US Census Data for Redistricting

Public Law (P.L.) 94-171, enacted in 1975, directs the U.S. Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data needed by the 50 states. It specifies that within a year following Census Day (April 1, 2010), the Census Bureau must send the governor and legislature in each state the data they need to redraw districts for the United States Congress and state legislature. The objective of the Census 2010 Redistricting Data Program was to produce the data that the Census Bureau provides to states to meet the requirements of P.L. 94-171. 

To meet this legal requirement, the Census Bureau set up a program that affords state officials an opportunity before each decennial census to define the small areas for which they wish to receive census population totals for redistricting purposes. Officials then could receive data for voting districts (e.g., election precincts, wards, state house and senate districts) in addition to standard census geographic areas, such as counties, cities, census tracts, and blocks. State participation in defining areas is voluntary and nonpartisan.

For more information on Public Law (P.L.) 94-171 please visit the U.S. Census Bureau: Redistricting Data

Key Dates

March 2010: Census forms are mailed or delivered to households.  April 2010: National Census Day - use this day as a point of reference for sending your completed forms back in the mail.  April - July 2010: Census takers visit households that did not return a form by mail.  December 2010: By law, the Census Bureau delivers population information to the President for apportionment.  March 2011: By law, the Census Bureau completes delivery of redistricting data to states.