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How can I use a table containing descriptive 'field names' to change the numeric field names in an attribute table (census data)?

Question asked by PersefoniKapotas on Oct 23, 2019

I am trying to work with census data.  I have a geodatabase that I downloaded from  It includes a feature class of census block groups as well as various tables containing the census data.  I will have to join or relate these tables to the polygon layer.  These tables have alphanumeric field names and what appears to be hundreds of fields.  Also included, is a table called BG_Metadata_2017.  This table deciphers the alphanumeric field names in the other tables (for example: there is a field named B25001e1 in the 'housing characteristics' table; according to the metadata table, the 'long name' for that field is something like 'Total Housing Units'.  So what i'm trying to figure out is how to use the metadata table to change the field names (or aliases) to the 'long name'.  I can't type in each one manually, as there are soooo many. Any ideas?

Also, any ideas of other ways to get a layer of basic housing/economic/population data from the 2010 census (or ACS survey) for NJ at a census tract or smaller level would be appreciated.  I can't seem to find anything prepackaged.



I'm attaching a zip file of the geodatabase I downloaded from the census.