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Expert analysis and 50-state effort put census data in perspective

People walk on the street, Monday, April 26, 2021 in New York. The once-a-decade head count of the United States shows where the population grew during the past 10 years and where it shrank. New York will lose one seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts, according to census data released Monday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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Staffers Mike Schneider, David Lieb, Angel Kastanis and Francois Duckett demonstrated AP’s power to deliver comprehensive, insightful and textured coverage of the single biggest data dump from the 2020 U.S. Census. The four were joined in the effort by photographers, videographers and statehouse reporters across the U.S., following through on more than a year covering the most contentious and complicated national headcount in memory.

Census reporter Schneider used his many months of beat development to address significant questions related to the quality of a count that took place in the midst of a global pandemic, including the possibility that substantial portions of the population were missed by census enumerators. His work captured broader themes of urban growth and rural declines in an increasingly diverse and multiracial nation.

Missouri-based state government reporter Lieb set the table with expert analysis of the redistricting landscape,revisiting and updating his exploration of the built-in advantage Republicans had established through gerrymandering,an analysis cited by The New York Times in its own presentation of the data.

Data journalist Kastanis processed the data to give AP customers and staffers alike an accessible but in-depth analysis. When her program slowing down on the day of the data release,she adroitly guided AP reporters from across the country through the dense web of information released by the U.S. Census Bureau to convey the impact for each of the 50 states.

Digital artist Duckett translated multiple data sets into compelling maps and graphics,offering a visual rendition of the data that gave members and clients a way to report and present it in a digestible format.

While this team anchored the coverage,many others contributed to the tour de force effort, a vivid example of the AP being both nimble and authoritative on a deep and complex subject.

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