densely set-
tled places generally are the older cities in the Northeast region, cities that
underwent early development and tend to have relatively fixed boundaries.
In the Northeastern States, the MCDs have strong governments that often
have all the powers associated with incorporated places; as a consequence,
annexation for the purpose of providing municipal services is unnecessary,
and in some States is difficult, if not impossible. In some Midwestern and
Southern States, boundary change laws are more permissive, and aggres-
sive or widespread annexations often result in lower population densities
for places.

Extended cities

  Recognizing the effects of city/county consolidations and

unrestricted annexation practices in some States, the Census Bureau devel-
oped the 

extended

 

city

 concept for the 1970 census. This concept modified

the urban and rural classifications by defining, within UAs, certain sparsely
settled portions of large-area incorporated places as rural. In 1980, after iden-
tifying extended cities in UAs, there still were nine sparsely settled incorpo-
rated places outside UAs that contained almost 7,700 square miles of territory,
an area larger than the State of New Jersey. This distorted the national percen-
tage of urban area by nearly 10 percent. To correct this situation for 1990, the
Census Bureau modified the extended city criteria to include non-UA incor-
porated places. (For further information on extended cities, both inside and
outside of UAs,

 

see Chapter 12.)

Changes in the Boundaries and Status of Incorporated Places

Incorporated place boundaries are subject to change; in some States, many
do so frequently. The instruments of change are municipal annexation and
detachment, merger or consolidation, and incorporation and disincorpo-
ration. Beginning in 1970, the Census Bureau recognized boundaries legally
in effect on January 1 of the census year, rather than April 1 (census day)

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Places   9-15

to tabulate the results of its decennial censuses. This enabled the Census
Bureau to avoid last-minute updates and revisions of boundaries and to
put its efforts into field enumeration, processing of results, and prepara-
tion for data tabulations—all under extremely stringent time constraints.

Annexations and detachments

  Annexation is the legal expansion of corpo-

rate limits. It commonly involves the transfer of territory outside the juris-
diction of any municipal-type government into an incorporated place, but
it also may involve a transfer of land between two or more incorporated
places. In the Northeastern States and parts of the Midwest, annexations
by some incorporated places transfer land between governmental enti-
ties (from the jurisdiction of MCDs to places). Detachment is the reverse
of annexation, whereby an incorporated place relinquishes territory to
another jurisdiction. Detachments occur considerably less frequently than
do annexations.

Annexation practices vary greatly among the States. In some States, incor-
porated places merely file ordinances and immediately take over new
territory; in others, there are annexation elections involving voters of both
the annexing place and the territory proposed for annexation. Still other
States establish a period of time over which the municipal government
bringing the boundary change action must demonstrate that it can supply
or improve upon the governmental services existing in the territory pro-
posed for annexation. In some States, annexation or detachment actions
do not become effective until a specified time after enactment. Differing
State laws, intergovernmental relationships, political power balances, his-
toric settlement patterns, and customary practices resulted in variations
by State in the percentage of incorporated place boundary changes in
the 1980 to 1990 period from zero in most of the New England States to
over 80 percent in California (see Table 9-3).

Mergers

  Mergers represent the combination of two or more governmental

units into one. They usually involve like governments, most often incorpo-
rated places, but occasionally represent the combination of an incorporated

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9-16   Places

Table 9-3.  

Incorporated Places With Boundary Changes, by State, From

1980 to 1990

Boundary Activity

 Places

Percent Change

(annexed) ( detached)

(both)

 (total) (changed)

