113th Congressional Districts with County FIPS code.
November 15, 2012 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a csv, spreadsheet, or whatever of the 113th Congressional Districts and the state and county (with FIPS Code) that they intersect.

I've looked all over the census website and census American FactFinder sites, and while I can find data sources with a 113th congressional district field, they are all blank. There are shapefiles (with a 5 county per download limit) apparently available, but those are useless to me.

I know the data has to exist somewhere, because I can find image file maps of the new districts easily. I'm either unable to navigate the census website correctly, or I am looking in the wrong places.

Obviously, a free source would be preferred, especially since all of this is supposed to be publicly accessible.
posted by JeremiahBritt to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IME, government data is not provided in the most intuitive formats/presentation. You may have to cobble the data together yourself from a variety of sources.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2012

Those data are publicly accessible -- just not in the format in which you happen to need it. As you know, the Census Bureau makes available the boundary data for both counties and Congressional districts. The extent to which they overlap (keeping in mind you can have multiple counties in a district, as well as multiple districts in a county, so a single field wouldn't suffice) has to be derived from those two data sets.

That doesn't really answer your question of where to find the crosswalk you need, but it may provide some insight as to why what you need can't be found on the Census Bureau's website.... yet.

The Census Bureau does in fact have those data for the 108th-110th Congress (here it is for the 110th), but nothing beyond that yet. This page says that the shapefiles for the 113th Congress (the first using the 2010 Census data) will be released starting in January, and it will presumably be a little while before they get around to releasing the Geographic Relationship Tables up through the 113th Congress.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, I've done this project before for the 110th. It's just frustrating that I know the data exists, but it hasn't been released yet, although I know it is a labor and time intensive task and I have experience dealing with unhelpful government data formats thanks to the FCC.

There are a lot of Zip code databases that claim to have this info, but I'm leery of their cost and accuracy, having dealt with a few venders before.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 1:10 PM on November 15, 2012

This "find your new district" site has a list of sources at the bottom of the page.
posted by desjardins at 1:17 PM on November 15, 2012

Since you say the shapefiles are useless, I assume you don't have access to a GIS where you could import and join the data sets? If that's true, I agree with Doofus Magoo, you'll probably have to wait until the Census Bureau does their mojo and releases it.

My experience with the zip code databases is that they are not 100% accurate. I don't know what you need this information for, but I would not use that for any analysis on which you'll be making important decisions.
posted by epanalepsis at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2012

Response by poster: Shape files are useless because I would have to pull them in batches of 5 counties for all states that aren't At Large. I'm currently trying to check if I can just pull the county codes from the block equivalency data available here: http://www.census.gov/rdo/data/113th_congressional_and_new_state_legislative_district_plans.html It looks doable
posted by JeremiahBritt at 2:02 PM on November 15, 2012

"Shape files are useless because I would have to pull them in batches of 5 counties for all states that aren't At Large"

You can circumvent this restriction by using their FTP-server. Use something like Filezilla for an easier download.
posted by KMB at 1:20 AM on November 16, 2012

It appears that the official Congressional District Summary File (113th Congress) will be released in January 2013.
posted by oceano at 9:23 AM on November 16, 2012

Response by poster: I was able to use the block equivalency data to get what I needed. Thanks.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 10:45 AM on November 19, 2012

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