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Redistricting & Voting Rights Data Office (rdo@census.gov or 301-763-4039)
2020 Census
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2020 Census
Component ID: #ti1349900259

The 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program

The 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program provides states the opportunity to delineate voting districts and to suggest census block boundaries for use in the 2020 Census redistricting data tabulations (Public Law 94-171 Redistricting Data File). In addition, the Redistricting Data Program will periodically collect state legislative and congressional district boundaries if they are changed by the states. The program is also responsible for the effective delivery of the 2020 Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data statutorily required by April 1st, 2021, one year from Census Day. The program ensures continued dialogue with the states in regard to 2020 Census planning, thereby allowing states ample time for their planning, response, and participation. 

The U.S. Census Bureau is working on replanning the dates for the creation and delivery of the P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data, with a goal of meeting the statutory deadline of April 1, 2021.

The 2020 Redistricting Data Program Kick-Off Meetings

In support of the states for the 2020 Census, the Redistricting Data Program conducted Redistricting Kick-Off meetings for the states, by request. These meetings, conducted in 2015 and 2016, explained the Redistricting Data Program, the design of the 2020 Census, the 2020 Geographic Programs, and 2020 Field activities. As part of these presentations, support materials and informational aides were provided.

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Phase 1 - Block Boundary Suggestion Project

The Block Boundary Suggestion Project, Phase 1 of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program, provided states the opportunity to submit their suggestions for the 2020 Census tabulation block inventory. Suggestions were made by designating the desirability of linear features for use as 2020 Census tabulation block boundaries. In addition, states had the opportunity to submit suggested legal boundary updates as well as updates to other geographic areas. These actions allowed states to construct some of the small area geography they need for legislative redistricting. Participation in Phase 1 of the Redistricting Data Program was conducted through the non-partisan liaison designated by each state. Phase 1 was conducted in two parts, an initial identification of the updates needed, and a verification stage to ensure the suggested updates were accurately applied.

BBSP Schedule

  • Initial Identification of Updates -- December 2015 through May 31, 2016
  • Verification of Updates -- December 2016 through May 31, 2017

BBSP-V Documents and Training

The BBSP Verification participant materials and training video below were created to assist program participants in verifying their previously submitted work from the initial part of the BBSP.

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Phase 2 - Voting District Project

The Voting District Project, Phase 2 of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program, provided states the opportunity to submit their voting districts (ex. wards, precincts, etc.) for inclusion in the 2020 Census Redistricting Data tabulations (P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data). In addition, states had the opportunity to submit suggested legal boundary updates as well as updates to other geographic areas. These actions allowed states to construct some of the small area geography they need for legislative redistricting. Participation in Phase 2 of the Redistricting Data Program was conducted through the non-partisan liaison designated by each state. Phase 2 was conducted in three parts. The first two parts were an initial identification of the voting districts and a verification stage to ensure the suggested updates were accurately applied. The third stage was an additional round of verification, for those states participating in the first two stages, to further review and adjust the voting districts.

VTD Schedule

  • Initial Identification of Updates -- December 2017 through May 31, 2018
  • Verification of Updates -- December 2018 through May 31, 2019
  • Verification of Updates II -- December 2019 through March 31, 2020

VTD Final Verification (VTDV-Final) Documents and Training

The Voting District Project (VTD) verification guidelines, software, and other materials are provided below. These materials were created to assist official program participants in performing the final verification of their voting districts for inclusion in the 2020 Census tabulation geography.

Component ID: #ti1349900257
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Phase 3 - Delivery of the 2020 Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data Files and Geographic Products

For Phase 3 – Data Delivery, the Director of the Census Bureau will, in accordance with 13 U.S.C. 141(c), furnish the Governor and state legislative leaders, both the majority and minority, with 2020 Census population counts for standard census tabulation areas (e.g., state, Congressional district, state legislative district, American Indian area, county, city, town, census tract, census block group, and census block) regardless of a state’s participation in Phase 1 or 2. In addition, for those states participating in Phase 2, standard census tabulation will be provided for voting districts. For each state, this delivery will occur prior to general release and no later than April 1, 2021.

The Phase 3 - Data Delivery is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to ensure the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees and to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau has sought 120 calendar days of statutory relief from Congress to deliver apportionment counts to the President by April 30, 2021 and deliver P.L. 94-171 redistricting data tabulations to the states no later than July 31, 2021.

As a lesson learned from past decennial censuses, it is vital that the Census Bureau produce a prototype product to illustrate what the states can expect from the decennial census. This prototype is used to build and test systems in advance of the official data release so that states can begin work immediately, as many have short statutory deadlines that begin with the receipt of their data. In 2019, we used the prototype data product to illustrate and solicit feedback on what the 2020 Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File will look like and how it addresses the needs of the states for their legislative redistricting requirements.

Prototype P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data Summary File

zip   Prototype Data Disc Contents   [16 MB]
Zip file containing raw data and viewing software. Download file, unzip contents to a PC folder, launch Autorun.exe, select PLstate.txt when prompted to run.
ftp   Prototype Raw Data  
Standard Census summary file format with a geoheader file and multiple data segments in ASCII format.
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Phase 4 - Collection of Post-2020 Census Redistricting Plans

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Phase 5 - Evaluation of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program and Recommendations for 2030

Component ID: #ti1349900266
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For more information regarding the 2020 Redistricting Data Program, please:

  • Call the Redistricting Data Program staff at (301) 763-4039.
  • Refer to the Federal Register Notice, Establishment of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program.
  • Or read Designing P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data for the Year 2020 Census - The View From the States, the evaluation of the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program and the recommendations from the States for the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program

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