I grabbed ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) from census.gov and I'm a bit confused because the data for Zip Codes seems to be from 2010? Is that right?

Do they not change frequently enough to warrant an update in the 2019 dataset? Or is there a more updated data set?

  • 2
    From my recollection, the ZCTA's are calculated every Decennial Census. So, the boundaries change every 10 years as the USPS updates their service routes. The demographic data associated with the ZCTA's, on the other hand, are updated for each of their respective releases. The 2014-2018 ACS Summary data, for instance, uses 2010 ZCTA boundaries.
    – Kotebiya
    Jun 9, 2020 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


ZCTAs are created every 10 years for the Decennial Census. They are not representative of current zip code boundaries. Zip codes are created for mail carriers to deliver the mail, not for data analysis.

here is some really good information about ZCTAs from the Census Bureau: ZCTA Guidance

This video also has some good information in it

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