GISuser Guide to Accessing Free 2003 TIGER/Line data

The US Census Bureauhas released the 2003 TIGER/Line files by county or statistically equivalent entity based on the latest available governmental unit boundaries (January 1, 2003). The 2003 TIGER/Line file coverage is as follows: all counties, parishes, boroughs, census areas and equivalent entities for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. (These data were made available March 5, 2004)

Changes to File Structure

The Census Bureau has made some changes to the 2003 TIGER/Line file format. We have added some new fields to Record Type A including the new Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (field name CBSACU), New England City and Town Areas, Metropolitan Divisions, Combined Statistical Areas, and current (post-Census 2000) 3- and 5-digit ZCTAs. Record Type E, which was not included with the 2002 TIGER/Line files, appears for the first time in the 2003 TIGER/Line files and contains the 2002 Economic Census geographic entities. The record layout for Record Type E was updated from that shown in the record layouts for the 2002 TIGER/Line files. We also have made some changes to Record Type C to include the new Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area codes and to accomodate the inclusion of the 2002 Economic Census geography.

Feature Updates
The 2003 TIGER/Line files contain very few updates to street features or address ranges from the Census 2000 versions of the TIGER/Line files. Some additional features have been added in 124 counties or statistical equivalent entities where the Census Bureau realigned the street feature coordinates. Twenty of these counties or statistical equivalent entities with improved street feature coordinates appeared in the 2002 TIGER/Line files. The Census Bureau expects the 2004 TIGER/Line files to be the first version of the TIGER/Line files to include a significant number of realigned counties with updated features that have progressed through the MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project.

There is one TIGER/Line file (in a compressed format) for each county or county equivalent. The file names consist of TGR + the 2-digit state FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) code + the 3-digit county FIPS code (i.e. TGR01031.ZIP for Coffee County, Alabama.) Each state folder contains individual county files as well as a Counts file. The county files are stored in compressed format and are compatible with PK Ware’s PK Zip software. The COUNTSnn.TXT files (where "nn" is the state FIPS code) show the counts for the number of records for each record type by county for a state. If the count for a particular record type is 0, then that record type does not exist for that county.

The Census Bureau produces the TIGER/Line files in ASCII text format only; therefore, the data are NOT in the form of map images. To create maps with the TIGER/Line files, one would typically use a Geographic Information System (GIS) package or other mapping software.

To access and download 2003 TIGER/Line Files, please select a State on the map below.

Note: The image used to create this map was provided by the USGS

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