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Geolytics--Census Information in a New Package: 1980 Census

Geolytics provides repackaged census data from the 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses. Data extraction is by menu choices. Creates thematic choropleth maps as images, reports in dbase (or text) format. Boundaries and data can be exported as shapefiles.

1980 Census


GeoLytics has created CensusCD 1980, a single CD-ROM with detailed 1980 population statistics, housing data, and geographic boundaries combined with software for creating reports and displaying data as colorful thematic maps.

Complete 1980 Census data, both the 100% count (STF-1) and long form (STF-3) data, down to the block group level in a single source. CensusCD 1980 gives you over 1,500 demographic variables for every Block Group, Tract, Place, Minor Civil Division (MCD), County, State, Division, and Region as well as for the Nation as a whole. Covers 1980 population and housing attributes with data on age, race, ancestry, gender, poverty, income, education, commuting, employment, rent, home ownership, housing value, size of housing, heating systems, etc. Users can select one or several data items in customized reports or choose pre-formatted single topic reports with pre-selected data fields. All data can be exported (see below).

1980 Census Boundaries

CensusCD 1980 includes land and water boundaries for the entire country from the block group level up. Boundaries for 1980 are provided for all Block Groups, Tracts, Places, Minor Civil Divisions (MCD), Counties, States, Divisions, and Regions as there were defined by the Census. GeoLytics built up this boundary coverage from the most detailed level of census geography, the census block. The 1990 Census was the first census in which every part of the country was assigned to a census block with its features defined geographically. GeoLytics created a detailed set of 1980 boundaries by using the relationship of what 1980 tracts these 1990 block assignments were within, as determined by the Census Bureau. This provides an extremely detailed boundary set with a solid historical basis. The CD integrates boundary selection with its thematic mapping tool so users never have to think about the boundaries when creating a map and viewing data. No desktop mapping or GIS experience is needed to use this product. Boundaries can be exported in popular GIS formats.

Data Extraction


Thematic Mapping

Users can create customized geographic data selections. The Map Viewer has tools for zooming in and out of the map display, hiding water boundaries, showing labels, and allows some customization of themes, colors, and ranges. Shows data information alongside of map display for quick reference or to change theme display on the fly.

Export Capabilities

CensusCD 1980 exports data for use with other software such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, statistical, desktop mapping, and GIS packages. Data reports can be created as .DBF or ASCII (comma or tab delimited, with or without headers) files and map boundaries can be exported in popular GIS formats (ArcView GIS's Shapefile or MapInfo's MID/MIF) with the data attributes already linked.


Custom Geographic Selection

CensusCD 1980 makes it easy to select specific geographic areas of interest. Users can include any areas in a geographic level within a single report such as selecting specific tracts or counties in different states within the same report. CensusCD 1980 lets you customize results. If you need information on tracts for a county in Maine and one in California and another in New York, you can have them all in one report. More importantly the program will automatically break down one or more larger areas into component units.

Data Extraction

In the 1980 CD, the basic process is as follows:

  • File/New Request -- Give your file a name.
  • Area -- Choose the geographic level.
  • Subarea -- Choose a subarea, or choose the same area level again to confirm choice.
  • Counts -- Select STF1A, STF3A, or both.
  • Run -- Choose a format (dbase or ASCII is generally what you want).


1980 Long Form in 2000 Boundaries

CensusCD 1980 in 2000 Boundaries allows users to access US Census data from 1980 and easily compare it with the 2000 Census data. It is the first and only source of Census data from 1980 that is expressed at all of the 2000 Long Form geographies. The CensusCD 1980 in 2000 Boundaries contains both the 1980 Long Form (STF-3) and Short Form (STF-1) datasets. It includes detailed demographic data about topics such as population, household structure, income, poverty, education level, employment, housing costs, immigration, and other variables. The 1980 in 2000 Boundaries is an invaluable resource for policy makers, community organizations, and researchers who want to analyze the changes that have occurred in the U.S. from 1980 to 2000. Why normalize 1980 data to 2000 geographies?

Additionally we have made the 1980 data more accessible than in the straight CensusCD 1980 – because we have normalized the data to the 2000 boundaries it means that the entire country can now be viewed at the Block Group, Tract and MCD level. In the official 1980 census only urban areas had tracts and block groups. We have also added MSA, CMSA, and PMSA geographies, whose concepts were being formed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s but whose geographic boundaries were not yet assigned in the 1980 census.



Why Normalize 1980 Data to 2000 Geographic Boundaries?
Geographic boundaries change from census to census which means if you want to look at the changes in the data from 1980 – 1990 – 2000 then you need to deal not only with the demographic changes but also the geographic ones. By and large, county boundaries are stable over time but tracts and block groups regularly change from one census to the next.
In 1980 there is the additional issue of un-tracted areas that needs to be dealt with. The U.S. Census Bureau only tracted those areas that were considered "urban" or part of a metropolitan area. Below is a map of the entire U.S. with the 1980 tracted areas shown. (Map created by GeoLytics’ CensusCD 1980)


The definition of "metropolitan" has also changed in the past 20+ years. Areas that we now see as the suburbs of large cities were still farming communities in 1980. For example, when we look at the current definition of the Fort Wayne MSA (comprised of Adams, Allen, De Kalb, Huntington, Wells, and Whitley counties) one of the counties was not tracted (Whitley) and another (Huntington) was only partially tracted in 1980.

This means that if we want to see how the current Fort Wayne, IN metropolitan area has changed, we are missing information for these tracts.

CensusCD 1980 in 2000 Boundaries fixes this problem – we have normalized the data to the 2000 tracts – thus the entire country is tracted. Because we have taken the MCD’s and counties and normalized those areas that weren’t already tracted to the tract and block group, it means that we can now look at the 1980 data at the tract level for the entire country.


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