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.


DatasetGIS Boundary Files
Albania 2001 Population Census (AL2001pop) Prefectures (g1)
Albania 2012 Agricultural Census (AL2012ag) Prefectures (g1)
Algeria 1998 Population Census (DZ1998pop) Wilayas (g1)
Belgium 1991 Population Census (BE1991pop) Regions (g1)
Finland 2010 Agricultural Census (FI2010ag) Regions (g1)
Hungary 2011 Population Census (HU2011pop) Regions (g1)
Counties (g2)
Kazakhstan 2009 Population Census (KZ2009pop) Regions/Oblasts (g1)
Mozambique 2007 Population Census (MZ2007pop) Regions (g1)
Niger 2001 Population Census (NE2001pop) Regions (g1)
Poland 2011 Population Census (PL2011pop) Voivodeships (g1)
Sri Lanka 2001 Population Census (LK2001pop) Districts (g1)
Togo 2012 Agricultural Census (TG2012ag) Regions (g1)
Uganda 2002 Combined Population and Agricultural Census (UG2002popag) Regions (g1)
Districts (g2)

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.