[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 163 (Friday, August 22, 1997)]
[Pages 44638-44641]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-22332]



Bureau of the Census
[Docket No. 970728183-7183-01]

Census Designated Place (CDP) Program for Census 2000--Final 

AGENCY: Bureau of the Census, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of final program.


SUMMARY: Census designated places (CDPs) are statistical geographic 
entities, defined for each decennial census, consisting of a closely 
settled, locally recognized concentration of population that is 
identified by name. The Census Bureau uses CDPs to tabulate and publish 
data for localities that otherwise would not be identified as places in 
the decennial census data products.
    Although not as numerous as incorporated places, CDPs have been 
important geographic entities since the Census Bureau first introduced 
them for the 1950 census. In 1990, more than 29 million people in the 
United States lived in CDPs. To determine the inventory of CDPs, the 
Census Bureau offers a program to local participants, such as American 
Indian tribal officials and locally identified agencies, whereby they 
can review and update the geographic definition of CDPs defined during 
the previous census and suggest new CDPs according to criteria 
developed and promulgated by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau then 
reviews the resulting CDP delineations for conformance to these 
criteria. The Census Bureau does not take into account nor attempt to 
anticipate any nonstatistical uses that may be made of CDPs, nor will 
the Census Bureau modify the definition of CDPs to meet the 
requirements of any nonstatistical program.
    The Census Bureau is publishing final criteria for the delineation 
of CDPs for Census 2000. These criteria will apply to the 50 states, 
American Indian and Alaska Native areas, Puerto Rico, and all other 
Island Areas in Census 2000 except American Samoa.1 The 
Census Bureau may modify, or, if necessary, reject any CDP that does 
not meet the criteria announced in this notice. The Census Bureau also 
may define CDPs in instances where clear evidence of a place exists, 
but for which local officials did not submit boundaries.

    \1\ There are no CDPs in American Samoa because incorporated 
villages cover its entire territory and population.

    In addition to the criteria, this notice includes a description of 
the changes from the previous criteria and a list of definitions of key 
terms used in the criteria.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The CDP criteria for Census 2000 become effective 
September 22, 1997.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Joel Morrison, Chief, Geography 
Division, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233-7400, telephone 
(301) 457-1132, or e-mail ([email protected]).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The CDP delineation criteria have evolved 
over the decades in response to census practices and the preferences of 
data users. After each decennial census, the Census Bureau, in 
consultation with data users, reviews and revises these criteria. Then, 
before the next decennial census, the Census Bureau offers state, 
tribal, and local officials an opportunity to correct, update, and 
otherwise improve the universe of CDPs.
    In July and August 1995, the Census Bureau issued invitations to 
local groups and agencies to participate in the delineation of 
statistical geographic entities for Census 2000. These included 
regional planning agencies, councils of governments, county planning 
agencies, officials of American Indian tribes, and officials of the 12 
nonprofit Alaska Native Regional Corporations.
    By early 1998, the Census Bureau will provide program participants 
with maps and detailed guidelines for delineating CDPs for Census 2000.

Response To Comments

    The Census Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Program and Request 
for Comments in the Federal Register (61 FR 29524) on Tuesday, June 11, 
1996. That notice solicited comments on the proposed criteria changes 
for delineating CDPs for Census 2000. The Census Bureau received 
comments from eight individuals, including academic geographers; 
representatives of governmental agencies at the Federal, state, and 
local levels; a private consultant; and a representative of a public 
interest group. All comments pertained to the minimum population 
threshold for qualification as a CDP. Specific recommendations for 
minimum thresholds varied from 100 to 500 residents, but all agreed 
that the proposed minimum threshold of 1,000 residents for CDPs located 
outside urbanized areas (UAs) was too high for most rural communities 
to qualify for recognition.
    Upon further analysis, the Census Bureau determined that it could 
no longer conceptually support the maintenance of specific population 
thresholds for CDP qualification and, accordingly, has eliminated 
population as a criterion for qualification. This change will enhance 
the Census Bureau's ability to provide data relating to a wide variety 
of unincorporated places, especially in small rural communities, 
throughout the United States, about which previous censuses are mute.

