I have a shapefile from TIGERLine data from the Census website, as well as a spreadsheet from the American FactFinder. I've edited the excel sheet to a 97-2003 workbook, and am now able to bring it into ArcMap.

Both have fields which I am attempting to join, but they are in different Field Types. These are the GEOID2 from FactFinder and GEOID10 from the TigerLines. I' have been trying to create a new field in the TigerLines file, and intend to populate the fields using the Field Calculator.

I am trying to get the FactFinder attributes into the TIGERlines shapefile, but Double does not work, and the ID Codes are 11 numbers which is too long for Short or Long Integer. They are currently as Text strings, but if I join them like such, everything ends up as NULL.


2 Answers 2


This is a pretty common mistake that people make. When downloading the .csv version of the American FactFinder output and opening it up in Excel, they assume that because the GEOID2 field has numbers it must be a numerical field. It is purely a categorical field and should never be transformed as a numerical field, it does not have a quantitative value. If you want to know how to correctly edit the .csv file in excel, refer to this video, which shows the way to import the csv file into excel and ensure that the GEOID2 field is text/string. Also make certain that any field headers are free of periods, dashes, or numbers at the beginning (e.g. GEO.id changed to GEOid, GEO.id2 changed to GEOID2, GEO.display-label changed to Name). Only after you have done all that is the csv ready to be imported into ArcGIS.


Within ArcMap, export your excel spreadsheet to a .dbf or into a .gdb. This should make it possible to join without NULL values

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