Recent California legislation (for the state legislature, cities, and counties) requires that communities of interest be considered when drawing plans, and when possible, our demographers will do this, too. A community of interest is a geographical area (such as a neighborhood) that would benefit from being in the same district because of shared interests, views, or characteristics. Downtown areas, historic districts, and housing subdivisions are a few examples of areas that would be communities of interest (there are many more).
Sometimes, populations with similar demographic characteristics are considered communities of interest. These characteristics can include the population's race/ethnic composition, the language spoken at home, the area's median income (and other socioeconomic characteristics), and the type of housing (for example, those in a particular housing development or retirement community).
Defined regions like cities, school districts, and school attendance areas may sometimes be considered communities of interest. Geographic characteristics can identify communities, such as those on one side of a mountain range, highway, around a park, or another publicly-recognized region.