[[Page 44639]]


    This notice was determined to be not significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation, 
Department of Commerce, certified to the Chief Counsel, Small Business 
Administration, that this notice will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The notice sets forth 
the criteria for the delineation of Census Designated Places (CDPs). 
The criteria will be used to determine geographic boundaries for 
collecting data for Census 2000. The Census Bureau uses CDPs to 
tabulate and publish data for localities that otherwise would not be 
identified as places in the decennial census data products. Thus, 
because the delineation of CDPs is solely for statistical purposes to 
enable the Census Bureau to tabulate and publish data for Census 2000, 
it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities.

Final Program Requirements

A. Criteria for Delineating CDPs for Census 2000

    The Census Bureau announces the following criteria for use in 
determining the areas which will qualify for designation as CDPs for 
Census 2000.
1. General Characteristics
    The purpose of the CDP program is to identify and delineate 
boundaries for closely settled, named, unincorporated communities that 
generally contain a mixture of residential, commercial, and retail 
areas similar to those found in incorporated places of similar sizes. 
Although the Census Bureau realizes that places of all sizes and levels 
of functionality exist throughout the United States, it is not the 
intent of the CDP program to identify apartment complexes and 
residential subdivisions in densely settled areas or small crossroads 
in rural areas. The ideal CDP will differ from an incorporated city, 
town, village, or borough only in regard to legal status and 
recognition within its respective state. Each CDP will contain an 
identifiable core area. For the purposes of the CDP criteria, the term 
``core area'' is defined as the area that is associated strongly with 
the CDP name and contains the majority of the CDP's population and 
housing as well as commercial structures and economic activity.
    In rural areas, the core may be a crossroads around which are found 
a cluster of houses, commercial structures, and perhaps a post office 
that provide the place identity for the surrounding countryside. In 
more urban areas, the core may be a larger area consisting of a mixture 
of residential and commercial structures focused on a particular point 
or extending along transportation corridors. We ask that participants 
in the CDP program consider the level of influence that the community 
has on surrounding areas; the relationship with, and possible existence 
within, a larger named place; and the relative importance within the 
county, town, or township.
2. Names
    A CDP must have a locally recognized name. A CDP name, however, may 
not duplicate the name of an adjacent or nearby incorporated place. It 
is permissible to change the name of a 1990 CDP if the new name 
provides a better identification of the community.
3. Geographic Relationships
    a. A CDP may not be located in more than one state or state 
equivalent, nor may a CDP cross the boundaries of an American Indian 
reservation (AIR), trust land, or a tribal jurisdiction statistical 
area (TJSA). A CDP may be located in more than one county.
    b. A CDP may not be located partially or entirely within an 
incorporated place or another CDP.
    c. A CDP may not be coextensive with an Alaska Native village 
statistical area (ANVSA). A CDP and an ANVSA, however, may overlap 
territory provided that the two entities are distinguishable by name.
    d. A CDP may not be coextensive with any higher-level geographic 
area recognized by the Census Bureau, such as county subdivisions, 
counties, AIRs, TJSAs, and states. Exceptions will be made for 
Arlington County, VA, as well as areas such as, but not limited to, 
towns in the New England states, New York, and Wisconsin and townships 
in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey that generally are 
perceived of as places, tend to provide municipal-style services, and 
exhibit urban-type population density patterns over much, if not all, 
of the land area of the entity.
    e. The Census Bureau will not accept plans that delineate ``wall-
to-wall'' CDPs within a county. That is, CDPs may not cover all or most 
of the land area within a county.
4. Boundaries
    a. A CDP encompasses, as far as possible, all the surrounding, 
closely settled territory associated with the place name. A CDP must 
comprise a reasonably compact and continuous land area internally 
accessible to all points by road; the only exceptions are:
     Where parts of a CDP are separated by a narrow corridor of 
incorporated territory.
     Where the topography or geographic patterns of settlement 
are not compact, but are irregularly shaped. Two parts of a CDP, 
however, may not be separated by a body of water over which there are 
no bridges or ferry connections, with the exception of small islands 
located in a lake or river within or adjacent to the main body of the 
    b. The boundaries of a CDP always are census block boundaries. 
Features chosen to form CDP boundaries must be the nearest acceptable 
features bounding the core area of the CDP (as defined in Section A.1. 
above). CDP boundaries should follow visible, perennial natural and 
cultural features such as roads, rivers, canals, railroads, above-
ground high-tension power lines, and so forth. In addition to these 
features, the following also are acceptable as CDP boundaries:
     All incorporated place boundaries.
     All minor civil division (MCD) boundaries (generally towns 
and townships) in Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and 
     Some MCD boundaries in Illinois (townships only, not 
election precincts), Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri 
(governmental townships only), Nebraska (townships only, not election 
precincts), North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
     Barrio, barrio-pueblo, and subbarrio boundaries in Puerto 
Rico, census subdistrict boundaries in the Virgin Islands, municipal 
district boundaries in the Northern Mariana Islands, and election 
district boundaries in Guam.
     AIR and trust land boundaries.
     ANVSA and Alaska Native Regional Corporation boundaries 
(at the discretion of the Census Bureau insofar as such boundaries are 
unambiguous for allocating living quarters as part of census 
    When features listed above are not available for selection, the 
Census Bureau, at its discretion, may approve other nonstandard visible 
features, such as ridge lines, pipelines, intermittent streams, fence 
lines, and so forth. Additionally, the Census Bureau may accept, on a 
case-by-case basis, the boundaries of selected nonstandard and 
potentially nonvisible features, such as the boundaries of National 
Parks and Forests, military reservations, cemeteries, or other special 
land-use properties and the straight-line

