“The first Americans to be counted in the 2020 census live in [Toksook Bay, Alaska], a tiny community of 661 on the edge of the American expanse. Their homes are huddled together in a windswept Bering Sea village, painted vivid lime green, purple or neon blue to help distinguish the signs of life from a frigid white winterscape that makes it hard to tell where the frozen sea ends and the village begins. Once the spring thaw hits, the town empties as many residents scatter for traditional hunting and fishing grounds, and the frozen ground that in January makes it easier to get around by March turns to marsh that’s difficult to traverse. The mail service is spotty and the internet connectivity unreliable, which makes door-to-door surveying important. For those reasons, they have to start early here.” SOURCE: AP News.
This article is a reminder that while we are on preparing for the constitutionally-mandated 2020 census (get ready for updated maps everyone!!), the census is tasked with counting everyone. Some populations such as this indigenous village in Alaska are harder to count than others.
Questions to Ponder: What are other populations that might be under-represented in the census? What would be measures that census employees could take to count those people? How does the census improve our ability to understand geographic patterns?