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

Yankton County, South Dakota

According to the 2000 Census, Yankton County, South Dakota has a population of 21,652 people. Of those, 20,592 (95%) are White, 252 (1%) are Black, and 395 (2%) are Latino[1]. However, 865 (or 4% of the 21,652 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 Yankton County a population of 20,787 with a demographic that is 96% White, 0% Black, and 2% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 21,652 865 20,787
White 20,592 608 19,984
Black 252 167 85
Latino 395 67 328


[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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