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Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education

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Geographies in EdScape

Starting with the April 2022 release, many visualizations in EdScape now include the option to toggle among four geographic views: Comprehensive Plan planning areas, 2022 ward boundaries, 2012 ward boundaries, and neighborhood clusters. Below are brief descriptions of each.

Comprehensive Plan planning areas:

The DC Office of Planning developed 10 planning areas to serve as a static subdivision of the city and allow for analysis across long-term time scales. Unlike election ward boundaries or other political divisions, these areas are intended to remain unchanged and stable. The areas are the geographic units used in the most recent 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment. See DC Open Data to view the areas.

Ward Boundaries

Washington, DC is divided into eight wards for municipal purposes that are intended to be balanced in population and each represented by an elected council member. Every 10 years, the ward boundaries are reviewed and potentially adjusted based on US Census decennial data to ensure areas of roughly equal population resulting in equal voice in electing government representatives.

2022 Wards

The 2022 ward boundaries were based on a redistricting process undertaken in 2021 after the 2020 Census data were released. Several significant changes were made, such as the new boundary of Ward 8 extends across the Anacostia River for the first time and the western boundary of Ward 7 moved further west into Capitol Hill. The boundaries were approved by DC Council and the Mayor in December 2021 and went into effect in January 2022. These boundaries are the official ward geographies until the next redistricting process is undertaken after the 2030 US Decennial Census. All years of data included in EdScape have 2022 ward boundaries applied in order to compare trends over time. See DC Open Data to view the boundaries.

2012 Wards

The 2012 ward boundaries were last set by lawmakers in 2012 following the 2010 US Census. EdScape will include visualizations applying the 2012 ward boundaries to data prior to 2022. The 2012 ward boundaries will be included only for the April 2022 update to EdScape while the city adjusts to the new 2022 ward boundaries. 2012 ward boundary designations will be removed from visualizations when EdScape is updated with SY22-23 data. See DC Open Data to view the boundaries.

Neighborhood Clusters

As described in Open Data, the 46 neighborhood clusters were established in the early 2000s based on the professional judgment of the staff at the DC Office of Planning as reasonably descriptive units of Washington, DC for planning purposes. Once created, these boundaries have been maintained unchanged to facilitate comparisons over time. Originally, the Office of Planning developed 39 neighborhood clusters and has since added 7 nonresidential areas to fill the gaps in the original dataset, which had originally omitted areas such as Rock Creek Park, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, the National Mall, and the Naval Observatory. See DC Open Data to view the boundaries.