Geographic Levels

Data in NEO CANDO are available at several levels of aggregation including census geographies and locally defined geographies. Descriptions of each of the different aggregations are provided below. First, described are the census geographies included in NEO CANDO. Second, we describe locally defined geographies. For more detailed information about the census geographies click here.

All of the data in NEO CANDO is based on 2010 tract boundary definitions. For data we receive at the address level, we geo-coded the data into the 2010 census geography. For the Census data, we used GIS techniques to convert 2000 census data into the 2010 census geography. Data should be in the same geographic boundaries to allow for accurate comparison over time. Census tract level data are available for the following 17 counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne.

Keep in mind that some census tracts have changed numbers, split, or changed physical boundaries over the decade. So a tract that existed in 2000 may not exist in 2010, the tract number may have changed or the physical boundaries may have changed. In order to accurately compare data over time the data should be in the same geographic boundaries. We ensure the user is comparing apples to apples by converting all of our data into the same geographic boundaries -- 2010 geography. However, other sites may have 2000 data in the 2000 geography. We caution the user that counts based on 2000 geography will yield different counts than those based on 2010 geography. The user should not compare data in the 2000 geography to data in the 2010 geography.


Census Block
Census blocks are the smallest census geography. Generally, a census block is a street block. Blocks are subdivisions of both census block groups and census tracts. Census blocks are bounded on all sides by visible features such as streets, roads, streams, railroad tracks and invisible features such a city boundaries or county boundaries. Census blocks numbers consist of 10 digits, for example 1011.00-1000.

Census Block Group
Census block groups are clusters of census blocks and have the same first four digits of a census tract. Census block groups do not cross census tracts but may cross other geographic boundaries. Block groups contain between 600 and 3000 people. Census block groups consist of 7 digits, for example 1011.00-1.

Census Tract
Census tracts are small statistical subdivisions of a county. They usually have between 2,500 and 8,000 persons and are designed to be homogeneous in terms of population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions. Census tracts are identified by a four-digit number and may have a two-digit suffix, for example, 1011.01.

If you have an address and need to determine a census block, block group or tract, click here.

City, village and MCD (minor civil division)
This level of geography contains the data for the cities, villages and townships in each of the 17 counties. The Census Bureau defines cities/villages/townships as places and/or county subdivisions/minor civil divisions (MCD). Minor civil divisions are generally townships and cities while places are either cities or villages. The place/MCD level has been split into cities, villages and townships in NEO CANDO. Particularly in more rural counties, townships consist of parts of different villages and/or cities.

This geographic level provides data for the County as a whole. There are 88 counties in Ohio. The map highlights the 17 counties for which we have data in NEO CANDO. The counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit comprise the Cleveland-Akron Metropolitan Area.


Neighborhoods in NEO CANDO refer to both the Statistical Planning Areas (SPAs) and the suburban municipalities. This geographic level is ONLY available for Cuyahoga County in NEO CANDO. The SPAs are geographic areas that were defined by the City of Cleveland Planning Commission in conjunction with community organizations and residents. The SPAs are a combination of contiguous census tracts within the City. The SPAs were defined based on generally accepted neighborhood boundaries within each area and compatibility with census tract boundaries. These SPAs are NOT census geography; therefore, the user is unable to extract data from the Census Bureau's web site based on these areas. The suburban municipalities of Cuyahoga County (i.e. Lakewood, East Cleveland) are census geography and can be extracted from the Census Bureau's web site.

To view the census blocks, block groups and census tracts within each neighborhoods, cities, villages and township within each county click here.

DCFS Geo-districts
Cuyahoga County is divided into nine geographic districts for the purpose of assigning Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) staff to ongoing child welfare cases. Ongoing cases are cases that, following an investigation of child maltreatment report, included a determination that the family should receive some services while the children remain at home, or that the children should be placed in foster care. Under this system, a specific unit of DCFS staff is assigned to serve all the cases from each specific area. Geographic assignment of these cases helps the DCFS staff become more knowledgeable about the neighborhoods where they work and neighborhood residents benefit from getting to know the DCFS staff who serve their community. For the most part, the DCFS geographic districts are comprised of contiguous neighborhoods and suburban municipalities.

Cleveland Wards
Cleveland wards are the 17 political boundaries in the City of Cleveland. Each ward is represented by a council person.

Cleveland Planning Districts
There are six planning districts in the City of Cleveland. These six districts are comprised of groups of contiguous neighborhoods (spas). They do not follow the five police districts exactly.

Geographic reference maps

The Center has created geographic reference maps showing the cities, townships and villages within each of the 17 counties included in NEO CANDO. Within Cuyahoga County we also have maps for each of the 34 statistical planning areas in the City of Cleveland. The maps also include the census tracts that are within or cross the neighborhoods, cities, townships or villages. To view these geographic reference maps click here.