I need your help. Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

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Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Shelby County, Tennessee

According to the 2000 Census, Shelby County, Tennessee has a population of 897,472 people. Of those, 424,834 (47%) are White, 435,824 (48%) are Black, and 23,364 (3%) are Latino[1]. However, 6,656 (or 1% of the 897,472 people) are not residents by choice but are people in prison.

Even though prisoners cannot participate in the local community, the Census Bureau nevertheless counts them as residents of the county where they are incarcerated.

A more accurate description would not include the prisoners. This would give Shelby County a population of 890,816 with a demographic that is 48% White, 48% Black, and 3% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Incarcerated
population
Actual
population
Total 897,472 6,656 890,816
White 424,834 1,616 423,218
Black 435,824 4,925 430,899
Latino 23,364 306 23,058


Notes:

[1]The numbers for Whites, Blacks and Latinos may not add up to the total number because we have not included racial groups other than Whites and Blacks and because the Census Bureau considers "Latino" to be an ethnicity, not a race. Most of the people reported as being Latino are also counted as being White or Black.

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