Alabama

192

4

31

439

227

51.7

Alaska

27

1

0

152

28

18.4

Arizona

57

0

8

86

65

75.6

Arkansas

201

2

2

487

205

42.1

California

278

12

76

456

366

80.3

Colorado

134

0

27

267

161

60.3

Connecticut

1

0

0

31

1

3.2

Delaware

23

0

0

57

23

40.4

District of Columbia

0

0

0

1

0

0.0

Florida

193

2

34

390

229

58.7

Georgia

252

1

21

535

274

51.2

Hawaii

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

Idaho

66

3

15

200

84

42.2

Illinois

524

21

73

   1,279

618

48.3

Indiana

221

1

15

566

237

41.9

Iowa

202

11

10

953

223

23.4

Kansas

209

5

26

627

240

38.3

Kentucky

169

4

14

438

187

42.7

Louisiana

142

2

7

301

151

50.2

Maine

0

0

0

22

0

0.0

Maryland

75

3

2

155

80

51.6

Massachusetts

0

0

0

39

0

0.0

Michigan

184

4

22

534

210

39.3

Minnesota

223

30

35

854

288

33.7

Mississippi

92

1

2

295

95

32.2

Missouri

294

7

15

942

316

33.5

Montana

45

4

9

128

58

45.3

Nebraska

122

11

10

535

143

26.7

Nevada

8

0

2

18

10

55.6

New Hampshire

0

0

0

13

0

0.0

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Places   9-17

Table 9-3.  (cont.)

Boundary Activity

Places

Percent Change

(annexed)  (detached)

(both)

 (total) (changed)

New Jersey

8

3

1

320

12

3.8

New Mexico

56

0

1

98

57

58.2

New York

101

2

4

619

107

17.3

North Carolina

284

0

9

511

293

57.3

North Dakota

68

2

6

366

76

20.8

Ohio

309

8

16

941

333

35.4

Oklahoma

200

16

56

592

272

45.9

Oregon

132

3

7

241

142

58.9

Pennsylvania

11

1

5

1,022

17

1.7

Rhode Island

0

0

0

8

0

0.0

South Carolina

134

1

4

270

139

51.5

South Dakota

65

4

4

310

73

23.5

Tennessee

197

3

15

336

215

64.0

Texas

475

17

133

1,171

625

53.4

Utah

102

2

22

228

126

55.3

Vermont

1

1

0

51

2

3.9

Virginia

42

1

6

229

49

21.4

Washington

183

1

3

266

187

70.3

West Virginia

74

1

1

230

76

33.0

Wisconsin

267

3

30

583

300

51.5

Wyoming

54

0

2

97

56

57.7

U.S. Totals

6,697

198

781

19,289

7,676

39.8

Source: P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File.

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9-18   Places

place and an MCD, such as the 1986 merger of Northampton township,
Ohio, into Cuyahoga Falls city. Typically, the name of the preexisting larg-
est entity is adopted for the one remaining government, but occasionally,
the names of both merging entities are combined to represent the sur-
viving government, or the entity adopts an altogether new name. In an
unusual four-place merger that took place in January 1994, the cities of
Flat River, Elvins, Esther, and the village of Rivermines, Missouri, joined
to form the new place of Park Hills.

Consolidated cities

  Although the term 

consolidation

 sometimes is used

interchangeably with 

merger,

 the Census Bureau generally uses consolida-

tion to describe the creation of a new type of government resulting from
an agreement between a city, its surrounding county, and any other gov-
ernmental units within that county. The term 

consolidation

 is used when

different levels of government are represented by a single entity; this new
type of government has jurisdiction over the entire county or MCD area,
unless some preexisting places are specifically excluded, as is the case
with Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, and Southport, Indiana, which
have no governmental association with Indianapolis, Indiana. The Census
Bureau defines a 

consolidated city 

as one wherein an additional incorpo-

rated place or places continue(s) to exist. In 1990, there were six consoli-
dated cities: Butte-Silver Bow, Montana; Columbus, Georgia; Indianapolis,
Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Milford, Connecticut; and Nashville-David-
son, Tennessee. In 1991, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, became a
consolidated city. All of these consolidated cities represent city-county
consolidations except Milford, Connecticut, which is the consolidation
of a city and an MCD.

For the 1990 census, the Census Bureau reported the population of the
smaller incorporated places that continue to exist within the consolidation
as separate from the principal city, which is described as 

remainder

 in the

data tables. The Census Bureau treats each entity with the remainder desig-
nation as a separate place; the consolidated government is not treated as a
place, but as a separate consolidated city entity in the data presentation.

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Places   9-19

In the 1980 census, the Census Bureau also excluded the other separate
incorporated places that were part of the consolidated city from the pop-
ulation count of the principal city (but did not use the term 

remainder

 in its

title); in 1970, it included them in the principal city’s population count, but
erroneously did not report data for the separately incorporated places that
continued to exist within the consolidated city.

