States that Adjust the Census Data for Redistricting
Track which states are using the PL 94-171 census data with or without adjustment for the purposes of legislative or congressional redistricting. Our team is reaching out to these states and keeping this resource up to date.
When publicly available, we obtain and rehost the adjusted (and unadjusted) datasets on our website. In most other states, we are confirming with officials if they are using the unadjusted data from the Census Bureau for redistricting, and if they have plans to make an “official” copy available from the state.
Some states are adjusting the census data to reallocate incarcerated persons to their last known address. To see which states adjust for incarcerated population, visit the Prison Gerrymandering Project’s Quick Reference Chart.
At least one state (Hawai’i) removes nonpermanent residents from the data. And at least two states (Louisiana and Pennsylvania) made adjustments to the VTD boundaries in their official files.
Analyzing State Official Redistricting File reports
Read reports that demonstrate the differences between the unadjusted and adjusted data in applicable states. These reports show how adjustments change the population within a state and the implications for these changes on representation. For states that adjust their incarcerated population, the reports also incorporate facility location data from The Prison Policy Initiative.
Full reports are available that provide a detailed breakdown of the PL 94-171 data as released by the Census Bureau, compared to the reallocated, or adjusted data, provided by the state’s official redistricting body.
The PL 94-171 dataset is the Redistricting Data File created by the United States Census Bureau based on the decennial census for use by states in redistricting.
We have not modified the data in accordance with the states that have requirements to modify, and thus we cannot guarantee the PL 94-171 data hosted on the website is identical to the data used by the official redistricting body or bodies in those states.
For states that have indicated that they are using the census data without modification, and will not be hosting a downloadable version of data on their website, our data should match what is being used by the state.
We have created a list of the fields and descriptions found in the PL 94-171 dataset by referencing the 2020 Census State Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File Technical Documentation. Learn more about the PL 94-171 dataset ►
States that Adjust the PL File
These states have a requirement for adjusting the PL 94-171 data prior to redistricting. We have provided the language for these adjustments below, but encourage you to learn more by clicking on the links provided.
States that Adjust in Detail
The table lists states that have indicated wheather they are using the census data without or without modification and if they will be hosting a downloadable version of data on their website. View the table on it’s own page ►
In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau counted inmates who were in jail or prison on April 1 as residing at the facility in which they are currently incarcerated. Because inmates are not necessarily confined in a facility close to their home; because the demographics of inmates are not necessarily reflective of the demographics of residents living near the facility; and because the vast majority of states prohibit incarcerated people from voting, the counting of inmates at facilities for redistricting purposes frequently distorts representation.
As a result, several states have prohibited prison-based gerrymandering, by “reallocating” inmates to their last known address. States differ widely in their methods for reallocating, including which inmates are reallocated, whether or how inmates without a last known address are reallocated, and whether reallocation is performed for legislative and/or congressional redistricting.
Watch a two part training series about Prison Gerrymandering: Part 1 is well suited for individuals who want to learn more about the practice and implications of prison gerrymandering. Part 2 is well suited for individuals and groups interested in the technical details and data issues of remedying prison gerrymandering.
Correctional Facility Shapefiles by State
Download 2020 State PPI Correctional facility population counts at the block level produced by Prison Policy Initiative