The Info List - Census-designated Place

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A CENSUS-DESIGNATED PLACE (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places , such as self-governing cities , towns , and villages , for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated small community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the U.S. border with Mexico
, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.

The boundaries of a CDP have no legal status. Thus, they may not always correspond with the local understanding of the area or community with the same name. However, criteria established for the 2010 Census require that a CDP name "be one that is recognized and used in daily communication by the residents of the community" (not "a name developed solely for planning or other purposes") and recommend that a CDP's boundaries be mapped based on the geographic extent associated with inhabitants' regular use of the named place.

The Census Bureau states that census-designated places are not considered incorporated places and that it includes only census-designated places in its city population list for Hawaii because that state has no incorporated cities. In addition, census city lists from 2007 include Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County, Virginia
's CDP in the list with the incorporated places.


* 1 History * 2 Effects of designation and examples * 3 Purpose of designation * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References


The Census Bureau reported data for some unincorporated places as early as the 1850 Census , though usage continued to develop through the 1890 Census , in which, for the first time, the Census mixed unincorporated places with incorporated places in its products with "town" or "village" as its label. This made it confusing to determine which of the "towns" were or were not incorporated.

The 1900 through 1930 Censuses did not report data for unincorporated places.

For the 1940 Census , the Census Bureau compiled a separate report of unofficial, unincorporated communities of 500 or more people. The Census Bureau officially defined this category as "unincorporated places" in the 1950 Census and used that term through the 1970 Census. For the 1950 Census, these types of places were identified only outside "urbanized areas ". In 1960 , the Census Bureau also identified unincorporated places inside urbanized areas (except in New England ), but with a population of at least 10,000. For the 1970 Census , the population threshold for "unincorporated places" in urbanized areas was reduced to 5,000.

For the 1980 Census , the designation was changed to "census designated places" and the designation was made available for places inside urbanized areas in New England. For the 1990 Census , the population threshold for CDPs in urbanized areas was reduced to 2,500. From 1950 through 1990, the Census Bureau specified other population requirements for unincorporated places or CDPs in Alaska
, Puerto Rico , island areas, and Native American reservations . Minimum population criteria for CDPs were dropped with the 2000 Census .

The Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) allows designated participants to review and suggest modifications to the boundaries for CDPs. The PSAP was to be offered to county and municipal planning agencies during 2008.


The boundaries of such places may be defined in cooperation with local or tribal officials, but are not fixed, and do not affect the status of local government or incorporation; the territories thus defined are strictly statistical entities. CDP boundaries may change from one census to the next to reflect changes in settlement patterns. Further, as statistical entities, the boundaries of the CDP may not correspond with local understanding of the area with the same name. Recognized communities may be divided into two or more CDPs while on the other hand, two or more communities may be combined into one CDP. A CDP may also cover the unincorporated part of a named community where the rest lies within an incorporated place.

By defining an area as a CDP, that locality then appears in the same category of census data as incorporated places. This distinguishes CDPs from other census classifications, such as minor civil divisions (MCDs), which are in a separate category.

The population and demographics of the CDP are included in the data of county subdivisions containing the CDP. In no case is a CDP defined within the boundaries of what the Census Bureau regards to be an incorporated city, village or borough. However, the Census Bureau considers towns in New England
New England
states and New York as well as townships in some other states as MCDs, even though they are incorporated municipalities in those states. Thus, CDPs may be defined within New England
New England
towns or spanning the boundaries of multiple towns.


There are a number of reasons for the CDP designation:

* The area may be more urban than its surroundings, having a concentration of population with a definite residential nucleus, such as Whitmore Lake, Michigan , Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hershey, Pennsylvania
, and The Villages, Florida (the latter CDP covers only a portion of the overall community). * A formerly incorporated place may disincorporate or be partly annexed by a neighboring town, but the former town or a part of it may still be reported by the census as a CDP by meeting criteria for a CDP. Examples are the former village of Covedale (village in Ohio) , compared with Covedale (CDP), Ohio or the recently disincorporated town of Cedar Grove, Florida . * The area may contain an easily recognizable institution, usually occupying a large land area, with an identity distinct from the surrounding community. This could apply to some college campuses however, such MCDs strongly resemble incorporated places, and so CDPs coterminous with the MCDs were defined so that such places appear in both categories of census data. This practice was also discontinued in 2010 .


