Census-designated place

A census-designated place (CDP)[1][2][3] is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places,[4] 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.[5]

The boundaries of a CDP have no legal status.[1] 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.[5]

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.[6] In addition, census city lists from 2007 included Arlington County, Virginia's CDP in the list with the incorporated places,[7] but since 2010, only the Urban Honolulu CDP, Hawaii representing the historic core of Honolulu, Hawaii, is shown in the city and town estimates.


The Census Bureau reported data for some unincorporated places as early as the first census, the 1790 Census (for example, Louisville, Kentucky, which was not legally incorporated in Kentucky until 1828), though usage continued to develop through the 1890 Census, in which, the Census mixed unincorporated places with incorporated places in its products with "town" or "village" as its label.[2] This made it confusing to determine which of the "towns" were or were not incorporated.[2]

The 1900 through 1930 Censuses did not report data for unincorporated places.[2]

For the 1940 Census, the Census Bureau compiled a separate report of unofficial, unincorporated communities of 500 or more people.[2] The Census Bureau officially defined this category as "unincorporated places" in the 1950 Census and used that term through the 1970 Census.[2] For the 1950 Census, these types of places were identified only outside "urbanized areas".[2] 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.[2] For the 1970 Census, the population threshold for "unincorporated places" in urbanized areas was reduced to 5,000.[2]

For the 1980 Census, the designation was changed to "census designated places"[2] and the designation was made available for places inside urbanized areas in New England.[2] For the 1990 Census, the population threshold for CDPs in urbanized areas was reduced to 2,500.[2] 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.[3][5]

The Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) allows designated participants to review and suggest modifications to the boundaries for CDPs.[8] The PSAP was to be offered to county and municipal planning agencies during 2008.

Effects of designation and examples

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.[1][2] 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.[2]

The population and demographics of the CDP are included in the data of county subdivisions containing the CDP. Generally, a CDP shall not be defined within the boundaries of what the Census Bureau regards to be an incorporated city, village or borough.[2] However, the Census Bureau considers some towns in New England states, New Jersey and New York as well as townships in some other states as MCDs, even though they are incorporated municipalities in those states. In such states, CDPs may be defined within such towns or spanning the boundaries of multiple towns.[2]

Purpose of designation

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; and The Villages, Florida (the latter CDP covering 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 village of Seneca Falls (CDP), New York.
  • 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 & large military bases (or parts of a military base) that are not within the limits of any existing community, such as Notre Dame, Indiana, Stanford, California (which houses the Stanford University campus), Fort Campbell North, Kentucky and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.[2]
  • In other cases, the boundary of an incorporated place may bisect a recognized community. An example of this is Bostonia, California, which straddles the city limits of El Cajon. The USGS places the nucleus of Bostonia within El Cajon. The Bostonia CDP covers the greater El Cajon area in unincorporated San Diego County that is generally north of that part of Bostonia within El Cajon.
  • In some states, a CDP may be defined within an incorporated municipality that (for the purposes of the census) is regarded as a minor civil division. For example, all towns in New England are incorporated municipalities, but may also include both rural and urban areas. CDPs may be defined to describe urbanized areas within such municipalities, as in the case of North Amherst, Massachusetts.
  • Hawaii is the only state that has no incorporated places recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau below the county level. All data for places in Hawaii reported by the census are CDPs.[2]
  • Few CDPs represent an aggregation of several nearby communities, for example Shorewood-Tower Hills-Harbert, Michigan or Egypt Lake-Leto, Florida. However, the Census Bureau has discontinued this method for most CDPs during the 2010 Census.[5]
  • In rare cases, a CDP was also defined for the urbanized area surrounding an incorporated municipality, but which is outside the municipal boundaries, for example, Greater Galesburg, Michigan, or Greater Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This practice was discontinued in 2010.[5]
  • In some states, the Census Bureau would designate an entire minor civil division (MCD) as a CDP (for example West Bloomfield Township, Michigan or Reading, Massachusetts). Such designations were used in states where the MCDs function with strong governmental authority and provide services equivalent to an incorporated municipality (New England, the Middle Atlantic States, Michigan, and Wisconsin). MCDs appear in a separate category in census data from places (i.e., incorporated places and CDPs); 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 most states in 2010.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Geographic Terms and Concepts – Place". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ 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. Accessed November 19, 2016.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Glossary". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 2002-12-26. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  8. ^ "Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 29, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2008.


Administrative divisions of New York (state)

The administrative divisions of New York are the various units of government that provide local government services in the state of New York.

The state is divided into counties, cities, towns, and villages. Cities, towns and villages are municipal corporations with their own governments that provide most local government services. Whether a municipality is defined as a city, town, or village is dependent not on population or land area, but rather on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the state legislature. Each such government is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the New York Constitution. New York has various corporate entities that serve single purposes that are also local governments, such as school and fire districts.New York has 62 counties, which are subdivided into 932 towns and 62 cities; it also has 10 Indian reservations. In total, the state has more than 3,400 active local governments and more than 4,200 taxing jurisdictions.

Alsace Manor, Pennsylvania

Alsace Manor is a census-designated place (CDP) in Alsace Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located approximately 7 miles northeast of the city of Reading. As of the 2010 census the population was 478.

Arcadia University, Pennsylvania

Arcadia University is a census-designated place located in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County in the state of Pennsylvania. Its location is just off campus at Arcadia University off Pennsylvania Route 309. As of the 2010 census the population was 595 residents.

