This must be a common enough problem that other users have come across it. I've finagled my way around inconsistencies and dropped observations, but now I'm reaching out to see if anyone knows of a 'holy grail' type spatial dataset.

I am in search of USA congressional district to county relationship files going back to the 1980s. While many components of said files are available online via the US Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/cd_national.html), they do not release them for every year.

I've tried combining different online sources (combining this CD dataset (http://cdmaps.polisci.ucla.edu/) with the atlas of historical county boundaries (https://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/)) in a GIS environment; however, inconsistencies in the shapefiles (see here:

enter image description here

lead to too many (or too few) relationships.

Does anyone have such a file on hand or know where I could obtain it?

  • 3
    If this is open data then I think the place to ask will be the Open Data Stack Exchange.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 18, 2018 at 22:24
  • I followed your suggestion and cross-posed there (with acknowledgement of cross-posting). Is it okay to keep this question here as this exchange has more traffic? No problem if not.
    – user128912
    Dec 19, 2018 at 0:49
  • I see your question at opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/13643/… (and have suggested in an edit there that the acknowledgement of cross-posting be removed from the title and body). Since Open Data is still in Beta I think it is OK to leave a copy of your question here for now.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 19, 2018 at 0:54
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    Thanks - approved your edits! Appreciate your guidance on this questions and my previous ones :) As of now I think I may be closing in on a solution - if so I will write up a formal blog post about it and link it.
    – user128912
    Dec 19, 2018 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


Just found this query and realized I'm trying to do the same thing but going back to 1970.

In case you didn't find it yet, the Missouri Census Data Center's Geocorr application has already done these intersects and provided crosswalks going back through the 1990 census, which should allow you to get this crosswalk post-1982 redistricting.


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