Advance Group Quarters Table coming soon

Advocates and governments eagerly await data that will help identify prison populations and avoid prison-based gerrymandering.

by Peter Wagner, April 11, 2011

On Friday, the Census Bureau announced in a Press Tip that the Advance Group Quarters Table will be out in late April:

Advance Group Quarters Summary File — This file contains one table showing
counts for seven types of group quarters from the 2010 Census. The
institutionalized group quarters categories include correctional facilities
for adults, juvenile facilities, nursing facilities/skilled-nursing
facilities and other institutional facilities; while the
noninstitutionalized group quarters categories include college/university
student housing, military quarters and other noninstitutional facilities.
Data are shown for states, counties, census tracts and blocks. This table
will only be available via the FTP site and is identical to table P42 in
Summary File 1 to be released this summer. (Scheduled for release in late

This is slightly earlier than expected, and great news for state and local governments that are redistricting on a tight timeline. For the first time, these governments will have know which census blocks contain prisons and the size of that population. They can then choose, if they wish, to remove that population or reallocate it to other addresses prior to drawing district lines.

The data will be available via links from the Redistricting Data Office page and that of the Count Question Resolution program. The Prison Policy Initiative will be producing, hopefully within a few hours of the release, shapefile versions of the data and making our database of annotations accessible to the public.

For more information, see:

2 responses:

  1. Darren G says:

    Great article. You mentioned in the article that “..the Census Bureau will publish an Advanced Group Quarters Table of the block level counts of correctional facilities and other group quarters. This is the same table that will be eventually published as Table P42 in Summary File 1 in June, July and August 2011. (And it’s very similar to Table P37 produced for the 2000 Census.) But in redistricting, time matters, and having these data earlier can make big difference.”

    I contacted the Census and they weren’t helpful at all. As this data been published and if so where?

  2. Peter Wagner says:

    @Darren, The Census Bureau released this data about 2 weeks later. See our press release for some links to the data on both the Census Bureau’s website (in an almost impenetrable format) and to our site at for shapefiles and more accessible web-based versions of the data.

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