Alaska Counts! Did you know the very first person counted in the 2020 US Census was Lizzie Chimiugak, a 90-year-old Yup’ik elder in Toksook Bay on the Bering Sea?
Difficulties with mail and internet services in much of rural Alaska means census workers will go door-to-door to be sure everyone is counted. More urban areas of the state will begin the census in March, along with the rest of the country.
Why is it so important that everyone is counted? According to Alaska Counts:
“Census data is used as the basis for distributing more than $800 billion in federal funds annually to states, boroughs, and communities to support resources such as schools, hospitals, and fire departments. State legislative districts and local political boundaries are redrawn using census data, and these data also inform business decisions, policy, community initiatives, and consumer advocacy.”
When the last census was taken, in 2010, Alaska’s response rate was only 64%, the lowest in the nation. If that happens again this time, Alaska will not receive our fair share of federal dollars.
The census form takes only about 10 minutes to complete. Here is some important information about what the census counts:
- Everyone where they live and sleep most of the time.
- All people living or staying at an address, not just the person or family who owns or rents the property.
- All children, including nonrelatives and children staying temporarily, or with no other place to live.
- Babies! Even if they are still in the hospital.
There are more than 53,000 children under 5 in Alaska – let’s be sure all of them are counted and we don’t miss out on our share of federal dollars!
For more information, visit Alaska Counts.