Alaska’s Remote Areas Always the First Counted in Decennial Census

Getting to Hard-to-Reach Villages Before Spring Thaw and Start of Hunting Season

Sharon Lacey, writing for the United States Census Bureau posted:

The April 1, 2020 census count will begin months earlier in Alaska’s Toksook Bay, a rural village on the Bering Sea that can only be reached by dog sled, snow machine or bush plane when the ground is still frozen.

Counting people who live in hard-to-reach villages in the northernmost parts of the United States has been a challenge for the Census Bureau every decade since 1870. Even today, large portions of Alaska are not connected by roads and have spotty mail service.

The 2020 Census will be available online, but that may not be an option for remote villages where internet connectivity is poor.

That’s why Census enumerators start knocking on doors in Alaska in January to count people where they live before the spring thaw and before residents leave their villages to fish and hunt. The next count will start Jan. 21 in 2020.

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