Extremes in District Demographics

Highest and Lowest Values in 7/1/2020 Data Update

This year's annual update of demographic data for the HomeTownLocator series of state gazetteers has added Congressional District information for the first time. This article will focus on demographic extremes for several key features that can differentiate one Congressional District from another. We'll also introduce easy-to-use tools we've added for researching Congressional Districts.

The demographic updates are point estimates for July 1st of 2020 and July 1st in the forecast years (2021-2025). A downloadable PDF entitled Methodology Statement:2020/2025 Esri UpdatedDemographics explains how the estimates are developed.

The framers of the Constitution designed the House of Representatives to represent people rather than the states.  Based on the recently updated demographic estimates, the average Congressional District represents 765,517 people. The largest District had 1,096,002 people, and the smallest one had a population of 533,732.

Below, we've selected four demographics that can vary enormously between one Congressional District and another: population density, wealth, housing affordability, and racial/ethnic diversity. Differences in these factors can have a major impact on the characteristics of a community.



For Reference: The U.S. Population Density is 94.5 people per square mile.

The 3 Congressional Districts with the highest population density:

  1. New York – District 13 (72,447 people per square mile)
  2. New York – District 10 (53,963 people per square mile)
  3. New York – District 12 (52,458 people per square mile)

The 3 Congressional Districts with the lowest population density:

  1. Alaska Congressional District (1 person per square mile)
  2. Wyoming Congressional District (6 people per square mile)
  3. Montana Congressional District (8 people per square mile)



For Reference: The U.S. Wealth Index is, by definition, exactly 100.

The Wealth Index is based on several indicators of affluence including, average household income and average net worth, but it also includes the value of material possessions and resources. It represents the wealth of the area relative to the national level. Values above or below 100 represent above-average wealth or below-average wealth compared to the national level.

The three Congressional Districts with the highest Wealth Index are:

  1. California District 18 (263)
  2. New York – District 3 (251)
  3. New Jersey – District 11 (232)

The three Congressional Districts with the lowest Wealth Index are:

  1. New York District 15 (28)
  2. Michigan District 13 (41)
  3. Kentucky – District 5 (42)



For Reference: The U.S. Housing Affordability Index is 141.

The Housing Affordability Index base is 100 and represents a balance point where a resident with a median household income can typically qualify to purchase a median price home. Values above 100 indicate increased affordability, while values below 100 indicate decreased affordability.

The three Congressional Districts with the most affordable housing:

  1. Arkansas – District 4 (234)
  2. Oklahoma – District 3 (229)
  3. West Virginia – District 3 (228)

The three Congressional Districts with the least affordable housing:

  1. New York – District 15 (39)
  2. California – District 34 (41)
  3. New York – District 13 (42)



For Reference: The U.S. Diversity Index is 65.1.

The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelihood that two persons, chosen randomly from the same community, belong to different races or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, it has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.

The three Congressional Districts with the highest Diversity Index are:

  1. New York District 13 (91.0)
  2. California – District 43 (90.9)
  3. California – District 44 (90.6)

The three Congressional Districts with the lowest Diversity Index are:

  1. Kentucky – District 5 (10.7)
  2. Pennsylvania – District 15 (12.3)
  3. Ohio – District 6 (12.6)


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & DATA: Congressional Districts 

The Congressional District Demographic Data Comparison Tool allows you to do a national comparison and ranking for six demographic values. You can do an ascending or descending sort of up to 75 Congressional Districts based on the July 1, 2020 data update. This tool was the source of the data presented above.

Each of the HomeTownLocator state gazetteers has a map of Congressional Districts for that state that links to each Congressional District.

The page for each Congressional District has:

  • Contact information for the incumbent
  • A boundary map for the District
  • Twenty-two demographic values
  • Forecast growth rates over the next five years

Here is a link to Florida Congressional Districts as an example. Every state gazetteer has a link on the homepage to a map of the Congressional Districts for that state.

If you need to identify the Congressional District for a specific address, you can use the HTL Address Research Tool. It identifies the Congressional District, school attendance zones, and a great deal of other information associated with that address.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & DATA: States, Cities, Counties & ZIP Codes