Mayor Bowser Launches Online Redistricting Tool
(Washington, DC) – This week, the U.S. Census Bureau officially transmitted to Mayor Muriel Bowser the results of the 2020 Census. With these results, the DC Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting will announce when the once-a-decade redistricting process officially starts. The DC Office of Planning (OP), which houses the DC State Data Center, is releasing an online tool to help interested stakeholders participate in the redistricting process by creating their own maps to submit to the Subcommittee.
“This step begins the important process of redrawing legislative boundaries,” said Andrew Trueblood, Director of OP. “As we support the Subcommittee by providing the right data analyses and tools to ensure an efficient redistricting process, we also recognize the importance of community input throughout the process.”
Redistricting is the process by which census data is used to redraw the boundaries of legislative districts within a state or jurisdiction with the aim of giving residents a fair and equal voice in the way they are governed. For the District of Columbia, the 2020 Census data will serve as the building block to redraw the eight wards, 40 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) and 296 Single-Member Districts (SMDs). The goal is to ensure each district has approximately the same number of people.
OP is launching the new online tool in an effort to have a robust and inclusive redistricting process. Residents are encouraged to register for training, create an account to access the District’s online tool, and begin creating, sharing, and submitting proposed plans for new legislative boundaries ahead of the Subcommittee’s public hearing on September 29, 2021.
The redistricting data release reveals changes in the size and distribution of the population across the District. While, in total, the District grew by 87,800 people or 14.6% between 2010 and 2020, the top areas of growth occurred in Wards 1, 5 & 6. Ward 1 grew by 14.5%, Ward 5 grew by 20.3% and Ward 6 grew by 41.9%. All other Wards also saw population increases but at lower levels over the past decade. In addition, the new data shows that the District is becoming increasingly diverse. Changes in the racial composition of DC residents contributed to the District being ranked fifth most diverse among states. The District had a diversity index of 67.2% in 2020, which is up by 5.3% since 2010. The racial distribution shows 41.4 % Black alone, 39.6% White alone, 4.9% Asian alone, 6% other races alone, and 8.1 % two or more races. The Hispanic population, which can be of any race, made up 11.3% of the total District population.
For more information related to 2020 Census data and legislative redistricting, please visit planning.dc.gov/publication/2020-census-information-and-data.