[[Page 44640]]

extensions of visible features or other lines of sight.
5. Population Size
    There are no minimum or maximum population thresholds for 
recognition as a CDP for Census 2000.
6. Census Bureau Review and Qualification of CDPs
    The Census Bureau may modify or, if necessary, reject any proposed 
CDP that does not comply with the general characteristics as outlined 
in Section A.1. above or with any other criteria as contained in this 
notice. The Census Bureau also may define CDPs in instances where clear 
evidence of a place exists, but for which local officials did not 
submit boundaries. The Census Bureau does not take into account nor 
attempt to anticipate any nonstatistical uses that may be made of CDPs, 
nor will the Census Bureau modify the definition of CDPs to meet the 
requirements of any nonstatistical program.

B. Changes in the Criteria for Census 2000

    1. The Census Bureau has eliminated population size as a criterion 
for CDP qualification. For Census 2000, the Census Bureau will 
recognize any unincorporated community as a CDP, regardless of 
population size, provided it meets other criteria as outlined in this 
notice. This represents a significant change in the CDP criteria. Data 
users should consider the implications that this change has on the 
reliability of sample data reported for CDPs, especially those with 
small populations.
    2. The Census Bureau will simplify its data presentations by 
eliminating any CDPs that are geographically coextensive with an ANVSA 
having the same name. This will eliminate duplicate place names and 
population totals that refer to the same geographic area. In 1990, 64 
out of 217 ANVSAs were coextensive with a CDP. These ANVSAs can still 
maintain their status for Census 2000, but not also as CDPs. The Census 
Bureau will continue to recognize as separate CDPs those communities 
that overlap the boundaries of ANVSAs, provided that the two entities 
are distinguishable by name.

