ArcGIS Business Analyst

Census 2020 redistricting data coming to ArcGIS Business Analyst

The U.S. Census recently made public the first in a series of releases of the Census 2020 data. That dataset, known as redistricting data (Public Law 94), includes detailed population and housing data that, for the first time, will be available down to the block level. Esri’s demographers have enhanced the dataset—appending additional information about ethnicity—and we are proud to offer the data as part of the upcoming December 2021 release of the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App (Web App). The data will be optimized for use through infographics, maps, and analytical tools.

This blog article shares key information about the upcoming integration of the first U.S. Census 2020 dataset in the Web App:


Why the redistricting data matters

Esri is committed to providing data pertinent to the needs of our users. From a pure data perspective, it’s an exciting time to access the latest 2020 Census standard geography boundaries, especially the redistricting data, which is used to redraw election boundaries. (States are required to make this process transparent to the public and to create maps with boundaries that are roughly equal in population size.) This data will influence who gets elected in the areas we live in and how resources are distributed for the next ten years. Unlike past decades, this data also includes the smallest geography level of Census data available: the census block level. For our users, getting this data before the regular summer annual data update provides access six months earlier than usual.

For ArcGIS Business Analyst users, this data is crucial to providing the most up-to-date site selection and market analysis results. Redistricting data can also provide transparency in public agency spending, planning, and economic development; show compliance with federal grants and reporting requirements in the healthcare industry; and inform emergency planning and disaster response and recovery.


Access the data

When this data is incorporated into the December 2021 release, it will be the first time that the Web App will provide access to two different versions of the U.S. Census decennial data within the app’s  country selector. The two selection options for USA will be “Standard,” which includes the Census 2010-based data currently available, and a new option for “Census PL 94-171,” which will include the Census 2020 redistricting data.


U.S. data options
Once you select “USA” under the country selector, the Standard option will show 2021 data using Census 2010 boundaries. Census PL 94-171 will show the redistricting data on Census 2020 boundaries.
Country Switcher
Select the country switcher on the top right of the screen to select from a Standard dataset (Census 2010 geography) or Census PL 94-171 (redistricting data on Census 2020 geography).


Variables in the redistricting data

This data update includes many variables crucial to workflows in the Web App. The redistricting data includes:

  • Total population
  • Households
  • Housing units
  • Population by race and non-Hispanic origin
  • Population 18+ by race
  • Housing occupancy
  • Group quarters

In the December 2021 data update, the Web App will include additional datasets created by Esri’s demographers, including:

  • Population by race and Hispanic origin
  • Population <18 by race
  • Census 2010 and Census 2000 population, households, and housing units
data catalog Census 2020 redistricting
data list Census 2020 redistricting
Selecting the Census PL94-171 data will show the first of three phased releases of the Census 2020 data.


Variable details

In the upcoming release, we are adding additional metadata to the variables. If you hover over the info button shown for each of the variables in the data browser, you will see new information for the redistricting data in addition to the ones we currently provide (source, name, vintage), such as the sourc info, percent base, index types, and definition.

hover info data
This image shows additional metadata information to be included in the upcoming data release.


Infographic template

To help our users and their stakeholders make meaningful decisions based on the redistricting data, the Web App features a new infographic template to visualize it. The images below show the dedicated infographic template for the redistricting data, which includes information such as key facts, annual growth rate, household population, and population by race.

redistricting infographic
redistricting infographic p2
The redistricting data will also include a dedicated infographic template to help visualize this data.

Please note that as the redistricting data is just the first step of a phased release of the Census 2020 data, the December 2021 release will only include the variables noted above (a total of 496 variables). The remaining variables will be integrated into the Web App as the Census releases them. Furthermore, selecting the Census 2020 dataset will not include access to business points, and as such, Business and Facilities Search and Void Analysis workflows will be enabled at a future date.


Additional resources

Within the ArcGIS Business Analyst family of products, the data will be available in the Business Analyst Web App, Community Analyst, and Business Analyst Pro (extension to ArcGIS Pro) via ArcGIS login. Please note that the use of the dataset consumes credits and will not be part of the downloadable dataset in the upcoming December 2021 release. This means that the on-premises, downloadable datasets for use in ArcGIS Business Analyst Pro or ArcGIS Business Analyst Enterprise will not be available until a future date.

Please note: the Mobile App does not allow you to switch the data source by country, so this data will not be visible in the Mobile App.

We hope you enjoyed the redistricting data in the upcoming December 2021 release. Please visit the following sites for more information on ArcGIS Business Analyst:

For more information regarding Census 2020 data throughout Esri products, please read the following articles:


About the author

Helen Brown is a Senior Product Manager for ArcGIS Business Analyst. She thrives on prioritizing problems and delivering market-level value through scalable, intuitive products.

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