Friday, August 13, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 13, 2020
James Partlow IV (OP) – (202) 701-8598; [email protected]
DC Office of Planning Releases 2020 Census Summary Tables for the District of Columbia
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Yesterday, the US Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program released an initial set of 2020 Census redistricting data that includes population and housing totals and geographic support products necessary for legislative redistricting for each state following the decennial census. The DC Office of Planning (OP) State Data Center has been reviewing the data and is providing 2020 Census summary tables as well as other resources at https://planning.dc.gov/publication/2020-census-information-and-data as the data becomes available.
“With the release of the 2020 Census data, the Office of Planning looks forward to continuing our commitment to support District residents interested in comprehensively understanding the Census data as well as the DC Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting,” said OP Director Andrew Trueblood. “Given ongoing concerns about undercounting our residents of color, the impact of COVID-19, and observed discrepancies with Census’s American Community Survey data, we look forward to analyzing this data to ensure it is completely accurate.”
The US Census Bureau will transmit the official 2020 Census data to Mayor Bowser by September 30, 2021, which will officially kick off the redistricting effort of the DC Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting. OP will provide technical support to the DC Council’s Redistricting Subcommittee to make the redistricting process as smooth and efficient as possible.
The Council is required to divide the District into eight Wards that are approximately equal in population. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the population for the District of Columbia was 689,545 persons in 2020. This results in an average Ward population of 86,193 persons. The redistricting statute allows for a relative deviation of plus or minus five percent (+/- 4,310 persons) from the average Ward population, and an overall deviation range of up to ten percent from the smallest to the largest Ward population. Based on these provisions, the Ward boundaries are to be adjusted so that each Ward contains a minimum of 81,883 persons, or a maximum of 90,503 persons.
Due to ongoing concerns about undercounting, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency on the validity of the data, the DC State Data Center will review the data and validate the Census’s quality checks to identify and improve the accuracy of the 2020 Census data. If errors are identified in the District of Columbia data, District officials will avail themselves of the Census Bureau’s data appeals options.
The federal government uses Census data to distribute more than $6 billion annually to the District for vital programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Section Eight Housing Choice Vouchers, Children’s Health Insurance, and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance. Accurate and complete census data is critical to the District’s recovery and reopening efforts as well. Knowing who lives in DC and where is important when making budgeting and planning decisions across all District agencies.
The Bowser Administration has been committed to ensuring a complete count of all District residents.