Relatively few city-county consolidations with dependent places have arisen
since 1960, although there are a number of older city-county consolidations
with only a single surviving city; for example, New Orleans, Louisiana; Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania; San Francisco, California; and New York, New York,
where the city consolidated with five counties.

Attributes of incorporated place boundaries

  Corporate limits may have

unique boundary features that are irregular in shape. Some States allow incor-
porated places to annex area that is not contiguous to the existing corporate
limits. Some places annex narrow strips of land that often are unpopulated
(for example, highway rights-of-way); the Census Bureau calls the latter areas

corporate corridors

 and may display them on its map products by using a

special mapping symbol.

The Boundary and Annexation Survey

In order to obtain better intercensal records of place incorporations, dis-
incorporations, mergers, annexations, detachments, and changes affecting
counties, the Census Bureau began an annual Boundary and Annexation
Survey (BAS) in 1972. In most years the Census Bureau mails the BAS to
each county (or equivalent governmental entity, such as the parish in Louis-
iana and the borough in Alaska), plus any incorporated places above a
certain population size (usually 5,000 or more). The BAS is mailed to 

all

incorporated places (and MCDs) in selected years, including the three-year
period immediately before each decennial census. The BAS also provides
a record of changes to place names and corporate status (that is, city, town,
village, borough), an annual update of the universe of incorporated and active

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9-20   Places

places, as well as information on boundary changes. The Census Bureau
then provides all the BAS information to a representative of the State gov-
ernment—the State certifying official—for confirmation and certification.

The Census Bureau’s computerized geographic data base of the entire Nation,
the TIGER data base, stores information about features (such as roads, rivers,
lakes, railroads, and power lines) and boundaries, along with information
about the relationships among them. Since 1988, the Census Bureau has pro-
duced, from its TIGER data base, digital maps for the BAS. All information
obtained through the BAS is then entered into the TIGER data base so that
all subsequent TIGER System products reflect these changes.

Census Designated Places

Census designated places (CDPs) are communities that lack separate govern-
ments but otherwise resemble incorporated places. They are settled popu-
lation centers with a definite residential core, a relatively high population
density, and a degree of local identity. Often a CDP includes commercial,
industrial, or other urban types of land use. Before each decennial census,
CDPs are delineated by State and local agencies, and by tribal officials
according to Census Bureau criteria. The resulting CDP delineations are
then reviewed and approved by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau
has used slightly different definitional criteria for CDPs, depending on their
geographic location; such specialized criteria reflect the uniquely different
living conditions or settlement patterns found in certain areas and the rela-
tive importance of settlement size. Examples are the CDPs inside UAs and
outside of UAs, and the CDPs in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Outlying
Areas, and on American Indian reservations (for details, see the section in
this chapter entitled “Criteria for Delineation of CDPs in the 1990 Census”).
Although only about one-fifth as numerous as incorporated places, CDPs
are important geographic units; they permit the tabulation of population
counts for many localities that otherwise would have no identity within the
Census Bureau’s framework of geographic areas. In 1990, over 29 million
people in the United States resided in CDPs (see Table 9-4).

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Places   9-21

Table 9-4.  

CDPs and Incorporated Places in the U.S., 1950 Through 1990

Number

Population

Percent Population

1950

CDPs

1,430

3,565,496

2.3

Incorporated Places

17,118

96,062,627

63.7

1960

CDPs

1,576

 6,583,649

3.7

Incorporated Places

18,088

115,910,865

64.6

1970

CDPs

2,102

12,816,101

6.3

Incorporated Places

18,666

131,931,660

64.9

1980

CDPs

3,432

24,176,786

11.1

Incorporated Places

19,097

140,273,938

61.9

1990

CDPs

4,146

29,595,737

11.9

Incorporated Places

19,289

152,942,266

61.5

Note: Table 9-4 above reflects the unincorporated place/CDP criteria applied at the time of each decennial 

census. In 1940, there were 3,594 “unincorporated communities,” but no total population was compiled
or published. The 1950 information refers to the coterminous 48 States. From 1960 to 1990, CDP
totals include Alaska and Hawaii; incorporated place totals do not include Hawaii since the Census
Bureau treats all places there as CDPs.

