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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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Wake County, North Carolina

According to the 2000 Census, Wake County, North Carolina has a population of 627,846 people. Of those, 454,544 (72%) are White, 123,820 (20%) are Black, and 33,985 (5%) are Latino[1]. However, 3,204 (or 1% of the 627,846 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 Wake County a population of 624,642 with a demographic that is 73% White, 20% Black, and 5% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 627,846 3,204 624,642
White 454,544 1,080 453,464
Black 123,820 1,928 121,892
Latino 33,985 106 33,879


[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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