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

Tazewell County, Virginia

According to the 2000 Census, Tazewell County, Virginia has a population of 44,598 people. Of those, 42,886 (96%) are White, 1,020 (2%) are Black, and 228 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 226 (or 1% of the 44,598 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 Tazewell County a population of 44,372 with a demographic that is 96% White, 2% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 44,598 226 44,372
White 42,886 141 42,745
Black 1,020 85 935
Latino 228 0 228


[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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