I have data at the ZIP3 level and I need to join it to a state file. I also need the data within the zip3 file to be averaged, but for some reason when I use the join tools, i'm not getting the results that I need.

Is there a way to aggregate data from a zip3 level to a state level without swtiching over to raster data (which is what the spatial analyst tool requires).


  • Welcome to GIS SE. What GIS software are you using? – artwork21 Mar 5 '12 at 21:24
  • I'm using ArcGIS 10.3 – erin Mar 5 '12 at 21:31
  • Does the ZIP3 level information have a state ID associated with it? It's quite unlikely you will need to convert anything to a raster for this. Is your ZIP3 data in the form of polygons or points? – djq Mar 5 '12 at 22:46

The dissolve tool (ArcToolBox-->Data Management Tools-->Generalization-->Dissolve in 9.x) will join the shapes based on the State field and will allow aggregate functions such as sum, average, count, etc. on selected fields. This will result in a new multi-polygon feature class.

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  • The dissolve tool isn't helping here as I have ZIP 3 polygons with data in them that I want to aggregate up to state level. So lets say I have 5 Alaska zip3s and 7 for Alabama and nine for California, I need the output to be one line for Alaska, one like for Alabama, one line for California. I'm going to try to find an ID field that I can use as the problem might be cominf from the use of state codes. – erin Mar 6 '12 at 16:14
  • If you dissolve by State id, then can't you join the zip3 data (with its newly aggregated fields) to the state data? I'm talking about a table join based on state id, not a spatial join. I apologize if I'm not understanding the question correctly. – Scro Mar 6 '12 at 19:39
  • Following up to see if this was helpful. Don't leave me hanging! :) – Scro Mar 13 '12 at 21:33

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