I'm looking for accurate US county boundaries in shapefile (most likely), feature class, or a geodatabase. Specifically, I'm looking for Midwestern US states: Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


You might find these cartographic boundary shapefiles for U.S. Counties useful: http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/cbf/cbf_counties.html

  • And that suggestion led me to their TIGER data @ census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger.html. I'm not sure which will be better for us but it looks like I have some options. Feb 11, 2015 at 22:23
  • You could use the other shapefiles. But TIGER shapefiles are based on administrative boundaries, and cartographic shapefiles are based on land boundaries. If you are curious about the difference, just load the shapefiles. You will IMMEDIATELY notice the difference since you are using Michigan.
    – Kotebiya
    Feb 11, 2015 at 23:23
  • there is no doubt you'll see the difference but I'm not concerned with that for this use. I have access to high res, detailed boundaries of the Great Lakes that I can use to clean up the administrative boundaries along the Great Lakes. Feb 12, 2015 at 16:33

The Centers for Disease Control provide county-level shape files. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/epiinfo/html/shapefiles.htm They are in ESRI shapefile format but, CDC restricts their use to Epi Map.

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