U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Guidelines for Creating and Naming Aggregated County Areas for Counties Containing fewer than 50,000 Persons for Residence Datasets for the Census 2000 Special EEO File

Residence Datasets on the Census 2000 Special EEO File provide data only for counties of 50,000 or more. Counties of less than 50,000 were merged with other counties. These are the guidelines used to create and name these county sets.

General Rules for Creating and Naming County Sets

  1. All counties are accounted for within each state and the total Census 2000 population count within each state is correct.
  2. All counties with population of 50,000 or more stand alone unless they are aggregated with a county of less than population of 50,000 or with another county if needed to show a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
  3. Groups of small counties were aggregated to create county sets of 50,000 or more.
  4. The counties within each county set are contiguous.
  5. No county set crosses state lines. All counties within any county set are within the same state.
  6. Counties are grouped within MSAs if possible.
  7. The counties and county sets are listed alphabetically by county set name.
  8. The words "County Set" are not included in the county set name.
  9. The counties and county sets are numbered consecutively starting with the state FIPS code followed by "CS" and the consecutive number of the alphabetized county sets starting at 001.
  10. The state name is not included in the area name unless it is preceded by a directional description; in this case, the name is abbreviated. For example: "NW KS" (Northwest Kansas).
  11. If the county set is composed of four or fewer counties, the county set name is the same as all the counties themselves in alphabetical order. For example: "Covington+Simpson+Smith."
  12. For large groupings of small counties, the county set may be named using a general description that fits the part of the state in which it is found. For example, "NW Panhandle" (of Texas).
  13. If a general geographic definition cannot be used, the most centrally located county is picked and "and surrounding cos." is added. If more than one county is centrally located, the county with the largest Census 2000 Population Count is used. For example: "Gaines and surrounding cos."

    Note: In some instances not all the counties included in the county set actually surround the named county. Some of these counties may actually form a "C." Or, some counties that are next to the named county in the county set name may not be included in the designated county set. The county named in the county set name is picked based on the number of counties it is adjacent to within the county set designated geography. In some cases, the named county is the smallest, but touches the most other counties within the group. For example: In Iowa, "Audubon and surrounding cos." (19CS002) is made up of five counties and Audubon County is the smallest, but is the most centrally located.

  14. The Consortium discussed all county sets created by the Federal Agencies that caused adisclosure problem with a MSA/PMSA. The Federal Agencies decided which MSA/PMSA to keep and which MSA/PMSA to eliminate. Most MSA/PMSAs are shown in the file; however, there are seven that were eliminated due to disclosure concerns. Less than three changes were made to each county sets for the particular MSA/PMSA to be shown. (In most cases only one change was required.)
  15. Following are the seven MSA/PMSAs that will not show on the EEO File:

    Arizona: Flagstaff AZ-UT MSA - MSA FIPS Code #2620
    Arkansas: Fort Smith AR-OK MSA - MSA FIPS Code #2720
    Maryland: Baltimore MD PMSA - PMSA FIPS Code #0720
    New York: Newburgh NY-PA PMSA - PMSA FIPS Code #5660
    North Dakota: Grand Forks ND-MN MSA - MSA FIPS Code #2985
    Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh PA MSA - MSA FIPS Code #6280
    Wisconsin: La Crosse WI-MN MSA - MSA FIPS Code #3870

Syntax and Abbreviations

  1. Multiple names are separated by pluses in the name. For example: "Floyd+Hale+Swisher."
  2. If the county set title requires the state name, it is abbreviated and in all capitals. For example: "Northern AK" (Northern Alaska).
  3. Directional descriptions are abbreviated if they are nouns, and written out in full if they are adjectives. For example: "SW GA" (Southwest Georgia) "Southern ID" (Southern Idaho).
  4. County/counties are abbreviated as "Co/cos." Except is abbreviated as "exc."

Other Notes

In Alaska: Borough = County
In Louisiana: Parish = County

This page was last modified on July 29, 2003.

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