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tigris is an R package that allows users to directly download and use TIGER/Line shapefiles (https://www.census.gov/geographies/mapping-files/time-series/geo/tiger-line-file.html) from the US Census Bureau.

To install the package from CRAN, issue the following command in R:


Or, get the development version from GitHub:


As of version 1.0 (released in July 2020), tigris functions return simple features objects with a default year of 2019. To get started, choose a function from the table below and use it with a state and/or county if required. You’ll get back an sf object for use in your mapping and spatial analysis projects:


manhattan_roads <- roads("NY", "New York")

ggplot(manhattan_roads) + 
  geom_sf() + 

tigris only returns feature geometries for US Census data which default to the coordinate reference system NAD 1983 (EPSG: 4269). For US Census demographic data (optionally pre-joined to tigris geometries), try the tidycensus package. For help deciding on an appropriate coordinate reference system for your project, take a look at the crsuggest package.

Updated documentation for tigris is coming later this year in the book Analyzing the US Census with R. In the meantime, I’d recommend the following materials to learn about conceptual foundations of the package:

Available datasets:

Please note: cartographic boundary files in tigris are not available for 2011 and 2012. While many datasets are available for 2020 geographies, the cartographic boundary shapefiles for 2020 have not yet been released as of May 2021.

Function Datasets available Years available
nation() cartographic (1:5m; 1:20m) 2013-2019
divisions() cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 2013-2019
regions() cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 2013-2019
states() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 1990, 2000, 2010-2020
counties() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 1990, 2000, 2010-2020
tracts() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 1990, 2000, 2010-2020
block_groups() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 1990, 2000, 2010-2020
blocks() TIGER/Line 2000, 2010-2020
places() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2011-2020
pumas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2012-2020
school_districts() TIGER/Line; cartographic 2011-2020
zctas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2000, 2010, 2012-2020
congressional_districts() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 2011-2020
state_legislative_districts() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2011-2020
voting_districts() TIGER/Line 2012
area_water() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
linear_water() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
coastline TIGER/Line() 2013-2020
core_based_statistical_areas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 2011-2020
combined_statistical_areas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k; 1:5m; 1:20m) 2011-2020
metro_divisions() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
new_england() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2011-2020
county_subdivisions() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2010-2020
urban_areas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2012-2020
primary_roads() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
primary_secondary_roads() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
roads() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
rails() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
native_areas() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2011-2020
alaska_native_regional_corporations() TIGER/Line; cartographic (1:500k) 2011-2020
tribal_block_groups() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
tribal_census_tracts() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
tribal_subdivisions_national() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
landmarks() TIGER/Line 2011-2020
military() TIGER/Line 2011-2020