LISTEN: There are billions of dollars at stake in the 2020 Census, but Alaska response rates are low

The census is about understanding the country’s population, but it’s also about money.

There are billions of federal dollars at stake. Yet, less than half of Alaskans have responded so far, with the lowest self-response rate of any other state in the country.

“Whether we are talking about the pandemic, whether we are talking about racial equity and justice, the reality is that the census plays an extremely significant and foundational role in ensuring that our society can rise up to address, really, the challenges of our time,” said Gabe Layman, head of the Alaska Census Working Group.

There are unique challenges to counting the state’s population — challenges amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Layman says taking the time to respond now will only help Alaskans in the future.

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