Postal Centroid Location Codes

Location codes that begin with a "Z" are postal centroid location codes. A postal centroid location code has the following characters.

1st character Always "Z" indicating a location derived from a ZIP centroid.
2nd character Census ID accuracy.
3rd character Location type.
4th character How the location and Census ID was defined. Provided for completeness, but may not be useful for most applications.

The following table contains the values and descriptions for the 2nd-4th characters of the postal centroid location codes.

Character Position Code Description
2nd Character    
  B Block Group accuracy (most accurate).
  T Census Tract accuracy.
  C Unclassified Census accuracy. Normally accurate to at least the County level.
3rd Character    
  5 Location of the Post Office that delivers mail to the address, a 5-digit ZIP Code centroid, or a location based upon locale (city). See the 4th character for a precise indication of locational accuracy.
  7 Location based upon a ZIP + 2 centroid. These locations can represent a multiple block area in urban locations, or a slightly larger area in rural settings.
  9 Location based upon a ZIP + 4 centroid. These are the most accurate centroids and normally place the location on the correct block face. For a small number of records, the location may be the middle of the entire street on which the ZIP + 4 falls. See the 4th character for a precise indication of locational accuracy.
4th Character    
  A Address matched to a single segment. Location assigned in the middle of the matched street segment, offset to the proper side of the street.
  a Address matched to a single segment, but the correct side of the street is unknown. Location assigned in the middle of the matched street segment, offset to the left side of the street, as address ranges increase.
  B Address matched to multiple segments, all segments have the same Block Group. Location assigned to the middle of the matched street segment with the most house number ranges within this ZIP + 4. Location offset to the proper side of the street.
  b Same as methodology B except the correct side of the street is unknown. Location assigned in the middle of the matched street segment, offset to the left side of the street, as address ranges increase.
  C Address matched to multiple segments, with all segments having the same Census Tract. Returns the Block Group representing the most households in this ZIP + 4. Location assigned to t he middle of the matched street segment with the most house number ranges within this ZIP + 4. Location offset to the proper side of the street.
  c Same as methodology C except the correct side of the street is unknown. Location assigned in the middle of the matched street segment, offset to the left side of the street, as address ranges increase.
  D Address matched to multiple segments, with all segments having the same County. Returns the Block Group representing the most households in this ZIP + 4. Location assigned to the middle of the matched street segment with the most house number ranges within this ZIP + 4. Location offset to the proper side of the street.
  d Same as methodology D except the correct side of the street is unknown. Location assigned in the middle of the matched street segment, offset to the left side of the street, as address ranges increase.
  E Street name matched; no house ranges available. All matched segments have the same Block Group. Location placed on the segment closest to the center of the matched segments. In most cases, this is on the mid-point of the entire street.
  F Street name matched; no house ranges available. All matched segments have the same Census Tract. Location placed on the segment closest to the center of the matched segments. In most cases, this is on the mid-point of the entire street.
  G Street name matched (no house ranges available). All matched segments have the same County. Location placed on the segment closest to the center of the matched segments. In most cases, this is on the mid-point of the entire street.
  H Same as methodology G, but some segments are not in the same County. Used for less than .05% of the centroids.
  I Created ZIP + 2 cluster centroid as defined by methodologies A, a, B, and b. All centroids in this ZIP + 2 cluster have the same Block Group. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  J Created ZIP + 2 cluster centroid as defined by methodologies A, a, B, b, C, and c. All centroids in this ZIP + 2 cluster have the same Census Tract. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  K Created ZIP + 2 cluster centroid as defined by methodologies A, a, B, b, C, c, D, and d. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  L Created ZIP + 2 cluster centroid as defined by methodology E. All centroids in this ZIP + 2 cluster have the same Block Group. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  M Created ZIP+2 cluster centroid as defined by methodology E and F. All centroids in this ZIP + 2 cluster have the same Census Tract. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  N Created ZIP + 2 cluster centroid as defined by methodology E, F, G, and H. Location assigned to the ZIP + 2 centroid.
  O ZIP Code is obsolete and not currently used by the USPS. Historic location assigned.
  V Over 95% of addresses in this ZIP Code are in a single Census Tract. Location assigned to the ZIP Code centroid.
  W Over 80% of addresses in this ZIP Code are in a single Census Tract. Reasonable Census Tract accuracy. Location assigned to the ZIP Code centroid.
  X Less than 80% of addresses in this ZIP Code are in a single Census Tract. Census ID is uncertain. Location assigned to the ZIP Code centroid.
  Y Rural or sparsely populated area. Census code is uncertain. Location based upon the USGS places file.
  Z P.O. Box or General Delivery addresses. Census code is uncertain. Location based upon the Post Office location that delivers the mail to that address.