Origin and Evolution of CDPs

At the time of the early decennial censuses, there were sharper distinc-
tions than now exist between city and country, or place and nonplace
populations. The United States was largely agrarian; modern-day utilities
and transportation systems did not exist. Thus, the communities that
did exist tended to be compact, densely settled, easily identifiable, and
of relatively great economic and cultural significance. Nonetheless, early
census-taking procedures tended to be casual—there was no systematic
effort to report the population by place—and many incorporated com-
munities were not identified specifically. Despite an increased awareness
of the need for a more precise accounting of the distribution of the pop-
ulation, a systematic, separate, and detailed reporting of the incorporated

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9-22   Places

place population did not begin until the 1880 census. That census also
marked the first systematic identification and reporting of unincorpo-
rated communities, which appeared in separate tables for each State.

Some unincorporated places first were reported in statistical tables in
the 1850 census, usually appearing under the appropriate MCDs. After
the clarification and expansion of this reporting in 1880, the 1890 decen-
nial census intermingled incorporated and unincorporated places with-
out distinguishing them. The next four decennial censuses did not include
unincorporated communities.

For the 1940 decennial census, the Census Bureau compiled a separate
report of unofficial, unincorporated communities of 500 or more people.
The Census Bureau identified many of the communities in advance with
mapping assistance from the U.S. Public Roads Administration, but also
relied on census enumerators to identify and approximate the boundaries
of additional communities. Many of the unincorporated communities
included in the special 1940 report were not communities in the sense
of being cohesive, locally recognized settlements; rather, they often were
merely residential subdivisions or clusters of housing units.

The Census Bureau officially recognized unincorporated places in the
decennial census of 1950, identifying all potential areas in advance of the
count, including them on census maps, and adding them to its geographic
coding framework. It established a population minimum of 1,000 and
used the symbol (U) to identify them in the decennial census reports of
1950, 1960, and 1970. This designation changed to CDP in the 1980 census.

Many of the residential subdivisions included in the 1940 

Unincorporated

Communities

 report were included in the new 

urban fringe

 delineations

in the 1950 census without separate identification. Unincorporated places
were not identified within UAs until the 1960 census, when the Census
Bureau established a 10,000 person population minimum. The Census
Bureau has modified the population threshold for identifying unincorpo-
rated places within UAs with each subsequent decennial census to the

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Places   9-23

present time; however, the 1,000 population minimum outside of UAs has
been constant, with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and places
within American Indian reservations (see Table 9-5). Beginning with the 1970
census, the Census Bureau recognized as unincorporated places, the concen-
trated residential populations on and around military installations.

Table 9-5.  

Criteria for Qualification of CDPs From 1940 Through 1990

1940

No official recognition of CDPs as places; unincorporated
communities
 of 500 or more inhabitants were tabulated
when separate figures could be compiled.

1950

Outside of UAs, unincorporated places of 1,000 or more
inhabitants qualified as CDPs.

Inside UAs, only incorporated places were recognized.

1960

Outside of UAs, 1,000 or more inhabitants were required
to qualify a place as a CDP.

Inside UAs, unincorporated places of 10,000 or more inhab-
itants were recognized as CDPs. No unincorporated places
in New England UAs could be included in the UA.

1970

Outside of UAs, 1,000 or more inhabitants were required
to qualify a place as a CDP.

Inside UAs, unincorporated places (excluding New England
UAs) of 5,000 or more inhabitants were recognized as CDPs.

1980

Outside of UAs, 1,000 or more inhabitants were required
to qualify a place as a CDP.

Inside UAs, CDPs were recognized if they had 5,000 or
more inhabitants (in larger UAs), or 1,000 or more inhabi-
tants (in smaller UAs). This was the first year the Census
Bureau recognized CDPs inside New England UAs.

1990

Outside of UAs, 1,000 or more inhabitants (250 or more
on American Indian reservations) were required to qualify
a place as a CDP.

Inside UAs, CDPs were recognized if they had 2,500 or more
inhabitants (a few if they had 1,000 to 2,499 inhabitants).

