U.S. Department of Commerce

Cartographic Boundary Files

What Are They?

The cartographic boundary files are simplified representations of selected geographic areas from the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER geographic database.   These boundary files are specifically designed for small scale thematic mapping. 

Generalized boundary files are clipped to a simplified version of the U.S. outline.  As a result, some off-shore areas may be excluded from the generalized files.  A simplified U.S. outline is available for download for reference (500k, 5m, 20m).

For more details about these files, please see our Cartographic Boundary File Description page.

Download Files

Cartographic Boundary files are available in shapefile format for the 2010 Census, Census 2000, and selected geographies for other years.  File-based metadata will be coming soon.

Other Mapping Files