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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Census Bureau Releases 2021 Determinations for Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act

Press Release Number CB21-202

DEC. 8, 2021 — Today the U.S. Census Bureau released a list of 331 jurisdictions (counties and minor civil divisions) across the nation and three states that are required under the Voting Rights Act to provide language assistance during elections for citizens who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process. The Census Bureau made these determinations in accordance with specifications in the Voting Rights Act, as amended in July 2006.

The list, published in the Federal Register, identifies the jurisdictions that are covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act and must provide language assistance for “persons who are American Indian, Asian American, Alaska Natives, or of Spanish heritage.”

The 331 covered jurisdictions make up 4.1% of the 2,920 counties and 5,120 minor civil divisions that constitute the political subdivisions in the United States that were calculated for the Section 203 determinations.

The 2021 determinations found:

  • A total national population of 24,244,810 voting-age citizens, residing in the 331 covered jurisdictions, required to provide minority language assistance.
  • An increase of 22.3% in the total national covered population when compared with the 2016 previously covered population of 19,823,420 (residing in 263 jurisdictions).
  • A total of 20,386,604 Hispanics, 3,621,264 Asians, and 236,942 American Indian and Alaska Native voting-age citizens in the covered jurisdictions.

The Census Bureau has made these determinations following each decennial census since Section 203 was first enacted in 1975. In 2006, Congress specified that the Census Bureau use statistics from the American Community Survey (ACS) following the 2010 Census to conduct these determinations every 5 years. The determinations released today use data from the 2015-2019 ACS 5-year estimates.

A complete list of which jurisdictions are covered, including which language minority groups are included, is available in the Federal Register Notice.

In support of this Federal Register Notice, and as done with past publications of the Section 203 language determinations, the Census Bureau is releasing a set of public files presenting the underlying data used to construct these determinations. These files and information about these files can be downloaded from the Census Redistricting Data Program website.

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Page Last Revised - December 22, 2021
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