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I have a list of census blocks for California and I am trying to get the county for each row.

If I have a census block of 60070004024003, which 2 digits make up the county FIPS?

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Your example is missing one character (it is 15 in total). In California it should be 060070004024003 (starting with 06; see here).

The first and second digits identify the state. The third, fourth and fifth ones identify the county within the state. So, 06007 gives a unique identifier for a county (source).

Assuming you have a list in a spreadsheet (Excel, for example), column A. Type in B1:

= LEFT(A1,5)

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