I have one shapefile contains census areas with population and density information and the other shapefile is just an administrative zone file. There may be multiple census areas within each zone and the reverse may true as well.

I would like to calculate the density based on the zone information and but the density information is in the census area. If possible, when the census area is split by the zone boundary, I would like the density to be proportional to the area. For example, if 75% of the census area goes into the Zone A, the density for the census area should be divided so that it has 75% of the density.

I've attached a picture of the two shapefiles.

enter image description here

I run ArcGIS 10.3 on a basic license, so the split tool won’t be an option for me.

Is this doable?

  • It's doable, there are answers on this site that explain how, I just can't find one at the moment..
    – Dan C
    Jan 24, 2018 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


You shoud use Intersect with a layer version of your feature class to be split. In Make Feature Layer, check the ratio policy property for the fields you want to modify proportionally:

Attribute values from the input feature classes will be copied to the output feature class. However, if the input is a layer or layers created by the Make Feature Layer tool and a field's Use Ratio Policy is checked, then a ratio of the input attribute value is calculated for the output attribute value. When Use Ratio Policy is enabled, whenever a feature in an overlay operation is split, the attributes of the resulting features are a ratio of the attribute value of the input feature

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