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County Boundaries for Selected Items from the Census of Agriculture, 1950-2012 (COA_STCOFIPS)

August 8, 2016

This polygon shapefile provides county or county-equivalent boundaries for the conterminous United States and was created specifically for use with the data tables published as Selected Items from the Census of Agriculture for the Conterminous United States, 1950-2012 (LaMotte, 2015). This data layer is a modified version of Historic Counties for the 2000 Census of Population and Housing produced by the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS, 2004) project. NHGIS's data layer is a modified version of the U.S. Census Bureau TIGER/Line Census 2000 file. NHGIS has added shorelines to the TIGER/Line file. Modification to NHGIS boundary file was necessary to align county boundaries with the county information presented in the Census of Agriculture tables. Excluded from the boundary layer are Broomfield County, Colorado, Menominee County, Wisconsin, and the independent cities of Virginia with the exception of the 3 county-equivalent cities of Chesapeake City, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. The census of agriculture was not taken in the District of Columbia for 1959, but available data indicate few if any farms in that area, the polygon was left in place to preserve the areas of the surrounding counties. Baltimore City, Maryland was combined with Baltimore County and the St. Louis City, Missouri, was combined with St. Louis County. La Paz County, Arizona was combined with Yuma County, Arizona and Cibola County, New Mexico was combined with Valencia County, New Mexico. Minor county border changes were at a level of precision beyond the scope of the data collection. A major objective of the census data tabulation is to maintain a reasonable degree of comparability of agricultural data from census to census. The tabular data collection is from 14 different censuses where definitions and data collection techniques may change over time and while the data are mostly comparable, a degree of caution should be exercised when using the data in analysis procedures. While the data are at a county-level resolution, a regional approach is more appropriate than a county-by-county analysis. The main purpose of this layer is to provide a base to generate a county raster for the allocation of agricultural census values to specific (agricultural) pixels. Vector format is provided so the raster pixel size can be user designated.

LaMotte, A.E., 2015, Selected items from the Census of Agriculture at the county level for the conterminous United States, 1950-2012: U.S. Geological Survey data release,
National Historical Geographic Information System, 2004 Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Information System: Version 2.0. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.

Publication Year 2016
Title County Boundaries for Selected Items from the Census of Agriculture, 1950-2012 (COA_STCOFIPS)
DOI 10.5066/F7G44NCN
Authors Andrew E LaMotte
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization MD-DE-DC Water Science Center