Poverty & Safety Net
Fact Sheets

Ohio Legislative Districts 2023

March 15, 2023
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Building these district profiles was no small feat. We matched up thousands of Census block groups with the boundaries of Ohio’s new legislative districts and then matched those districts with thousands more data points from the U.S. Census Bureau. This resulted in a fact sheet for each of the 132 legislative districts, 99 in the House, 33 for the Senate, using both research and public policy knowledge. We’ve included demographic information about each district, as well as district-level data on employment and income, poverty, education, housing, and health. 

These new fact sheets are the first look at the socioeconomic issues facing Ohioans since redistricting. 

Why is this data important? 

These data-based descriptions of every Ohio legislative district can be used to reveal, elevate, and provide proof points for issues that state legislators contend with as they enact policies. 

Census block groups as the basis to create each district profile make the resulting fact sheets both comprehensive and granular. 

With these boundary templates and the depth of the available Census data, we can examine a variety of conditions facing Ohioans and consider how policy proposals may move the needle on some of our most pressing issues. 

How did we do it? 

Data availability doesn’t always match current needs and we often have to make compromises because the ideal indicators and statistics are sometimes not available. Other times, we have to clear methodological hurdles to get as close as possible.  

Demographic and socioeconomic data for the old Ohio Legislative Districts was not sufficient, and we weren’t willing to wait for the Census Bureau to catch up. So we set our research and policy experts to work to try to do better. Here’s how we did it. 

But how do we know the numbers are right?

Read about the limitations of data and our Medicaid numbers. 

Download the complete data file 

These fact sheets were compiled by Alex Dorman and Angela Maher.

Legislative District Fact Sheets: Research methodology 

The majority of data presented comes from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 2021 5-year estimates, which were just released in December of 2022. So how did we use it and what was the result?  

Step 1: Overlay the new Ohio district map with census block groups 

Given the new district geographies for both the House and Senate in Ohio, Community Solutions had to “build” the 132 distinct district geographies in order to make meaningful estimates of relevant ACS indicators which line up with the current boundaries. This was achieved by overlaying a map of the Ohio House and Senate districts over a map of all 9,472 census block groups (the smallest geography of information available within the ACS) in the state.   

Next we used ArcGIS to assign series of block groups within specific districts based on their locations. For example, there were 306 block groups within Senate District 1, and 76 block groups in House District 5. The state legislative boundaries used the 2022 district maps, available from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. The block group boundaries are from the 2022 TIGER/Line® Shapefiles for Ohio.   

Step 2: Create indicator estimates 

We compiled indicator estimates for each district by summing data for each block group contained within each district. For example, in order to develop an estimate of the number of people with a high school diploma in Senate District 1, we added together the estimates of all persons with a high school diploma for each of the 306 block groups located within the district to get a full district estimate. This process was repeated for each indicator, for each legislative district. 

Step 3: Manage expectations and limitations 

It is important to note that the official Ohio House and Senate districts are built using census blocks. However, the smallest ACS data available is block groups, we had to use ArcGIS analysis tools in order to assign block groups within districts based on where the majority of their geographic area was located. Fortunately, block groups are just groupings of census blocks, typically containing between 600 to 3,000 people, which means most of them lie well within the district boundaries. But because of this limitation, it is important to remember that these numbers are best estimates, and not fixate on exact numbers or small differences between districts.  

Step 4: Remember context—data points are people 

As is typical each time we produce fact sheets, we were limited in the data we are able to compile by legislative district. There are many more issues that are important for policymakers and Ohioans to consider, even if data doesn’t get as granular. The district estimates are accompanied by key data points for the state as a whole, which provide context for the demographic and socioeconomic data tables. Sources for that information is included below.  

 

Sources: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug Overdose Mortality by State. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/drug_poisoning_mortality/drug_poisoning.htm  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/ Analysis by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio in the data snapshot, “Trends in mental health among Ohioans.” Data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011-2020. https://www.healthpolicyohio.org/data-snapshot-trends-in-mental-health-among-ohioans/  

Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Maternal Health Data and Reports. https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/pregnancy-associated-mortality-review/Reports/PAMR-Reports  

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Public Assistance Monthly Statistics (PAMS) Report. https://jfs.ohio.gov/pams/  

U.S. Census Bureau (2022). American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from https://data.census.gov/table. Analysis by The Center for Community Solutions.

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Ohio Senate Districts

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Ohio Senate District 9

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Ohio Senate District 8

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Ohio Senate District 7

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Ohio Senate District 6

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