Why is a Congressional District returned as 00 or 98?

The Census Bureau designates certain Congressional districts as 00 and 98. Here's why.

When appending Congressional Districts to your geocoded results, you may occassionally receive one of the following returned values:

  • District Number: 00
  • District Number: 98

Let's discuss why you might receive these districts in your results.

First, let's define our terms, accoring to the US Census Bureau:

  • Congressional District: An area represented by a single member of the US House of Representatives. There are 435 districts in total. Once apportionment of congressional seats has been determined by population counts taken during the census (every ten years), every state with multiple seats must establish districts for each representative they have been apportioned to elect. Districts are to be as equal in population as is possible. Regions that are not considered states (Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc) receive a special District Code 98 to identify them as being represented by a non-voting delegate.
  • District Codes: A Congressional District is identified by a two-digit numeric FIPS code that is unique per state. If the state only has a single representative, it will be considered District Number 00.
code description
01 - 53 Congressional District Codes
00 (At large) Single District for State
98 Nonvoting delegate
ZZ Area not assign to any congressional district

Therefore, if your district returns as the following, you can make the assumption that:

  • 00: There is only one district in the state you've input.
  • 98: The region you have input is a region that does not have a voting representative, but rather a nonvoting delegate.

States with Only One Congressional District (00)

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Territories and Districts with Non-Voting Representatives (98)

  • American Samoa
  • District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

For more information, checkout the Census Bureau FAQ and Glossary.

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