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Information Resources and Technology Management


Data Element: CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

You are invited to read the definitions of terms used in this data standard.

Name
Congressional District
Description
Two-digit numeric codes that represent congressional districts and similar areas defined for the various Congresses of the United States. Congressional districts are legislatively defined subdivisions of a State for the purpose of electing representatives or delegates to the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.
Type
Character Field (to allow leading zeros in this data field when required)
Syntax
NN, where each N represents a number from 0 through 9.
Recommended Field Name CONGDIST
Values
The values and structure of the numeric codes to be used for this data element are described in Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 9-1, Congressional Districts of the United States.

Important Notice: Effective February 8, 2005, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the withdrawal of 17 FIPS Publications in Federal Register, Volume 70, No. 25 (70FR 6623) , including FIPS 9-1, Congressional Districts of the United States. These FIPS were withdrawn because they are obsolete, or have not been updated to adopt current voluntary industry standards, federal specifications, federal data standards, or current good practices for information security. 

Transition from FIPS to ANSI: The U.S. Census Bureau is the maintenance agency for Congressional District codes. While there will be no changes in the codes or code structure described in FIPS 9-1, the bureau is transforming FIPS 9-1 into a new national standard that meets the requirements for accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Source
Electronic copies of the official list of Members of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, are available at the Office of the Clerk web site in HTML and ASCII (.txt) formats. A current list of Members is available by State or in alphabetical order with State and District information. 

Congressional Directories for the 104th through the previous Congress are available from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Lists and outline maps that identify the composition and boundaries of each congressional district are included in (1) a Department of Commerce/U.S. Census Bureau publication entitled "Congressional District Atlas", and (2) the "Congressional Directory" published for each Congress. Both documents are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402.

Historical Data For information on past versions of this standard, contact the National Data Administrator, Branch of Data and Systems Services, Division of Information Resources and Technology Management
Reference(s)

Part 270, FW 6, Data Management and Standards, has been superceded by Part 274, FW 2, Establishing Service Data Standards.

Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 9-1, Congressional Districts of the United States. Additional information on the content of this FIPS may be obtained from the Bureau of the Census at 301-763-9031.

111th Congressional Districts Geographic Products, U.S. Census Bureau Geographic Relationship Tables and Code Files.

Visit http://www.house.gov  to search all Representatives House web sites by Member Name or State. 

Use Instructions
As of the approval date, this data element will be used in any new automated system, data set, database, or information application, including new Geographic Information System (GIS) data and applications. This data element will also be used in any major modifications to existing systems or versions of these data-related items that use numeric codes to identify congressional districts or similar areas defined for the various Congresses of the United States.

Service staff are strongly encouraged to utilize this data element in existing systems, data sets, databases, and information applications. Where existing systems and data-related items are not in compliance, they should be modified to achieve compatibility and implement this data standard.

Two-digit numeric codes are used to represent the congressional districts of each multi-district State (e.g., the First Congressional District is identified as "01", the Second Congressional District is identified as "02", etc.). For a State whose representative is designated "at large", the Congressional District is designated as "00". For an entity with a nonvoting delegate, such as the District of Columbia, the representational area is designated as "98". For entities with no representation in the Congress, such as the Northern Mariana Islands, the area is designated as "99". 

Congressional district codes are unique within each State and equivalent entity, and for each Congress; however, congressional districts in different states can have the same code (e.g., the First Congressional District of Alabama and Arizona are both coded "01"). Therefore, in data systems concerned with the identification of districts in more than one State, the congressional code must be preceded by the two-digit State numeric code, as prescribed by the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 5-2, 1987 May 28, "Codes for the Identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas of the United States, and Associated Areas." For example, the numeric code for the First Congressional District of Alabama is 0101, while the numeric code for the First Congressional District of Arizona is 0401. Data systems concerned with only one State may use only the single congressional district code. All single-digit congressional districts must have a leading zero. 

When automated systems use the congressional districts of more than one State and more than one Congress, the four-digit State and congressional district codes will be followed by a three-digit code to identify the number of the Congress. For example, the seven-digit numeric code for the First Congressional District of Arizona for the 95th Congress is 0401095, while the code for the 101st Congress is 0401101. When single and/or two-digit codes representing the number of the Congress are used in conjunction with the four-digit State and congressional district codes, leading zeros are required.

The Service data standard for State Numeric Code can be viewed at this site. It references the unique two-digit FIPS numeric codes for representing the 50 States, the District of Columbia and the outlying areas of the United States, and associated areas. 

Congressional district and State numeric codes will be handled as separate data fields in any new or modified automated system, and will not be combined in a single data field.

A related Service data standard for the Congressional District Data Layer can also be viewed at this site. It references the spatial component of the congressional district information, using the same coding scheme as this data element. The various data layers for the current and previous Congresses can be downloaded from the Census Bureau as TIGER/Line Shapefiles with all the congressional district codes.

Phase
Adopted
Approval Date
July 13, 1999
Validation Date
January 18, 2011
Data Steward
National Data Administrator, Branch of Data and Systems Services, Division of Information Resources and Technology Management.

 


Last updated: February 5, 2013