Census data revelations

Interesting thread.

This subject is for broader discussion of the new census data.


Thanks, that really is an intriguing study. More evidence that the lie of racial whiteness never stops reshaping itself, but also, if I’m reading it right, evidence as well that Tromp’s dumping on Puerto Rico (lumping it in with other places in his fans’ imaginations as another “shithole” country, despite it being a weird part of the U.S.) was counterproductive. It of course drove many Puerto Ricans away from being Republican voters (which doesn’t seem covered in the study), but it also helped to shrink the US’s “white” population. Oh the ironies.


I can only see this leading to more entrenchment of those counties as Republican. The racism of Trump supporters seems like it is at least partly driven by a sense of abandonment.


A historian’s take, specifically on the overweighted white rural vote. Click on her name of course to get there:


There’s been a large increase in people who identify as multiracial.


BTW, I run the Missouri Census Data Center, and if anyone has any questions or wants to run an analysis of their own (U.S.) state, county, or city, I’m your boy.

ETA We have national data for most census and ACS releases – not just Missouri. (We do have a MO focus because that’s who pays the bills.)


OMG, I love this community!


This also caused me to wonder about how people have been moving. The first article below was interesting, especially in the description of the “untethered class.” Multiple stories keep bringing up the “promise” of remote work and flexibility it offers in where people decided to move, but the news covers increasing numbers of employers revoking that promise and reverting to old, inflexible practices as part of “return to normal” plans/policies. Will we start seeing large numbers of workers stuck in remote areas, unable to sell their homes because remote job opportunities have dried up? :woman_shrugging:t4:


I also wondered how the increasing numbers of expats factored into the decreasing number of Americans identifying as “White,” since the census only counts people living in the US. That data might be difficult to find, because it’s not tracked and even the terms used to describe people moving between different countries can be loaded:


I’m in Ohio, in the most gerrymandered district in the state, and Ohio is way overdue for redistricting. Now that we’re losing a district, it’s going to get really interesting.
I’ve signed up for seminars on how redistricting works from All On The Line, and the one on redrawing maps was eye-opening. Our local NPR just ran a story on when the public meetings are, and I want to be informed enough to know when bullshit is being slung, or obfuscation is being practiced, when I attend.

So my question is, since the data has been released, why does Ohio still say no maps can be proposed because they don’t have data?


Ohio does have data, as of last Thursday, along with the rest of the nation. I can think of a couple of reasons they might claim to not have the data they need.

  1. Perhaps OH does redistricting based on other factors besides (or in addition to) race and ethnicity. It sounds ridiculous to me, but maybe they also look at housing unit type or something else that wasn’t released Thursday.

  2. The Thursday PL94-171 data was released in what the Bureau calls “legacy format”. This is raw machine-readable data in segmented, pipe-delimited files – pretty easy to assemble and read if you have the right tools (I mostly use SAS for this), but not especially user-friendly for local / state government officials. There will be a second release of the redistricting data near the end of September that will include easy-to-used data visualization tools, maps, etc. as well as DVDs and flash drives. Some – perhaps most – local governments will wait for that round. The schedule says,

By September 30, 2021, we will provide the same data in an easier-to-use toolkit. The toolkit will include DVDs and flash drives with an integrated browsing software for official state recipients. Data will also be made available for the public on data.census.gov.

I’m reasonably certain the Ohio gov’t is using reason #2 to prepare for what looks to be a hellish process and/or stall for time.

The news stories you’ve been seeing since last week are results of the big media outlets running their own analyses against the legacy-format data.

Local governments are often mandated by their parent state to redo city wards, school / library / fire districts, etc. by certain deadlines. I work with the Missouri state demographer to make the legacy-format data digestible by these cities, towns, and counties in MO, because their deadlines are rapidly approaching. But in general, I think most state governments facing congressional redistricting will wait until October to get rolling.


Is there a consensus view on how accurate the census ended up being? There was a sense that the politicals in the Trump administration were doing everything they can to skew the data away from non-whites and there was the additional difficulty of conducting the census during COVID. Did the professionals manage to overcome these hurdles to any extent? Would the white/rural decline have been even more significant without these issues? Did the lack of census takers actually increase the decline in rural population?


A few updates on the 2020 redistricting data:

The “user-friendly” redistricting data will now be available on Sept. 16 (2 weeks earlier than expected).

Wisconsin is inviting its citizens to submit their own redistricting plans for consideration by their legislature. This is pretty interesting, IMO. One of the mapping tools suggested by this project is Districtr, which is available for all US states. It’s pretty neat to play around with (if you’re into this sort of thing).


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