What are FIPS codes?
Federal Information Processing Standards Codes (FIPS codes) is a standardized set of numeric or alphabetic codes issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to ensure uniform identification of geographic entities through all federal government agencies. In other words, FIPS codes are numbers that uniquely identify geographic areas.
The number of digits in FIPS codes depends on the level of geography. State FIPS codes contain two digits, county FIPS codes include five digits of which the first two are the FIPS code of the state to which the county belongs. For example, in 01 234 567890 1, 01 would stand for state, 234 for county, 567890 for tract, and 1 would stand for block group.
FIPS codes in Social Explorer
Social Explorer automatically displays the corresponding FIPS codes when a user generates a report. In addition, users who know the FIPS codes of the geographies they are interested in can input these codes directly into the Social Explorer reporting tool to expedite the production of reports. This feature is particularly useful for generating reports for a large number of geographies simultaneously.