TIGER Data Download

Download directions:

Connect to http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger-line.html.  Select the tab for the year you want; generally the most recent will be best.   

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, you consider if you can use the previous year's data, since typically there are not many changes.

Change layer type to "Features", "All lines" for roads, streams, and other features.  This will have "edges" in the file name.  See the graphic to the right.

Other useful options here include


  • Counties (and equivalents)
  • Zip code tabulation areas
Pick state.  For some data sets, you might have the choice of data for both the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Some data sets might be national.
Pick county.  Data is organized by county. Some data sets might cover the entire state.

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.

Index TIGER line data  

TIGER overview

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.

Last revision 11/15/2016