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Maine Census LogoMaine Census Data

By Kate King and Eric VonMagnus

The first data from Census 2000, the Census 2000 Redistricting Data (P.L. 94-171), Summary File, was released at the end of March, including population numbers for over 62,000 geographic entities in Maine. It stimulated considerable public interest, particularly from the news media. The release was made public by the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) with an advanced copy in CD format to the Governor and with their posting Maine data to the U.S. Census Bureau website in various formats, including American FactFinder, the user-friendly medium for Internet access to Census 2000.

The Maine State Planning Office (MESPO) estimates the volume of census related calls and information requests has about quadrupled since the initial public release. MESPO has extracted data from the Census 2000 Redistricting Data CD, to create files comparing Census 1990 and Census 2000 statistics. In addition, copies of the CD were mailed to the thirty-eight affiliate organizations in the Maine Census Data Center Program. A link to American FactFinder, with how-to instructions, has been placed on the Maine Census website along with the 1990-2000 comparisons and a few other files. These will be available under the link "Frequently Requested Maine Data" at

The Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems (MEGIS) is working closely with the MESPO, to publish the "census geography" boundary coverages, and related summary files in the MEGIS Data Catalog at The goal is to make the March release, and future Census 2000 data releases, more accessible to GIS users.

MEGIS tasks are focused first on the publication and use of Municipal and County Census Division (MCD/CCD) data, part of the USCB March release. These boundary coverages have been derived, merged to create a statewide coverage, and projected to UTM Zone 19, NAD83, meters (a map projection standard for Maine GIS). Relationships between items and tables are currently being established and tested. Selected USCB relational databases, which link census divisions, tracts, and blocks to population and socio-economic data will be available at the "Tables" link in the Data Catalog. The publication will include related metadata in Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC-STD-001-1998) format and is targeted for this spring.

Questions? Contact   or . Kate King is a GIS Coordinator for the Maine Office of GIS. Eric VonMagnus is a Census Information Officer for the Maine State Planning Office.

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