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A.  Census Definitions

The following is an excellent source of definitions and explanations of geography-related terms used by the U.S. Census 2000:  http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/glossary.html

Block Group (BG)  A statistic subdivision of a census tract.  Includes all blocks whose numbers begin with the same digit in a census tract.  For example, for Census 2000, BG3 within a census tract includes all blocks numbered from 3000 to 3999.  BGs generally contain between 300 and 3000 persons, with an optimal size of 1,500 people.  

Census Tract (CT)  A small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county or statistically equivalent entity.  Designed to be relatively homogeneous units with respect to population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions at the time they are established.  CTs generally contain between 1,000 and 8,000 persons, with an optimal size of 4,000 people.  CT numbers range from 001 to 9999.

Rural  All territory, population, and housing units located outside of urbanized areas and urban clusters.

Urban  All territory, population, and housing units located within urbanized areas and urban clusters.

Urban area.  A generic term that refers to both urbanized areas and urban clusters.  This terminology is new for Census 2000.

Urban cluster (UC)  A densely settled area that has a census population of 2,500 to 49,999.   A UC generally consists of a geographic core of block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, and adjacent block groups and blocks with at least 500 people per square mile.  

Urbanized area (UA) A densely settled area that has a census population of at least 50,000.  A UA generally consists of a geographic core of block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, and adjacent block groups and blocks with at least 500 people per square mile.  A UA consists of all or part of one or more incorporated places and/or census designated places, and may include additional territory outside of any place.

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