NEWS22 January 2020

US census kicks off in Alaska

News Public Sector UK

US – The 2020 US census has begun, with the first people and households being counted in the Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.

graphical US map overlaid with speech bubbles and faces

Steven Dillingham, director of the US Census Bureau, travelled to Alaska to deliver the first census questionnaire of the decennial count.

Census takers must begin enumeration in remote, rural areas including Toksook Bay while the ground is still frozen and before residents leave to fish, hunt or begin warm-weather jobs elsewhere.

Over half of households on tribal lands do not have traditional addresses for a form to be sent, and so the census questionnaire must be conducted in person.

Most of the US population will be issued with invitations to respond to the census between 12th-20th March.

Dillingham said: “The 2020 census is critically important. No matter where you live, you need to be counted. From the most remote parts of our country to the most urban, there is too much at stake — we are working to make sure everyone can respond and have the opportunity to shape their communities’ future.”

Robert Pitka, Nunakauyak tribal administrator, said: “The 2020 census ensures our traditions and our people are marked in history. The census is so important because it helps remote villages like ours receive important community resources now and into the future.”