In March, Alaskans can expect to find a census questionnaire in the mail. It takes 10 minutes to fill out and is only done once every 10 years.
The consequences for an individual of not completing and returning their census are, really, pretty minimal. The worst that will happen is you’ll get reminders in the mail and a census worker might — politely — end up at your door.
But the consequences for state and local governments of not getting an accurate count could be costly.
Much of the federal funding that is distributed to states is divvied up based on population.
“It does matter to Alaska’s economy — $3.2 billion of annual federal funding allocation is determined by our census data. The federal funding comes into over 70 local programs in Alaska,” said Jenny Carroll, with the city of Homer, who is part of a Complete Count Committee for the Kenai Peninsula Borough to help facilitate the 2020 census.