Help End Prison Gerrymandering Prison gerrymandering funnels political power away from urban communities to legislators who have prisons in their (often white, rural) districts. More than a decade ago, the Prison Policy Initiative put numbers on the problem and sparked the movement to end prison gerrymandering.

Can you help us continue the fight? Thank you.

—Peter Wagner, Executive Director

Webster County, Iowa

According to the 2000 Census, Webster County, Iowa has a population of 40,235 people. Of those, 37,574 (93%) are White, 1,364 (3%) are Black, and 944 (2%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,256 (or 3% of the 40,235 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 Webster County a population of 38,979 with a demographic that is 94% White, 3% Black, and 2% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 40,235 1,256 38,979
White 37,574 744 36,830
Black 1,364 361 1,003
Latino 944 88 856


[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.

Stay Informed

Get the latest updates:

Tweet this page Donate Now hiring:
Digital Communications Strategist