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The About Our Data section of our site includes in depth articles about Census Data, Projections, Voter Files and Precinct Boundaries and Election Results as well as a list of all the types of data we host.
The Redistricting Readiness Checklist includes helpful references about redistricting in each state, and lists helpful things to know to get you started.
Census Data Release Schedule
We are processing and posting the 2021 census data, ready for you to use in redistricting, within one week of Legacy File release in August. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified as soon as we’ve uploaded the processed data.
The PL 94-171 dataset is the Redistricting Data File created by the U.S. Census Bureau for use by the states in redistricting based on the decennial census. The data will be released by the Census Bureau in two formats: the legacy data format, and the tabulated data format.
The census data is being released in August and September
The data was scheduled to be released by March 31, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this deadline was pushed back to September 30. In response, a number of states expressed concern about the delayed redistricting timeline, and their ability to meet state-mandated deadlines around redistricting and elections. As a result, the Census Bureau announced that they would also be releasing the data in what is known as the legacy format by August 16th, so that states – with access to technical skill and software – could tabulate the data and begin redistricting sooner.
The data released in August will be in a legacy format
The legacy format is a pipe-delimited text file, meaning the data are separated by carriage returns, and the values within each line are separated by the pipe character |. The data provides the information contained in the decennial census at many levels of geography in the same file, from the state down to the census block, which is the smallest unit of geography and what is most commonly used as the basis for legislative and congressional redistricting.
The data released in September will be in a tabulated format
The tabulated data contains the data in a data frame, with the columns containing the observed values from the census (e.g., number of people in a household) and the rows containing the units of geography (e.g., census blocks). In addition, the data are organized and separated by geography, with the data for all the census blocks together, the data for all the census block groups together, and so on. Unlike the legacy data format, the tabulated data format is readily usable in any spreadsheet software.
We are posting tabulated data within one week of its release in August
The lag between the release of the legacy data and the tabulated data means that without the technical skill to process the data, the public would be several weeks behind the states when it comes to drawing and analyzing maps. In some cases, this could be the difference between getting fair maps on the public record and missing the public input process altogether.
In addition to tabulating the data, our team will be merging the census data with geographic information, so that it is ready to use in standard mapping softwares.
Who We Are
The nonpartisan Redistricting Data Hub was founded by experts with backgrounds in pioneering redistricting legal cases, the establishment of independent redistricting commissions, and related ballot initiatives in Florida, Arizona and other states. We believe an effective democracy requires fair representation. Our goal is to provide individuals, civic organizations, and good government groups the data, tools, and knowledge to participate effectively in redistricting processes by learning how to define their communities, provide meaningful public input, recognize gerrymandering, and advocate for fair and legal maps. Read more ►
We are committed to nonpartisanship and ending gerrymandering in all forms
Join us in our fight for fair and representative maps
There is a lot of work to be done to support the public, civil rights and good government groups in their fight against gerrymandering and for fair and representative maps.
We are always on the lookout for great talent. We are especially interested if you have experience in redistricting, data analytics, creating educational content, graphic design, or help desk organizing.
We work with different groups to help us figure out what data is needed, gather it and validate it for you to use. We also support community, civil rights and good government groups in their efforts to fight gerrymandering in all forms and make fair and representative maps.