Social Explorer offers detailed data on citizenship by age and race available in our maps and reports. These data come from a special tabulation by the U.S. Census Bureau.
These data are available from Census 2000, as well as American Community Survey years 2009 through 2016. Explore the data across the nation and states all the way down to the census tract and block group level (where available).
Referred to as CVAP (Citizens of Voting Age Population), the data include information vital to enforcing the Voting Rights Act (Section 2), which bans racial discrimination in voting and elections. According to the Department of Justice, "Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups identified in Section 4(f)(2) of the Act." CVAP data provide information to help monitor and enforce anti-discriminatory voting practices and election rules.
For example, an at-large voting system to elect board of trustees in Portchester, NY, was ruled unconstitutional for discriminating against Hispanic voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The city was ordered to change the way it elects its board of trustees so as not to dilute the growing Hispanic constituency. As the following pair of CVAP data maps shows, the Hispanic citizen population in Portchester is on the rise.
With recent court challenges to the way people are counted for redistricting and a controversial new citizenship question on the 2020 census, understanding these kinds of data is more critical than ever. For example, Missouri voters could see a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that would use the data from the 2020 Census citizenship question to draw district lines based on the number of citizens rather than the total number of people.
Meanwhile, seventeen states, the District of Columbia and six cities sued the U.S. government over the new Census 2020 question, arguing that it is unconstitutional. California also filed a similar lawsuit as well.