NEWS15 February 2021

US Census Bureau delays redistricting data release

Covid-19 News North America Public Sector Trends

US – The US Census Bureau is delaying the release of redistricting data by six months due to the impact of Covid-19 on data collection.

US census questionnaire

The redistricting data includes counts of population by race, ethnicity, voting age, housing occupancy status and group quarters population, all at the census block level. This information is used to redraw legislative boundaries.

The bureau said that all states would receive the redistricting data by 30th September 2021, rather than 31st March as previously planned.

The delays are in part due to the impact of Covid-19 and also the prioritisation by the bureau of delivering apportionment results.

The bureau said the delays would allow for the delivery of complete and accurate redistricting data in a “more timely fashion” for the states overall. The data will be delivered for all states at one, instead on a “flow” basis, the bureau added.

A statement from the US Census Bureau said: “In preparation for the delivery of redistricting data products, the Census Bureau has been in close coordination with each states’ official nonpartisan liaisons to understand the impacts of the delayed delivery on individual states.

“Since 2019, states have had access to prototype geographic support products and data tabulations from the 2018 Census Test to help them begin to design their redistricting systems. This is one tool states can use to help minimize the impact of schedule delays.”