The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a more user-friendly format for the 2020 Census Redistricting Data to help local and state governments understand the demographic changes happening in their communities and across Mississippi. 

Residents can visit https://data.census.gov/cedsci/ to access demographic characteristics at all geographic levels, including census block and county. This data, originally released in August, provides demographic characteristics – ethnicity, race, voting age and housing occupancy – at all geographic levels used to redraw both congressional and state legislative districts. 

The original data used the Census Bureau's "Legacy Format," which made accessing the dataset difficult for non-Census data users. However, the State Data Center of Mississippi, housed at the University of Mississippi, provided access to the state's demographic characteristics at https://sdc.olemiss.edu/2020-census-4/.

"We absolutely appreciate that this is a critical time for local governments, as they navigate potential redistricting issues and changing demographics with the 2020 Census," said Anne Cafer, director of the UM Center for Population Studies and the State Data Center. 

"We want folks to know that the State Data Center is here to help understand and interpret these data. And while we can’t submit Census Count Questions – requests for formal review by the Census Bureau – we’re happy to be available for consultation for local governments."

The State Data Center, in partnership with the Mississippi Urban Research Center at Jackson State University, the Mississippi Automated Resource Information Systems and the Mississippi University Research Center, will host a town hall meeting at noon Sept. 28 to answer community questions related to these data. This initial town hall will be followed by several workshops. 

For the most up-to-date information on these releases and the new 2020 data as it relates to Mississippi, or to register for the town hall, visit https://sdc.olemiss.edu/. For assistance please contact Jamiko Deleveaux, an Ole Miss postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Population Studies, at jvdeleve@olemiss.edu

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