Open Government at the National Archives

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Dataset

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 1996-Present xml

What is the data?

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains all of the general and permanent regulations of the United States government, which affect nearly every aspect of life in the United States. The datasets are divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Learn more about the CFR.

How do I access the data?

The bulk data is available by year on the GPO website.  Also see the CFR XML Data User Guide

What is in the data?

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) data sets consist of annual editions of the CFR in XML-tagged files. When unzipped, the CFR data packages contain XML files for each of the 50 CFR subject matter titles, encompassing all of the individual CFR print/online volumes that are reissued each year. CFR volumes are published quarterly, with new data sets being added as they become available (see publication schedule and list of titles below).

Publication Schedule

Titles 1-16: January 1
Titles 17-27: April 1
Titles 28-41: July 1
Titles 42-50: October 1

List of Titles and Subject Matter

Title 1: General Provisions
Title 2: Grants and Agreements
Title 3: The President
Title 4: Accounts
Title 5: Administrative Personnel
Title 6: Domestic Security
Title 7: Agriculture
Title 8: Aliens and Nationality
Title 9: Animals and Animal Products
Title 10: Energy
Title 11: Federal Elections
Title 12: Banks and Banking
Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance
Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Title 16: Commercial Practices
Title 17: Commodity and Securities Exchanges
Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
Title 19: Customs Duties
Title 20: Employees' Benefits
Title 21: Food and Drugs
Title 22: Foreign Relations
Title 23: Highways
Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
Title 25: Indians
Title 26: Internal Revenue
Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
Title 28: Judicial Administration
Title 29: Labor
Title 30: Mineral Resources
Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury
Title 32: National Defense
Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
Title 34: Education
Title 35: Reserved (formerly Panama Canal)
Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
Title 39: Postal Service
Title 40: Protection of Environment
Title 41: Public Contracts and Property Management
Title 42: Public Health
Title 43: Public Lands: Interior
Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance
Title 45: Public Welfare
Title 46: Shipping
Title 47: Telecommunication
Title 48: Federal Acquisition Regulations System
Title 49: Transportation
Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

Why was this data selected?

When Congress enacts laws, or when the President and Federal agencies determine that new regulatory measures must be undertaken, agencies publish the changes in the Federal Register, which are integrated into the standing body of law in the CFR.  Many volumes of the CFR are quite dynamic, changing substantially from year to year.  For that reason, it is important that multiple years of the CFR are converted to XML.  An incident occurring in 2007 would be enforced or litigated based on rules in force in the 2007 edition of the CFR.

These data sets are of high value because the CFR contains all of the general and permanent regulations of the United States government, which affect nearly every aspect of life in the United States.  Each citizen has rights, obligations, protections, and benefits under law, specifically defined in the CFR.  Federal regulations set enforceable standards for food safety and drinking water, for the air we breathe, for various forms of transport and communication, for our financial and health care systems, for security and national defense, and in many other areas.  The CFR was created by a 1938 amendment to the Federal Register Act, which was the first open government law of the U.S. government.  In general, a regulatory requirement is not enforceable against any person unless it appears in the text of the CFR. 

By making CFR data available in XML, developers will be able to present this complex information in new ways.  For example, multiple agencies have responsibility for safeguarding the environment, wildlife, and natural resources.  With XML structure and underlying metadata, it is possible to build applications that present regulatory issues geographically, topically, and chronologically, in addition to agency-by-agency.  It will also be much more feasible to correlate provisions of the CFR with other legal resources in our information domain, such as proposed regulations and public hearing notices in the Federal Register, the President’s orders and statements, agency programs in the U.S. Government Manual, and the Public Laws that set out the broad regulatory framework and grant legal authority.  

What high value criteria does it meet?

Public Access to the CFR:

  • can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness
  • improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations
  • furthers the core mission of the agency
  • creates economic opportunity, and
  • responds to need and demand as identified through public consultation

Is this the first time the data is available?

This is the first time the data is available as raw data in XML format.

Who may be interested in this information?

Citizens, lawmakers, Federal agencies and employees, academics, and researchers.

Who do I contact if I have questions about this data?


View National Archives datasets on