Note: Since before 1950, the minimum unincorporated place/CDP size for Alaska
(outside of UAs) has been 25 or more inhabitants; for Hawaii (both inside and out-
side of UAs) it has been 300 or more.

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9-24   Places

For the 1980 census, the Census Bureau changed the name 

unincorporated

place

 to 

census designated place

 in order to emphasize that these commu-

nities are described and delineated by the Census Bureau (albeit with State
and local input), and do not represent an unabridged list of communities
that lack legal definition. Also, with the advent of the General Revenue Shar-
ing Program in the 1970s, the term 

unincorporated place

 had caused some

confusion locally. This was particularly true in Northeastern and some Mid-
western States where many of the MCDs were incorporated, and where
their officials were displeased by the Census Bureau’s classification of any
portions of their governments as 

unincorporated.

The 1980 census included a 

whole-town CDP

 category, whereby MCDs in

New England, the Middle Atlantic States, Michigan, and Wisconsin were
treated as places (for urban/rural qualification and whole-count purposes)
if 95 percent or more of their population and 80 percent or more of their
land area qualified for inclusion in a UA. The Census Bureau long has grap-
pled with the proper treatment of these strong governmental entities,
particularly in the classification of their populations as urban or rural.
These MCDs also were treated as places in the 1940, 1960, and some earlier
censuses. The Census Bureau dropped the whole-town CDP category for
the 1990 census; CDPs defined within these largely built-up MCDs follow
regular CDP criteria. That is, the entire MCD may be coextensive with a CDP,
or the MCD may contain one or more CDPs. In its 1990 data presentations,
the Census Bureau has included the MCDs in 12 States (the 6 New England
States plus Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and
Wisconsin) in some of the data products that present tabulations for places
of 2,500 or more. The MCDs in these States serve as general purpose local
governments, and they possess legal or governmental powers similar to
those of incorporated places. As a result, data users interested in both kinds
of entities can refer to them more easily (see Table 9-6).

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Places   9-25

Table 9-6.  

Criteria for Qualification of MCDs as Urban Places From 1940

Through 1990

1940

Towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island containing
2,500 or more inhabitants and having densely settled area(s) comprising
50 percent or more of the population qualified as urban under special
rule.
 In other States, MCDs of 10,000 or more inhabitants and with a
density of at least 1,000 people per square mile also qualified as urban
under special rule.

1950

None

1960

Urban towns in New England, and urban townships in New Jersey
and Pennsylvania qualified as urban places if they had no incorpo-
rated places, and either (1) 25,000 or more inhabitants or (2) 2,500
to 24,999 inhabitants and a density of at least 1,500 people per
square mile.

1970

None

1980

Towns in New England, New York, and Wisconsin, and townships
in New Jersey and Pennsylvania qualified as urban places (also called
whole-town CDPs) if they had no incorporated places, 1,000 or
more inhabitants, and if both 90 percent of the population and
80 percent of the land area met the minimum density requirement
for inclusion in a UA.

1990

None

Criteria for Delineation of CDPs in the 1990 Census

The Census Bureau has developed a program whereby local census statistical
areas committees, tribal officials, and State-designated agencies identify and
delineate boundaries for potential CDPs according to criteria developed by
the Census Bureau.

General characteristics 

 In general, a CDP should be a densely settled and

named community or population center that does not have legally defined
municipal boundaries or corporate powers. It may not include any portion
of an incorporated place. A named subdivision or building complex should
not be considered a CDP unless it represents a planned community that
offers a range of community facilities and services.

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9-26   Places

Unlike most incorporated places, CDP boundaries are delineated to follow
visible features (streets, roads, rivers, railroads, and the like) except where
the boundary of the potential CDP is coincident with the boundary of an
adjoining legally recognized entity, such as an incorporated place or MCD.
Because of this requirement, sparsely settled area sometimes is included in
a CDP, or conversely, a small fringe of built-up area is not included in the
CDP. The latter is particularly is true in relatively small CDPs where outly-
ing roads or features that may be used as boundaries are spaced widely.

