Redistricting Puzzle map:

Florida U.S. Congressional Districts

Welcome to the Florida Redistricting Puzzle!

How to play:

Rotate puzzle pieces, read the associated clues, and try to place each piece. You’ll know it’s in the correct location when the piece becomes transparent. Because districts can be small and district boundaries can divide towns, neighborhoods and even city blocks, this puzzle allows the user to zoom in almost to street level. Explore the puzzle for other tools, tips, and full instructions.

Background and Additional Clues:

The puzzle pieces show the district boundaries of the current U.S. House of Representatives in Florida. The clue window provides the population of each district (roughly 750,000) and the official portrait of their current Representative in the 115th Congress. The district name is in red for for those who are Republicans and blue for the Democrats. The completed puzzle a choropleth based on Partisan Index. The Partisan Index examines the last two presidential elections and compares the average Republican and Democratic Party support in the Congressional district to the average Republican and Democratic support nationally. The color of each piece is therefore a clue ranging from red to blue based on the Partisan Index. You’ll notice that rural areas tend to be more conservative while urban areas are more liberal, and because each district holds roughly 750,000 people, urban districts are much smaller geographically than rural districts.

Redistricting Basics:

Since 1911, the US House of Representatives has had 435 seats. Every ten years the US Census Bureau conducts the Decennial Census which is a full count of every person in the country. Reapportionment is the process of using the Decennial Census count of people to adjust the number of congressional seats allocated to each state. Because districts require equal population, as a state population grows or shrinks, so does its allocation of seats in the US House of Representatives. Redistricting is the process of dividing the population into districts based on the number of seats allocated during reapportionment. More generally, redistricting is drawing boundaries for any political or electoral purpose. There is a cycle of redistricting that follows every Decennial reapportionment, but redistricting can be done at other times for other reasons.

Between 2000 and 2010, the population in Florida grew by over 17%. Consequently, after the 2010 Census, Florida was reapportioned 2 additional congressional seats for a total of 27 seats. For U.S. Congressional districts, redistricting is left to the states and therefore rules vary by state. In many states, including Florida, the responsibility falls to the state legislature.

puzzle map: florida U.S. congressional redistricting

Further Reading:

Learn more about the state ‘traditional redistricting principles’ that guide map-making in the redistricting process.

Learn more about redistricting in compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

For more on the legal challenges to the Florida Congressional districts, see an introduction on redistricting in Florida from the folks at Ballotpedia.

For a deep dive into Florida redistricting, see The Gerrymandering Project’s chapter on Florida from FiveThirtyEight.

For more on Puzzle Maps, check out the folks at SpherAware.