The U.S. Census Bureau welcomed the 118th Congress today by releasing special data products produced specifically for the new congressional districts.
The data on social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics of each congressional district come from the 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates.
The Census Bureau is set to release special products for the 2022 state legislative districts March 16. The data will be created from the 2017-2021 ACS 5-year data.
The ACS is the nation’s most current, reliable and accessible data source for local statistics on critical planning topics and helps inform the distribution of hundreds of billions in federal funds each year.
It provides a wealth of timely social, economic, housing and demographic data about all congressional districts and states, which can be used to, among other things, research and draft legislation, news releases, statements and constituent correspondence and develop grant formulas for assistance programs.
The newly released products contain data from four ACS Data Profile tables, providing a portrait of each congressional district and demographic characteristics of its constituents.
The Census Bureau typically releases data from the ACS each year in 1-year and 5-year period datasets, containing over 1,000 tables for a wide variety of geographic areas, including congressional and state legislative districts.
The 1-year release contains data for selected geographic areas with 65,000 people or more; the 5-year release contains data for many more geographic areas down to the census tract and block group level.
The newly released products contain data from four ACS Data Profile tables, providing a portrait of each congressional district and demographic characteristics of its constituents:
The Census Bureau collects new congressional and state legislative district boundaries resulting from redistricting every two years, in line with each congressional session.
The cycle directly following a decennial census requires additional time to allow states to finalize their plans, resolve litigation surrounding those plans, and for the Census Bureau to collect and verify the plans.
This extended collection period and the two-year cadence for collecting and reporting data on updated congressional and state legislative districts prevented the Census Bureau from including statistics on the 118th congressional and 2022 state legislative districts in its 2021 ACS 1-year or 2017-2021 ACS 5-year data releases last September and December, respectively.
Following our normal production cycle, data for the 118th congressional and 2022 state legislative districts would not have been available until the 2022 ACS 1-year and 2018-2022 ACS 5-year releases, respectively, later in 2023.
That’s why the Census Bureau is providing these special Data Profiles now — to make ACS data available for newly defined districts as soon as possible.
They are available on the Census Bureau’s FTP site and through a lookup tool on the ACS website, both providing the data in spreadsheet format.
The My Congressional District data tool has also been updated to include the new 118th congressional district data.
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