Census Tract

What is a Census Tract?

A census tract is an area defined by the U.S. Census Bureau that is used to provide a reliable and consistent way to compare demographic, social, and economic characteristics between different areas. The areas are typically made up of a population of between 1,200 and 8,000 people, and they are often used as a way to track population trends over time.

How are Census Tracts Used?

Census tracts are often used by governments, businesses, and researchers to compare different neighborhoods and determine the characteristics of a particular area. They are also used to measure the impact of public policies on communities, identify areas of need, and allocate resources.

Examples of Census Tracts

Census tracts are designed to capture a more in-depth picture of an area than other types of geographic divisions. Here are a few examples of how census tracts are used:

  • State and local governments use census tracts to identify areas with high poverty rates or low educational attainment.
  • Businesses use census tracts to identify potential markets for their products and services.
  • Researchers use census tracts to track the health of a community over time.
  • Non-profits use census tracts to identify areas with a high concentration of people in need of services.


Census tracts are an important tool for understanding the characteristics of different areas and helping to allocate resources. By providing a consistent way to measure population trends, they are an invaluable tool for governments, businesses, researchers, and non-profits.