* Government of the United States portal

* Census county division
Census county division
* Populated Place , used by the United States Board on Geographic Names * Designated place , a counterpart in the Canadian census * Incorporated place * ZIP Code Tabulation Area


* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Geographic Terms and Concepts – Place". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ _K_ _L_ _M_ _N_ _O_ _P_ _Q_ _R_ "Chapter 9 – Places" in _Geographic Areas Reference Manual (GARM)_, United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
. Accessed November 19, 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census Designated Place (CDP) Program for the 2010 Census — Proposed Criteria, 72 _Federal Register_ 17326-17329, April 6, 2007. * ^ "Glossary". _American FactFinder_. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ "Census Designated Place (CDP) Program for the 2010 Census – Final Criteria" (PDF). _Federal Register (Volume 73, Number 30)_. February 13, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2016. * ^ "Cities with 100,000 or More Population
in 2000 ranked by Population
per Square Mile, 2000 in Alphabetic Order". United States Census Bureau , Population
Division. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-13.

* ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population
for Incorporated Places in Virginia". United States Census
United States Census
Bureau. Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2008-09-11. * ^ "Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 29, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2008.


* U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, "Cartographic Boundary Shapefiles – Places (Incorporated Places and Census Designated Places)". Cartographic Operations Branch, December 11, 2014. * U.S. Census Bureau,""_Census 2000 Statistical Areas Boundary Criteria_"". Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2009-04-08. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link ) , Census Designated Places (CDPs) – Census 2000 Criteria. * U.S. Census Bureau, Geographic Areas Reference Manual, United States Department of Commerce.

* v * t * e

Lists of census-designated places in the United States by state


* Alabama * Alaska
* Arizona * Arkansas * California * Colorado * Connecticut
* Delaware * Florida * Georgia * Hawaii
* Idaho * Illinois * Indiana * Iowa * Kansas * Kentucky * Louisiana * Maine * Maryland * Massachusetts
* Michigan * Minnesota * Mississippi * Missouri * Montana * Nebraska * Nevada * New Hampshire * New Jersey * New Mexico
* New York * North Carolina * North Dakota * Ohio * Oklahoma * Oregon * Pennsylvania * Rhode Island * South Carolina * South Dakota * Tennessee * Texas * Utah * Vermont * Virginia * Washington * West Virginia * Wisconsin * Wyoming

* v * t * e

United States Census
United States Census


* Region * Division

* State

* District of Columbia * Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico

* Insular area
Insular area

* American Samoa
American Samoa
* Guam
* Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands

* ZIP Code tabulation area



* Alaska
Native Regional Corporation

* American Indian reservation
Indian reservation

* list

* American Indian tribal subdivision * Hawaiian home land * Off-reservation trust land


* Alaska
Native village statistical area

* Oklahoma tribal statistical area

* Joint-use area

* State designated tribal statistical areas * Tribal designated statistical area


* Primary statistical area (574 PSAs ) * Combined statistical area
Combined statistical area
(169 CSAs ) * Core-based statistical area (929 CBSAs ) * Metropolitan statistical area
Metropolitan statistical area
(388 MSAs ) * Micropolitan statistical area
Micropolitan statistical area
(541 μSAs ) * New England
New England
city and town area * Urban area (497 urbanized areas and urban clusters )


* Congressional district

* County

* 3143 counties and equivalents * Alaska
census area * Independent city * Municipio

* Place

* Census-designated

* Public use microdata area

* School district
School district

* lists

* State legislative district * Urban growth area


* Census county division
Census county division
* Minor civil division * Traffic