I'm not sure which plugins or tools I'd want to further research to achieve my goal.
I have a layer which breaks my geography into regional blocks and an attributes table with a column for number of people per regional block. I want to automatically assign those regions into subsets of approximately equal sized number of people, and have those subset groups be geographically near each other.
Example: Springfield has 100 regional blocks, each ranging with people counts from 200 to 600 or so per regional block. I'd want to say "give me sets of several regional blocks each with around 1000 people total per set, where the regional blocks in the set that are near each other." So some sets may only have 2 regions, other sets may have 6 regions, etc. I can then assign those sets to certain employees to drive out to that side of town, work in those few regions, etc. So if "Set A" were to have one region in the far west of town and another region on the far east of town, that isn't very helpful because of all the travel time. So I'd want "Set A" to be regions kind of near each other, ideally touching.
Again, I realize this is probably a multi-part project, but I don't even know what this type of work is called or what QGIS tool I'd want to learn how to use to achieve my goal.
Where should I start my research?