APM Research Lab launches “Representing US,” new tools in time for the hotly contested 2018 elections

Easily map and sort demographic data and voting history for the nation’s 435 Congressional Districts

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 26, 2018 — Which congressional races are most likely to be influenced by the Millennial vote or Generation Z behind them? Where are the voices of immigrants most likely to play a role? How many districts that went for President Trump in 2016 are currently represented by a Democrat? These are but a few of the many questions that are now easily answerable thanks to a freely accessible new project, launched today by APM Research Lab.

Representing US, available here, allows users to easily display any one of 30 variables in a zoomable map or sortable graph.

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“We hope that this project will help to keep election coverage focused on what is most important: the people who Congress is elected to represent,” said APM Research Lab’s Managing Partner, Craig Helmstetter.

APM Research Lab has developed localized versions of Representing US for both Minnesota Public Radio News and Southern California Public Radio, with others likely to follow.

“Everyone running for a U.S. House seat ought to know who their constituents are, to serve them well. These tools provide both a demographic profile and plenty of voting history data for journalists and the public to consult counting down to the November midterm elections, when all 435 House seats are up for election,” said Andi Egbert, the project’s chief architect and senior researcher.

Select findings:

  • At 10 percent of all voting-age adults, Utah’s 3rd Congressional District has the nation’s highest proportion of potential post-Millennial Generation Z voters, age 18-21.
  • Massachusetts’ 7th District, which encircles Boston, has the highest share of Millennials among potential voters, at 40 percent of its 18-and-older population. New York’s 12th district and Illinois’ 5th district are next in line for greatest Millennial share.
  • Florida includes 9 of the nation’s 10 oldest districts, including its District 11 – the nation’s oldest – where the median age is 56.
  • Of the nation’s 435 Congressional Districts, 124 are “minority majority” districts, where people of color collectively outnumber non-Hispanic whites. These districts include:
    • New York’s 15th, where a nation-leading 97 percent of residents are people of color.
    • California’s 40th, where a nation-leading 88 percent of residents are Hispanic.
  • In 31 Districts, at least 90 percent are non-Hispanic White, led by Kentucky’s 4th district where 96 percent of residents identify as non-Hispanic White.
  • How many of the districts that Trump won now have a Democratic Congressperson? Thirteen, including Minnesota’s 7th District, where incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson held his seat in 2016 despite Trump’s 31 percentage point margin of victory.
  • How many of the districts that Clinton won currently have a Republican Congressperson?  Twenty-two, including Florida’s 27th, where longstanding, and now outgoing, incumbent Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen won although her district favored Clinton by 20 percentage points.
  • California’s 17th and 18th districts have the highest annual median household incomes in the nation, at more than $120,000 apiece. New York’s 15th and Kentucky’s 5th have the lowest median incomes, with half of all households making less than about $30,000.

Additional findings for the five states holding primaries today:

  • New York: More than 7 in 10 residents age 25 or older hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in the New York’s 12th district (the east Side of Manhattan and extending into Queens), making it the best educated district in the nation. However, not far away in New York’s 15th district (The Bronx) has among the nation’s fewest college-educated residents, at 12 percent.
  • Colorado: More than one-third of the voting-age population in Colorado’s 1st district (Denver area) are Millennials, making it a top-20 district for greatest Millennial voting presence.
  • Maryland: With 56 percent of its adults 25 or older holding a bachelor’s or higher degree, Maryland’s 8th district ranks 13th highest in the country on this measure. That same district (covering the northern D.C. suburbs north toward the Pennsylvania border) has among the lowest poverty rates among the nation’s 435 districts, at just 6.2 percent.
  • Oklahoma: The immigrant share of the population in Oklahoma’s U.S. House districts ranges from 2 percent in its 2nd district (covering the eastern-most part of the state), to 10 percent in its 5th district (home to Oklahoma City). Oklahoma’s 2nd district has the most American Indian residents of any district, numbering about 200,000.
  • Utah: The claim of the “youngest” district in the nation belongs to Utah’s 3rd district, with a median age of 28. Utah’s 4th and 1st districts (median age 31 for both) are among the top 10 lowest as well.

Data sources, methodology, and guidance on usage are available online here.

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About the APM Research Lab
The APM Research Lab is a division of American Public Media aimed at informing the public by producing credible research- and analysis-based content. The Research Lab conducts research projects of all types — surveys, demographic analyses, literature reviews, and more — and informs the work of partner organizations and the broader public through traditional reports, as well as infographics, blog posts, interactives, presentations, and other platforms. For more information, visit apmresearchlab.org