C. Reliability and Confidentiality of Sample Data for CDPs

    Statistical Areas Program participants responsible for delineating 
CDP boundaries, as well as users of Census 2000 data, should be aware 
that data reported for CDPs with small population and housing unit 
totals are subject to disclosure avoidance techniques designed to 
maintain confidentiality of individual responses. In the past, minimum 
population thresholds for most CDPs were high enough to provide 
reasonably reliable data for the CDP. With the elimination of 
population thresholds as a criterion for recognition, program 
participants and data users must recognize that the population and 
housing characteristics reported for small CDPs may be affected to a 
greater extent by disclosure avoidance techniques and increased 
variability compared to larger CDPs.
    The potential pitfalls of very small (<1000 people) CDPs include:
    1. Title 13, United States Code, requires the Census Bureau to 
ensure the confidentiality of all individual responses. The Census 
Bureau will apply a confidentiality edit to meet this legal mandate. A 
small amount of uncertainty is added to the estimates of demographic 
characteristics as a result. Small populations require more protection, 
so there will likely be more uncertainty added to the census data. (The 
edit maintains the basic demographic structure of the data.)
    2. Sample data are subject to variability within geographic areas 
of any population size, but greater variability occurs with smaller 
populations. This is because the number of sample cases is smaller.
    3. If a small CDP is formed and the characteristics of the housing 
or demographics are homogeneous, the estimates may be fairly reliable. 
To the extent that characteristics vary from house to house or person 
to person, the data reliability is diminished.

D. Relationship Between CDPs and the Urban/Rural Classification

    For previous censuses, the Census Bureau classified as urban any 
CDP included within a UA as well as any CDP that contained 2,500 or 
more residents and was located outside of a UA. As a result, some CDPs 
(as well as some incorporated places) that had very low population 
densities were classified as urban simply because their boundaries 
encompassed at least 2,500 people. The Census Bureau's urban/rural 
classification contains criteria for defining ``extended cities''--
incorporated places that are divided into sparsely settled (defined as 
fewer than 100 people per square mile) rural portions and more densely 
settled urban portions. No such provisions, however, existed for CDPs 
that contained extensive areas of sparse settlement.
    The Census Bureau currently is reviewing its urban/rural 
classification for Census 2000. The definitions and criteria used for 
the 1990 census are subject to change, although at this time no 
decisions have been reached regarding urban/rural definitions and 
criteria for Census 2000. Statistical Areas Program participants 
defining CDPs should be aware, however, of the possibility that the 
Census Bureau may adopt urban/rural criteria under which all 
incorporated places and CDPs could be divided between densely settled 
(urban) portions and sparsely settled (rural) portions. There is no 
guarantee at this time that all land area included in a CDP for Census 
2000 will be classified as urban (or rural) by the Census Bureau.

E. Data Access and Dissemination System

    The Census Bureau is developing the Data Access and Dissemination 
System (DADS) as a part of its efforts to facilitate access to and 
dissemination of official demographic and economic information. This 
interactive electronic system will be designed to allow timely access 
to data generated by the various areas of the Census Bureau. Users of 
the DADS will be able to view or download predefined data products or 
to extract and tabulate data from existing databases. The DADS also 
will provide the opportunity for data users to view and map features 
contained within the Census Bureau's TIGER database.
    The DADS will enable users to select unique user-defined geographic 
areas from an on-screen map image by drawing polygons or circles or 
selecting predefined census areas such as census blocks, block groups, 
or census tracts. Users will be able to define as well as tabulate and 
download data for a variety of geographic areas, provided the 
selections conform to Title 13 requirements protecting the 
confidentiality of individual responses (see Section C. above). User-
defined selections may consist of (but are not limited to) geographic 
areas, such as neighborhoods, housing subdivisions, soil conservation 
districts, special taxation districts, central business districts, and 
so forth, that are not part of the Census Bureau's standard geographic 
    The DADS will offer flexibility in defining these geographic areas 
interactively by allowing data users to choose and modify boundaries 
for unincorporated places as desired, rather than having to conform to 
a predefined census geographic area. The Census Bureau recommends the 
use of this user-defined functionality within DADS to create geographic 
entities, such as neighborhoods, or to obtain census data for housing 
subdivisions. Many planned communities have component parts

[[Page 44641]]

known locally by name for which data users need census data. The Census 
Bureau has developed the DADS to fulfill this need, allowing the CDP 
program to continue to recognize the larger unincorporated community.

