On August 5, 2021, the Census Bureau announced that the 2020 P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data would be released at 1 PM on August 12.
“By August 16.” The U.S. Census Bureau’s timeline for release of the 2020 Public Law 94-171 Redistricting Data Summary files hasn’t wavered in months. Now we only await word on the exact timing of the first sub-county 2020 Census data release.
Here’s a quick primer on what will be released and how communities can prepare to use the new numbers that follow the state-level apportionment counts released in April.
What will be released?
Population counts including race, Hispanic Ethnicity and voting age residents within each county, municipality, political district, census tract and other areas. Counts of housing units, as well as housing occupancy/vacancy, are included.
- Video:2020 Census Redistricting Data Release (3m 33s)
- Census Bureau to Host Webinar in Advance of 2020 Census Redistricting Data Release (August 5th)
Where do I obtain the files?
Redistricting Data, technical documentation and related geographic files will be available for FTP download from the Redistricting Data Office website:
- Redistricting Data Main Page
- Direct link to download P.L. data files (By August 16th)
In what format are the data released and how are they processed?
The “Legacy” format data files are distributed as pipe-delimited text files that must be processed prior to use. By September 30, 2020, data will be made available in more user-friendly formats, including viewing on data.census.gov. A number of support materials including documentation, table shells and processing scripts have been made available.
- Resources Available to Prepare for the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Release
- Video: Using Microsoft Access Data Shells (12m 43s)
What should data users know about the new data?
The new data will closely resemble redistricting releases from the prior decade, but under the hood processing changes to protect respondent confidentially could affect how the information looks for small areas. In some cases, the Bureau noted that data for a single census block may appear “fuzzy” and outlined the importance aggregating block to larger areas.
- Disclosure Avoidance Production Parameter Metrics
- Webinar: Differential Privacy Production Settings and Fitness for Use (August 13th)
Need more help?
After processing the initial 2020 Census Data, the State Data Center will post CSV files and shapefiles. Please contact the State Data Center if your community encounters a special situation or circumstance that requires additional assistance. Watch our website for more information after August 16th.