by Diana Haecker ~ May 5th, 2010
2010 CENSUS— A faded bag with a census form hangs in front of a Talkeetna cabin. Enumerators now follow up and go door to door to count residents. Photo by Diana Haecker
Starting May 1, census workers began going door-to-door to continue the 2010 census count. Alaskans lag in the mail-in response by having returned only 62 percent of the census forms and enumerators are now tasked to visit every house, trailer and cabin to count its inhabitants.The census bureau sent 1,8000 enumerators statewide to count people.
Talkeetna and Trapper Creek only show a 19 percent response to the mail-in forms. Fourteen enumerators are going door to door in the Talkeetna and Sunshine area, seven are counting people in Trapper Creek.
Mark Tanguay, director of census operations for Alaska, said that enumerators are attempting to contact people six times and if still unsuccessful, they ask the neighbors the ten census questions.
Tanguay said that the census is important because it relates to federal funding allocations based on population count. He said, if Talkeetna and surrounding areas only have 20 percent of their population counted, only 20 percent of federal funding would be allocated for roads, emergency services, airports and other public services.
Counting will wrap up in the middle of July.