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

Arenac County, Michigan

According to the 2000 Census, Arenac County, Michigan has a population of 17,269 people. Of those, 16,472 (95%) are White, 315 (2%) are Black, and 238 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 567 (or 3% of the 17,269 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 Arenac County a population of 16,702 with a demographic that is 97% White, 0% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 17,269 567 16,702
White 16,472 252 16,220
Black 315 297 18
Latino 238 13 225


[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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