Ideally, CDPs contain a dense, city-type street pattern and have an overall
population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile. However, the
Census Bureau recognizes that some CDPs may not meet the density cri-
terion because the selection of available boundary features may result in
the CDP including some sparsely settled territory. Another exception to
the density criteria may occur on American Indian reservations, where
communities often have a dispersed settlement pattern. Several mini-
mum population sizes apply to CDPs recognized in the 1990 census, but
there is no maximum limit to the number of people a CDP may contain.

CDPs inside UAs

  The minimum population size for most CDPs located

within UAs is 2,500. However, because preliminary 1990 population
counts were used to qualify CDPs, some CDPs inside UAs have less than
2,500 people. (For details, see Chapter 12, “The Urban and Rural Classifi-
cations.”) This 2,500 population size threshold does not apply to Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, or the Outlying Areas.

CDPs outside of UAs

  The minimum population size for most CDPs located

outside of UAs is 1,000 people; for CDPs on American Indian reservations,
it is 250 people. These sizes do not apply to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico,
or the Outlying Areas.

CDPs in Alaska

  Alaska is by far the most sparsely settled of the States, and

has very few communities with more than 1,000 residents. To account for
the significance of, and allow for tabulation of, data to identify the smaller
communities in Alaska, the minimum population for CDPs outside of UAs

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Places   9-27

is 25 rather than 1,000. Many CDPs correspond to the boundaries estab-
lished for Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs), which repre-
sent the geographic jurisdiction of an Alaska Native village (see Chapter 5,
“American Indian and Alaska Native Areas”). The population size required
in UAs is the same as in the remainder of the United States, but there
were no such CDPs in 1990.

CDPs in Hawaii

  The Census Bureau has always noted that the population

settlements in Hawaii were unincorporated. The published data before 1980,
however, showed the unincorporated communities as cities, towns, or vil-
lages, and treated the places as incorporated. Beginning in 1980, all places
in Hawaii were shown as CDPs. The consolidated City and County of Hono-
lulu dates from 1907, but the Census Bureau, in agreement with local author-
ities (after 1960, with the Office of the Governor) treats the built-up portion
of the city as a CDP (more or less coextensive with the old Honolulu judicial
district) and identifies other CDPs within Honolulu County.

The minimum population for a CDP in Hawaii is 300, regardless of whether
it is inside or outside of a UA. Soon after becoming a State, the Hawaii legis-
lature enacted State Bill 1122 (Act 25 of 1963) for the purpose of establishing
statistical boundaries for its cities and towns. Those entities lack the govern-
mental powers that define incorporated places in the other 49 States, but
Hawaii wanted the Census Bureau to recognize entities it defined as the
equivalent of 

mainland

 incorporated places for statistical purposes. The

Census Bureau corresponded with the Office of the Governor before the
enactment of the legislation, and agreed to the 300 population cutoff.

CDPs in Puerto Rico

  In Puerto Rico, which has no incorporated places, the

Census Bureau defines two kinds of CDPs—zonas urbanas (urban zones)
and comunidades (villages). Zonas urbanas, roughly equivalent to county
seats in the United States, are the seats of government for the municipios,
which are the statistical equivalents of U.S. counties. Comunidades, which
were known as aldeas in the 1980 and earlier censuses, require a minimum

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9-28   Places

of 1,000 people for recognition as CDPs; there is no minimum population
requirement for zonas urbanas.

CDPs in the Outlying Areas

  The population minimum for CDPs is 300 in

the Outlying Areas of Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Palau,
and the Northern Mariana Islands; there are no CDPs in American Samoa
because incorporated villages cover the entire territory and all of the pop-
ulation. (For details, see Chapter 7, “Puerto Rico and the Outlying Areas.”)

CDPs on American Indian reservations

  Before the 1980 census, the Census

Bureau had offered tribal officials the opportunity to delineate CDPs on
Indian reservations. To be recognized in the data tabulations, such CDPs
had to conform to the national minimum population size of 1,000. Also
for 1980, tribal leaders were given the opportunity to identify small geo-
graphic areas within reservation boundaries as 

subreservation areas.

 Data

users found that subreservation areas often were useful for identifying
small settlements of several hundred people. For 1990, the Census Bureau
discontinued the subreservation area program, but gave tribal officials
the opportunity to delineate clusters of population as CDPs. To help this
process, it lowered the minimum population size for CDPs on American
Indian reservations from 1,000 to 250. (For further information, see
Chapter 5, “American Indian and Alaska Native Areas.”)

