census

KTOO file photo

New maps from the Alaska Redistricting Board will change the shape and boundaries of the state’s legislative districts, based on population changes recorded in the 2020 Census.

But on the Kenai Peninsula, not much is likely to shift.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula’s older population is larger than it was a decade ago. It’s one of the many trends that emerged in U.S. Census data released earlier this month, which also shows that the peninsula’s population has generally grown, while others, like Anchorage, have seen numbers drop.

Census.gov

Tim Dillon, the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and the borough’s census coordinator, thought he had until the end of the month for a final census push. Now that deadline is today, due to a Supreme Court ruling to end counting early.

That’s complicated a process that was already made difficult by the pandemic.

“It’s kind of left us in a scramble,” Dillon said. It’s been so difficult this past year with COVID and the starting and stopping and everything and it’s really been pretty bizarre.”

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.


This week on the Kenai Conversation, two timely discussions. In the first half hour, representatives with the 2020 Census, Jessi Curtis with the Census Bureau, and Tim Dillon with the KPEDD, will talk about what it takes to make the big count come off without a hitch on the Kenai Peninsula. In the second half hour, we share the presentation made by Jodi Stuart at last week’s joint chambers of commerce luncheon about Project Homeless Connect, set for January.

The U.S. Census Bureau is ready to ramp up its local hire for next spring’s big count. Jessi Curtis of the Census Bureau in Anchorage was in the Central Peninsula on Monday, raising awareness about the actual count and to drum up applicants for the temporary census jobs.

$150 Million hangs on accurate census count

Sep 4, 2019

      Though our nation’s decennial head count is often only thought of as a way to ensure proper representatives in Congress, the more tangible effect of the U.S. Census is the equitable distribution of federal funds.

To that end, a group of 50 people from agencies around the state have formed Alaska Counts, to educate people statewide on the importance of a complete count. One of them is Tim Dillon of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District.

ECON 919 - Preparing for the census

Feb 15, 2019

 

This week: The Census. Since 1790, the federal government has taken a head count of sorts, in its decennial census. The data that come from the census decide voting districts, but also have a real economic impact, especially in Alaska, says Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Executive Director Tim Dillon. He’s part of the group that will work to organize taking the census on the Peninsula next year.