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

Ellsworth County, Kansas

According to the 2000 Census, Ellsworth County, Kansas has a population of 6,525 people. Of those, 6,112 (94%) are White, 232 (4%) are Black, and 234 (4%) are Latino[1]. However, 624 (or 10% of the 6,525 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 Ellsworth County a population of 5,901 with a demographic that is 98% White, 0% Black, and 3% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 6,525 624 5,901
White 6,112 335 5,777
Black 232 217 15
Latino 234 55 179


[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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