At 10,438 people per square mile, Arcadia University is the most densely populated census-designated place in Montgomery County, and 33rd in the entire United States. It is one of only two places in Montgomery County that has over 10,000 people per square mile (the other is Conshohocken). This is attributed to the land area consisting mostly of college dormitories.

Arcadia University is home to National Historic Landmark Grey Towers Castle which serves as the main administration building for Arcadia University.

Arnold, Minnesota

Arnold is a former census-designated place (CDP), which was located in Rice Lake, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 2,960 at the 2010 census. The census-designated place of Arnold was located entirely within the former Rice Lake Township, adjacent to the north side of the city of Duluth. Rice Lake Township was incorporated as the city of Rice Lake on October 22, 2015, thus rendering the census-designated place of Arnold to no longer exist.

The name "Arnold", as a place of residence, had been seldom used in the present day by the younger generations. Since about 1970, those who reside in this area had identified themselves as residents of Rice Lake or Duluth. The CDP name "Arnold" was used only for statistical purposes for the U.S. decennial census count of population.

Edenburg, Pennsylvania

Edenburg is a census-designated place in Windsor Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located along Old Route 22, and very close to I-78 about 2 miles from Hamburg. As of the 2010 census, the population was 681 residents.

Fort Smith metropolitan area

The Fort Smith Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is a five-county area including three Arkansas counties and two Oklahoma counties, and anchored by the city of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The total MSA population in 2000 was 273,170 people, estimated by the Bureau to have grown to 289,693 people by 2007.Other major cities located within the area include the Arkansas cities of Van Buren and Ozark and the Oklahoma cities of Poteau and Sallisaw. It is directly positioned under Crawford County in the western part of Arkansas.

Jefferson, West Virginia

Jefferson is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States, along the Kanawha River. The population was 676 at the 2010 census. Jefferson was incorporated on March 22, 1997, but was disincorporated less than a decade later on February 21, 2007.In January 2001, Jefferson was profiled on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart by faux reporter Stephen Colbert.

Lanham, Maryland

Lanham is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland. As of the 2010 United States Census it had a population of 10,157. The New Carrollton station (the terminus of the Washington Metro's Orange Line) as well as an Amtrak station are across the Capital Beltway in New Carrollton, Maryland. Doctors Community Hospital is located in Lanham.

Mohrsville, Pennsylvania

Mohrsville is a census-designated place in Centre Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located about 3 miles south of the borough of Shoemakersville along the Schuylkill River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 383 residents.

Montrose Manor, Pennsylvania

Montrose Manor is a census-designated place in Spring and Cumru Townships in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located along US Route 222 just north of Mohnton, Pennsylvania. In the 2010 census the population was recorded as 604 residents.

Muhlenberg Park, Pennsylvania

Muhlenberg Park is a census-designated place in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. The community is located just to the west of the borough of Laureldale. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,420 residents.

Pennside, Pennsylvania

Pennside is a census-designated place in Lower Alsace and Exeter Townships in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located about 4 miles east of the city of Reading. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,215 residents.

Rivanna (CDP), Virginia

Rivanna is a census-designated place (CDP) in Albemarle County, Virginia, just east of Shadwell. The population as of the 2010 Census was 1,860. It consists mainly of the Glenmore gated community.

Riverview Park, Pennsylvania

Riverview Park is a census-designated place in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located along the banks of the Schuylkill River about 6 miles north of the city of Reading. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,380 residents.

Salisbury metropolitan area

The Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau is a metropolitan area centered on the city of Salisbury, Maryland and consists of four counties: Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester in Maryland and Sussex in Delaware. The MSA had a total population of 373,802 as of the 2010 census and an estimated population of 405,803 for 2017.

Stanford, California

Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census, with a daily population of 35,000.Stanford is an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County and is adjacent to the city of Palo Alto. A popular landmark is the Dish.

Most of the Stanford University campus and other core University owned land is situated within the census-designated place of Stanford though the Stanford University Medical Center, the Stanford Shopping Center, and the Stanford Research Park are officially part of the city of Palo Alto. Its resident population consists of the inhabitants of on-campus housing, including graduate student residences and single-family homes and condominiums owned by their faculty inhabitants but located on leased Stanford land. A residential neighborhood adjacent to the Stanford campus, College Terrace, featuring streets named after universities and colleges, including Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and Princeton, is neither part of the Stanford CDP nor owned by the University but is part of Palo Alto.

Stony Creek Mills, Pennsylvania

Stony Creek Mills is a census-designated place in Lower Alsace and Exeter Townships in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is located about 5 miles east of the city of Reading. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,045 residents.

Tornado, West Virginia

Tornado is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States. Tornado is also known as Upper Falls, the U.S. Census Bureau's official name for the community. The United States Board on Geographic Names declared the community's official name to be Tornado in 2013 due to a request from the Kanawha County Commission, which determined that residents of the community supported the name Tornado over Upper Falls. It is also known as Andrews Heights, Big Bend and Upper Falls of Coal River.The Coal River bisects the community and gives it its historical name from the cascading waters of its Upper Falls.The Upper Falls CDP contains the populated places of Ferrell, River Bend and Tornado.

At 17.2 square miles, Upper Falls is the largest CDP in the state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,701.Tornado is in the Charleston, West Virginia metropolitan area.

University of Virginia (census-designated place), Virginia

University of Virginia is a census-designated place in Albemarle County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 Census was 7,704. As the name infers, the CDP encompasses the University of Virginia grounds (that part which is outside incorporated Charlottesville), along with several adjacent off-grounds housing areas, including University Heights, which was formerly its own CDP.

Lists of census-designated places in the United States by state
By population
Native areas

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