Definitions of Key Terms

    Alaska Native village statistical area (ANVSA)--The densely settled 
extent of an Alaska Native village (ANV). The ANV is a type of local 
governmental unit that constitutes an association, band, clan, 
community, tribe, or village recognized pursuant to the Alaska Native 
Claims Settlement Act of 1972.
    American Indian reservation (AIR)--An American Indian entity with 
boundaries established by treaty, statute, and/or executive or court 
order and over which American Indians have governmental jurisdiction. 
Designations such as colonies, communities, pueblos, rancherias, 
reservations, and reserves apply to AIRs.
    Census block--A small area bounded by visible features such as 
streets, roads, streams, and railroad tracks and by nonvisible 
boundaries such as city, town, township, and county limits, property 
lines, and short, imaginary extensions of streets and roads.
    Coextensive--Descriptive of two or more geographic entities that 
cover exactly the same area, with all boundaries conjoint.
    Housing unit--A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile 
home or trailer, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied as a 
separate living quarter or, if vacant, intended for occupancy as a 
separate living quarter. Separate living quarters are those in which 
the occupants live separately from any other individuals in the 
building and which have direct access from outside the building or 
through a common hall. For vacant units, the criteria of separateness 
and direct access are applied to the intended occupants whenever 
possible. If that information cannot be obtained, the criteria are 
applied to the previous occupants.
    Incorporated place--A type of governmental unit, incorporated under 
state law as a city, town (except in New England, New York, and 
Wisconsin), borough (except in Alaska and New York), or village, having 
legally prescribed limits, powers, and functions.
    Island area--An entity, other than a state or the District of 
Columbia, under the jurisdiction of the United States. For Census 2000, 
this will include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, 
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and several small 
islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Census Bureau 
treats each Island Area as the statistical equivalent of a state.
    Minor civil division (MCD)--The primary governmental or 
administrative division of a county in 28 states, Puerto Rico and the 
Island Areas having legal boundaries, names, and descriptions. The 
several types of MCDs are identified by a variety of terms, such as 
town, township, and district, and include both functioning and 
nonfunctioning governmental units. In some states, some or all of the 
incorporated places also constitute MCDs.
    Nonvisible feature--A map feature that is not visible, such as a 
city or county boundary, a property line running through space, a short 
imaginary extension of a street or road, or a point-to-point line.
    Statistical geographic entity--Any specially defined geographic 
entity or combination of entities, such as a block group, CDP, or 
census tract, for which the Census Bureau tabulates data. Statistical 
entity boundaries are not legally defined and the entities have no 
governmental standing.
    Tribal jurisdiction statistical area (TJSA)--A statistical entity 
delineated for the decennial census by American Indian tribal officials 
in Oklahoma. A TJSA encompasses the area that includes the American 
Indian population over which a tribe has jurisdiction.
    Urbanized area (UA)--An area consisting of a central place(s) and 
adjacent urban fringe that together have a minimum residential 
population of at least 50,000 people and generally an overall 
population density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile. The 
Census Bureau uses published criteria to determine the qualification 
and boundaries of UAs at the time of each decennial census or from the 
results of a special census during the intercensal period.
    Visible feature--A map feature that can be seen on the ground, such 
as a street or road, railroad track, power line, stream, shoreline, 
fence, ridge, or cliff.

    Dated: August 1, 1997.
Martha Farnsworth Riche,
Director, Bureau of the Census.
[FR Doc. 97-22332 Filed 8-21-97; 8:45 am]