Qualification and/or Deletion of Census Designated Places

The Census Bureau recognizes CDPs using population counts from the
decennial census. The Census Bureau establishes potential CDPs before the
census; these potential CDPs reflect the proposed CDPs and CDP bound-
aries submitted by program participants. The Census Bureau then tabulates
the population of the census blocks comprising these potential CDPs. If
a potential CDP meets the required minimum population size, it qualifies
as a CDP and the Census Bureau includes it in its data tabulations and pub-
lications. For the 1990 census, the Census Bureau used postcensus local
review counts to identify qualifying CDPs so it could include them in early
decennial census data products, including the Public Law 94-171 data

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Places   9-29

products. A small percentage of CDPs show a final population below the
minimum size threshold because their qualification was based on the pre-
liminary (post-census local review), rather than final counts.

The Census Bureau does not grandfather existing CDPs. CDP program par-
ticipants must identify the boundaries for their proposed CDPs each time
the Census Bureau implements the program. Data users may notice differ-
ences in the universe and areal extent of CDPs from one decennial census
to the next for several reasons. First, all or part of the territory in a previ-
ously recognized CDP may have become part of a new or existing incorpo-
rated place. Second, the census statistical areas committees, State agencies,
or tribal officials that function as program participants may have chosen
not to submit a previously recognized CDP, or may have submitted prev-
iously unrecognized CDPs that qualify as new CDPs. Third, the previously
delineated CDP may no longer meet one of the current criteria for qualifica-
tion because of a change in criteria, or because it no longer has the required
minimum population size. Finally, a previously recognized community may
have been combined, renamed, or fragmented by delineation of new CDPs
in such a way that the remnants of the former entity are no longer identi-
fiable as a community.

Geographic Distribution of CDPs

State and local laws, customs, and practices greatly affect the recognition and
distribution of CDPs nationwide. Several States in the Midwest region have
very few CDPs because almost all population concentrations have incorpo-
rated as places. Maryland, Virginia, California, Florida, New York, and Georgia
are examples of States in which a number of very large suburban population
centers have developed with no legal corporate status. Strong county govern-
ments in those States provide the urban-type services that only incorporated
place governments provide in many other States. In 1990, Iowa had the fewest
CDPs (two), followed by Idaho (three), and Kansas and Nebraska (four each).
California, Florida, and New York have the largest number of CDPs (420, 365,
and 350, respectively). Table 9-7 shows the number of, and population totals
for, CDPs and incorporated places in each State.

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9-30   Places

Table 9-7.  

Number and Population of Places, by State, in 1990

Incorporated Places

  Census Designated Places

   (number)

   (population)

 (number)

 (population)

Alabama

439

2,432,988

34

165,971

Alaska

152

408,338

165

67,696

Arizona

86

2,841,026

93

271,997

Arkansas

487

1,439,864

14

49,877

California

456

23,611,378

420

3,307,677

Colorado

267

2,382,136

42

345,269

Connecticut

31

1,341,489

86

679,314

Delaware

57

193,689

15

78,000

District of Columbia

1

606,900

0

0

Florida

390

6,404,550

365

3,235,065

Georgia

535

2,582,207

64

665,738

Hawaii

0

0

125

1,044,884

Idaho

200

622,296

3

9,230

Illinois

1,279

9,627,226

29

119,071

Indiana

566

3,529,940

24

92,167

Iowa

953

2,123,410

2

4,901

Kansas

627

1,963,658

4

18,167

Kentucky

438

1,754,314

33

240,003

Louisiana

301

2,179,952

90

704,523

Maine

22

357,890

84

257,160

Maryland

155

1,412,144

174

2,428,519

Massachusetts

39

2,794,054

192

1,536,981

Michigan

534

5,453,808

86

847,662

Minnesota

854

3,440,199

9

8,325

Mississippi

295

1,295,616

29

80,466

Missouri

942

3,362,721

19

209,938

Montana

128

443,674

34

64,697

Nebraska

535

1,179,171

4

21,619

Nevada

18

654,796

38

416,809

New Hampshire

13

388,467

47

168,971

New Jersey

320

3,871,495

179

2,085,540

New Mexico

98

972,462

76

202,361

New York

619

11,536,658

350

3,026,714

North Carolina

511

3,025,500

100

353,123

North Dakota

366

449,708

10

24,018

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Places   9-31

Table 9-7.  (cont.)

