Geography & GIS


IHGIS provides shapefiles to describe the boundaries of administrative and statistical units represented in IHGIS data files. By linking the data tables to the boundary files, you can map the characteristics in the data tables.

The GISJOIN field present in both the shapefiles and the data files serves as the link between the files. You can perform a join in a GIS package to attach columns from a data file to the attribute table of the boundary shapefile. See more details in the IHGIS User Guide.

We provide a shapefile for each geographic level for which data are tabulated. Geographic levels are numbered with g0 being the entire nation, g1 being the largest sub-national units, g2 being subdivisions of g1 units, and so on. Typically, g1 represents the first administrative level (e.g., states or provinces), g2 represents the second administrative level (e.g., counties, districts, or municipalities), and so on. However, census results may be tabulated for statistical units as well as administrative units. In these cases, the numbering includes both statistical and administrative levels. For example, g1 may represent large statistical regions, with g2 then representing the first administrative level.

Some datasets include additional geographic levels outside the basic hierarchy. For example, results may be tabulated for a selected set of major cities. These additional geographic levels are designated with letters, e.g., “ga.”

The international boundaries of all shapefiles have been adjusted to align with the Large Scale International Boundaries (LSIB) dataset from the U.S.Department of State. You can therefore map neighboring countries with no gaps or overlaps along their shared border.

NOTE: IPUMS IHGIS boundary data are intended for visual representations and statistical analysis. The boundaries do not necessarily reflect exact political delineations.

Boundaries for microdata sample tabulations

Boundaries corresponding to microdata sample tabulation datasets may be obtained from the IPUMS International GIS boundary files page. Due to differences in naming and coding conventions, IPUMS International shapefiles do not include GISJOIN fields that can be used directly to join to IHGIS data tables. See the IHGIS User Guide for details on how to join IHGIS data files to IPUMS International boundary shapefiles.


DatasetGIS Boundary Files
Albania 2001 Population Census (AL2001pop) Prefectures (g1)
Albania 2012 Agricultural Census (AL2012ag) Prefectures (g1)
Algeria 1998 Population Census (DZ1998pop) Wilayas (g1)
Angola 2014 Population Census (AO2014pop) Provinces (g1)
Belgium 1991 Population Census (BE1991pop) Regions (g1)
Belize 2010 Population Census (BZ2010pop) Districts (g1)
Subdivisions (g2)
Cities/Villages/Towns (g3)
China 1997 Agricultural Census (CN1997ag) Parts (g1)
Cook Islands 2011 Agricultural Census (CK2011ag) Island groups (g1)
Islands/Districts (g2)
Cook Islands 2011 Population Census (CK2011pop) Island groups (g1)
Islands/Districts (g2)
Dominican Republic 2010 Population Census (DO2010pop) Regions (g1)
Provinces (g2)
Municipalities (g3)
Municipal districts (g4)
Estonia 2011 Population Census (EE2011pop) Counties (g1)
Municipalities (g2)
Finland 2010 Agricultural Census (FI2010ag) Regions (g1)
The Gambia 2013 Population Census (GM2013pop) Local Government Areas (LGA) (g1)
Districts (g2)
Hungary 2011 Population Census (HU2011pop) Regions (g1)
Counties (g2)
Japan 2010 Population Census (JP2010pop) Prefectures (g1)
Kazakhstan 2009 Population Census (KZ2009pop) Regions/Oblasts (g1)
Latvia 2011 Population Census (LV2011pop) Regions (g1)
Counties (g2)
(Boundaries not available for Parishes/Towns at this time.)
Madagascar 2005 Agricultural Census (MG2005ag) Provinces (g1)
Regions (g2)
Districts (g3)
Mozambique 2007 Population Census (MZ2007pop) Regions (g1)
Namibia 2001 Population Census (NA2001pop) Regions (g1)
Niger 2001 Population Census (NE2001pop) Regions (g1)
Poland 2011 Population Census (PL2011pop) Voivodeships (g1)
Sri Lanka 2001 Population Census (LK2001pop) Districts (g1)
Syria 2004 Population Census (SY2004pop) Mohafazat (g1)
Togo 2010 Population Census (TG2010pop) Regions (g1)
Prefectures/Arrondissements (g2)
Cantons/Quartiers (g3)
(Boundaries not available for Cantons that subdivide Quartiers at this time.)
Togo 2012 Agricultural Census (TG2012ag) Regions (g1)
Tonga 2001 Agricultural Census (TO2001ag) Divisions (g1)
Districts (g2)
Tunisia 2004 Population Census (TN2004pop) Governorates (g1)
Uganda 1991 Agricultural Census (UG1991ag) Districts (g1)
Uganda 2002 Combined Population and Agricultural Census (UG2002popag) Regions (g1)
Districts (g2)
United Arab Emirates 2005 Population Census (AE2005pop) Emirates (g1)
Vanuatu 2007 Agricultural Census (VU2007ag) Provinces (g1)
Islands (g2)
Zambia 1990-1992 Agricultural Census (ZM1992ag) Provinces (g1)
Districts (g2)

Additional shapefiles are available from the IPUMS International GIS boundary files page.

Citation and Use

Use of IHGIS shapefiles is subject to the same conditions as for all IHGIS data. See Citation and Use of IHGIS Data.