Counties: neighbors, centroids, and nearest HEI

This directory contains spatial data files and the scripts that produce them. The data files are linked both to their GitHub repository location and a raw version to facilitate easy download. Scripts to produce the datasets can be found in the ./scripts subdirectory of the repository.


File name Script Language Description
neighborcounties.csv [Raw] Python 3.5 Long data file that lists all adjacent counties (2010)
county_centers.csv [Raw] popcenters.r R 3.2.3 Geocoordinates for geographic and population-weighted centers in all counties (2000 and 2010)
nearest_hei.csv [Raw] nearesthei.r R 3.2.3 Nearest higher education institution (HEI) to every county, by sector (2010-2014)


neighborcounties.csv [Raw]

This long file links every county in the United States (as of the 2010 Census) with all of its contiguous counties. Five-digit county-level FIPS codes are used to identify the counties. These codes uniquely identify each county and can be used to link with other datasets such as the American Community Survey.

Name Description
orgfips Origin county FIPS code
adjfips Adjacent county FIPS code
instate ==1 if adjacent county is in the same state

county_centers.csv [Raw]

This wide file gives the latitude and longitude for the spatial and population centers of every county in the United States for the Census years 2000 and 2010. These coordinates are given by the U.S. Census; this file simply collects them in a single easy-to-use file. Five-digit county-level FIPS codes are used to identify the counties.

Name Description
fips Unique county-level five-digit FIPS code
clon00 Longitude of spatial center, 2000
clat00 Latitude of spatial center, 2000
clon10 Longitude of spatial center, 2010
clat10 Latitude of spatial center, 2010
pclon00 Longitude of population-weighted center, 2000
pclat00 Latitude of population-weighted center, 2000
pclon10 Longitude of population-weighted center, 2010
pclat10 Latitude of population-weighted center, 2010

nearest_hei.csv [Raw]

This long file gives the nearest highest education institution (HEI) to each county population center across a number of years and higher education sectors. Each row gives the nearest institution’s IPEDS unique unitid, the distance in miles, and indicators for the year and subset of included schools (e.g., nearest public four-year, nearest public two-year, etc.).

Name Description
fips Unique county-level five-digit FIPS code
unitid Unique IPEDS identifier for nearest HEI
miles Distance in miles between county population center and nearest HEI
limit_instate ==1 if sample of schools is limited to those in same state as county
year Year of match
any ==1 if any type of HEI is included in sample
limit_fouryr ==1 if only four-year HEIs are included in sample
limit_twoyr ==1 if only two-year HEIS are included in sample
limit_pub ==1 if only public HEIs are included in sample
limit_pnp ==1 if only private, non-profit HEIs are included in sample
limit_pfp ==1 if only private, for-profit HEIs are inluced in sample

Absolute nearest HEI (regardless of sector and crossing state lines)

Nearest instate public four-year HEI

Nearest instate private, for-profit two-year HEI