 Incorporated Places

Census Designated Places

  (number)

   (population)

(number)

 (population)

Ohio

941

7,226,989

111

547,290

Oklahoma

592

2,387,807

6

23,349

Oregon

241

1,760,087

43

307,687

Pennsylvania

1,022

5,856,373

275

1,367,408

Rhode Island

8

534,980

19

192,589

South Carolina

270

1,275,966

72

367,375

South Dakota

310

459,994

24

31,907

Tennessee

336

2,844,151

37

145,086

Texas

1,171

12,978,796

105

551,388

Utah

228

1,319,496

27

282,436

Vermont

51

155,429

18

58,409

Virginia

229

2,630,169

116

1,394,799

Washington

266

2,433,546

160

1,285,674

West Virginia

230

671,046

47

108,060

Wisconsin

583

3,406,644

35

75,282

Wyoming

97

317,069

12

24,545

United States

19,289

152,942,266

4,146

29,595,737

Source: CPH-2 series (U.S. Summary and State reports).

Place Codes

Geographic identification codes (geocodes) are unique identifying numbers
that the Census Bureau assigns to all tabulation entities for computer pro-
cessing. The Census Bureau assigns another set of codes only to functioning
governmental units for processing its Census of Governments. The United
States Geological Survey (USGS) administers the Federal Information Pro-
cessing Standard (FIPS) 55 code system for locational entities, which include
places, MCDs, American Indian reservations, and communities that are not
recognized by the Census Bureau as either incorporated places or CDPs.
This discussion deals only with codes for places recognized by the
Census Bureau.

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9-32   Places

There are three types of codes for places. The first, the census place code,
is a four-digit identifier that reflects the alphabetical order of all census
places (including CDPs) within a State. The Census Bureau initially assigned
these codes in increments of five to permit subsequent insertion of newly
incorporated places or new CDPs. The Census Bureau revises these codes
if it becomes necessary to maintain the alphabetic sequence for new places.
The second, the governmental unit (GU) code, is used mainly in the Census
of Governments and related surveys. This code is a three-digit identifier
that is unique only within county; therefore, it must be used in conjunction
with the remainder of the State, county, and MCD components of the code.
The result is a nine-digit identifier. As the name implies, there are no GU
codes for CDPs.

The USGS assigns the third type of code, the FIPS 55 code, which is a five-
digit code assigned within a State considering the alphabetical sequence of
names for all places, MCDs, and other named communities and locational
entities such as well-known landmarks. There is a special set of class codes
to distinguish between incorporated places, CDPs, MCDs, and the other
classes of named entities. FIPS codes 90000-98999 are used for CCDs and
some nonfunctioning MCDs; the USGS assigns the other numbers based
on the alphabetic sequence of the locational entities within the individual
States. FIPS codes are being adopted as a national standard for Federal
agency data presentation, and will be used exclusively, in lieu of the census
MCD and place codes, before the 2000 census.

The Census Bureau also assigns additional descriptive codes associated
with places. Place size codes identify the population range (for example, a
population of 500 to 999) within which each entity is located. Place descrip-
tion codes identify central cities of metropolitan areas and central places
of UAs. In 1993, the Census Bureau produced the TIGER/GICS™ (Topolog-
ically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing/Geographic Identi-
fication Code Scheme), a machine-readable file that contains the names of
all places along with their census and FIPS 55 (but not GU) identification
codes, and descriptive codes including those that identify place size, place
description, and location within a metropolitan area. Each record also

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Places   9-33

contains information about the land and water area of the place, and an

internal point

 of latitude and longitude displayed in decimal degrees rather

than minutes and seconds. In addition, the 1980 GICS publication showed
whether census blocks existed for the individual areas; this was not neces-
sary for the 1990 census product because by 1990, the Census Bureau had
extended census block coverage to the entire Nation.


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