TIGER Data Download


  • Main TIGER download page: Connect to https://www.census.gov/geographies/mapping-files/time-series/geo/tiger-line-file.html.  Select the tab for the year you want; generally the most recent will be best.   
  • At the bottom of the page, under TIGER/Line Shapefiles for the year, Pick the web interface.  When the data is first released, sometimes only the FTP interface is available.  It can be a little harder to use, so consider if you can use the previous year's data, since typically there are not many changes.
  • The year should be selected already, but you can change it.
  • Change layer type to "Features", "All lines" for roads, streams, and other features.  This will have "edges" in the file name. 
  • Pick submit.
  • Pick state.
  • Pick county
  • Pick download
  • Save the county file; the EDGES files  range in size from a few hundred kilobytes to about 15 MB, depending on the size of the county and the density of features.
  • Names consist of:
    • tl for "Tiger Line"
    • The year
    • A five digit county FIPS code ; the first two numbers are the state, and the last three the county.  Both states and county codes are in alphabetical order.
  • Create a state directory under "c:\mapdata\tiger-shapes" for the state, using the correct two letter abbreviation.
  • Uncompress.  This is a shapefile, which actually consists of multiple files, which must be kep together.
  • Index TIGER line data (optional, but can automatically load the TIGER on a map without your having to use the FIPS codes.


Other useful data here includes:

  • Block, Block Groups, and Census Tracts. The polygons allow you to Join economic and demographic data.
  • Counties (and equivalents)
  • Zip code tabulation areas
  • SF1 Demographic profile:  These national level shapefiles and geodatabases join the geometry and selected attributes from the 2010 Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles and the 2010 Census Summary File 1 Demographic Profile (DP1) for the United States and Puerto Rico.  They contain data items such as total population, total housing units, median age, population 16 years and over, population 65 years and over, race, relationship, average household size, and many others.  Some of the files are huge.

TIGER overview

Last revision 10/21/2019