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Frequently Asked Questions

What does NHGIS stand for?

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides easy access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography, including states, counties, tracts, and blocks.

What are the components of the NHGIS?

The NHGIS consists of three major components: Collected and enriched historical and contemporary U.S. Census summary data. Incorporated data into a Geographic Information Systems framework.

What can we learn from NHGIS data?

Research using NHGIS data has examined topics like state-by-state comparisons of health outcomes, segregation and diversity, food deserts, the implications of economic growth on surrounding areas, city location and economic development, gentrification and displacement, and the relationship between hate crimes and terrorism.

What is the national historical geographic information system?

"The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a project created to freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate census information for the United States between 1790 and 2010." The NHGIS consists of three major components: