Almanac of State Legislatures

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Statistical profiles give a detailed snapshot of the current geographic, economic, political, and sociological composition of each of the 6,743 senate and house districts in all 50 state legislatures.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For the first time, socioeconomic data have been compiled from the 1990 Census for Population for each of the 6,743 house and senate districts in the 50 state legislatures. Chosen for the tables are average household income, percent above $50,000 and $100,000; percent college educated; percent employed in manufacturing, service, government, and farm sectors; percent over 55 and who receive social security; and percentages of minority ethnic groups: African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American. The primary target audiences are scholars, media, public officials and politicians, and lobbyists and businesses. The atlas features full-page four-color maps showing the legislative district boundaries. Blow-up insets detail metropolitan areas. Although street boundaries are not shown, interstate highways are, so a user familiar with the geographic area would have a good idea where a district is. (Many states have their own sources, such as the Colorado Legislative Almanac, 1993, that do show detailed boundaries.) The statistical tables were drawn from the 1990 Census block group data and adjusted when needed by the percentage of a block group's land area in each district. The tables allow comparisons within states, to the state as a whole, and among states in terms of metropolitan areas, inner cities, and suburbs. Of course, one can draw similar comparisons utilizing the 1990 Census data at the metropolitan, city, tract, and block group levels. These data are available in an electronic format that can be downloaded and used with TIGER boundary maps in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create thematic maps of comparison. If the legislative district boundaries and data from the State Data Atlas could be purchased in electronic format-which may be feasible in the next few years-they also would allow such manipulation. Other print sources of socioeconomic information that might be used by similar target groups include the American Suburbs Rating Guide and Fact Book (Toucan Valley Pub., 1993) and the familiar Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics (Census edition, 1992). The Rating Guide ranks and compares individual suburbs in household income, home value, rent, crime rate, education, population density, work commute time, and years in residence-a suburb may or may not have similar boundaries to a legislative district-while the Sourcebook provides marketers and other users with more detailed data on population; educational attainment; labor force employment type; journey to work; income distribution; poverty; housing units, occupancy, and age; and mortgage status. The State Data Atlas is more likely to be used by public officials, including educators and urban planners, as well as scholars. Although other sources exist for demographic data, their geographical arrangement is different, so this atlas is essential for public and academic libraries.-Louise Treff, Auraria Lib., Univ. of Colorado at Denver
A reference that describes each of the more than 6,000 senate and house districts in all 50 state legislatures in the US. District-by- district statistical profiles capture the current geographic, economic, political, and sociological composition of each district. Thirteen indicators provide characteristics that describe residents, including their age, income, education, occupation, and racial composition. Additionally, 279 color maps plot the geographic boundaries of each state legislative district, including 186 maps for dense urban areas, all based on district political boundaries drawn for the 1990s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Zom Zoms
With this atlas Congressional Quarterly extends its coverage of legislative districts, seen in such titles as "Congressional Districts in the 1990's", from the national to the state legislative level. This work was prepared by a Washington, D.C., information company specializing in political analysis. Sophisticated computing was used to create accurate maps of 6,743 state legislative districts from the myriad methods used by the various states to define those districts. There are a total of 280 maps: of districts for both houses in each state, with more specialized maps for urban areas where necessary. Accompanying charts for each legislative body provide 13 key statistics for each district in the areas of household income, college education, employment type (e.g., farm, manufacturing), age, and ethnic and racial composition. The data are drawn from 1990 census-tract information This is certainly an impressive accomplishment, one which, as the authors note, goes a long way to illustrate the division of our country into politically separate groups of rich and poor. However, it has to be noted that the maps, with all their detail, are difficult to use for the purpose of identifying towns or urban neighborhoods that lie within a particular district. Locations and boundaries of cities, towns, and counties are not shown in the maps; only the locations of interstate highways appear in addition to the legislative-district boundaries. Users may need to determine the number of the legislative distric (s) they are researching from another source before using this book. Scales are indicated for all of the statewide maps but for only the larger of the urban-areas maps. Also, while the maps are attractively multicolored, the colors serve only to divide the districts into arbitrary groups; thus for Alabama, orange-red is used for districts 1 to 7, light blue for 8 to 14, light yellow for 15 to 21, and so on, in numerically even increments. The only exceptions are the few states, such as Nevada and New Hampshire, that provide their own groupings of districts according to traditional political divisions or regions. Nonetheless, this will be a useful work for political researchers, lobbyists, and public interest groups and should be considered for purchase by larger collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871879592
  • Publisher: Congressional Quarterly, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 333

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