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Colombia, Department 1964 - 2005 [Level 1; consistent boundaries, GIS]

Codes and Frequencies

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GEO1_CO identifies the household's department within Colombia in all sample years. Departments are the first level administrative units of the country. GEO1_CO is spatially harmonized to account for political boundary changes across census years. Some detail is lost in harmonization; see the comparability discussion. A GIS map (in shapefile format), corresponding to GEO1_CO can be downloaded from the GIS Boundary files page in the IPUMS International web site.

The full set of geography variables for Colombia can be found in the IPUMS International Geography variables list. For cross-national geographic analysis on the first and second major administrative level refer to GEOLEV1, and GEOLEV2. More information on IPUMS-International geography can be found here.

Comparability — General

Where boundaries changed over time, units were harmonized to create units with boundaries that remain stable over time. Where officially-defined departments have populations under 20,000, they have been regionalized (combined) with neighboring departments.

Boundary changes and confidentiality issues:

  • Sucre split from Bolivar in 1967
  • Casanare split from Boyacá in 1974.
  • Cesar split from Magdalena in 1967
  • Boundaries changed between Cesar and Norte de Santander sometime between 1993 and 2005
  • Quindío split from Caldas in 1966.
  • Risaralda split from Caldas in 1967.
  • Bogotá and Cundinamarca are represented as a single unit named Cundinamarca/Federal District in the 1964 and 1973 censuses, but were separately enumerated in all the later samples after changes constitutional terms.
  • Guaviare split from Vaupés in 1982.
  • Amazonas, Guaviare, Vaupés, Vichada, are combined for confidentiality reasons.


Missing departments: The 1993 sample is missing 2 departments.

  • Guainía
  • Vaupés


  • All households


  • Colombia: 1964, 1973, 1985, 1993, 2005