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U.S. Census Bureau Hosts 2020 Census Kickoff of First Count in Alaska

Release Number CB20-CN.03


The U.S. Census Bureau will hold a news conference to kick off the 2020 Census. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham will give an update on the first enumeration in Toksook Bay, Alaska, which begins on Jan. 21.

Alaska’s vast, sparsely settled northern areas are traditionally the first to be counted. Local census takers must get a head start while the frozen ground allows easier access to remote areas with unique accessibility challenges. In addition, many residents leave following the spring thaw to fish and hunt or for other warm-weather jobs, making it difficult to get an accurate count in the days leading up to Census Day (April 1). The remaining portion of Alaska, including Anchorage, will be counted with the rest of the country beginning in March. The news conference will highlight the great lengths to which the Census Bureau goes to count everyone living in the United States, including remote Alaska.

Alaska’s Complete Count Committee and other local 2020 Census partners will also be at the news conference to discuss efforts to improve response rates, spread awareness of and promote participation in the next decennial census.


  • Steven Dillingham, director,  U.S. Census Bureau
  • Mike Dunleavy, Governor, Alaska
  • Emily Edenshaw, Executive Director, Alaskan Native Heritage Center
  • Aaron Leggett, Traditional Chief, Eklutna Tribe
  • Gabe Layman, Chair of the Alaska Census Work Group and Chief Operating Officer for Cook Inlet Housing Authority


Friday, Jan. 17, 2020  

  • 9:30 a.m. (AKST) Media Check-In [1:30 p.m. EST]
  • 10 a.m. (AKST) News Conference [2 p.m. EST]


The Alaska Native Heritage Center
8800 Heritage Center Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99504


Members of the media who wish to attend the news conference, please RSVP here.


Please contact the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office at or call 301-763-3030 to request an interview.

The news conference will be live streamed from 10 a.m. (AKST) [2 p.m. EST]. To view the event online, visit the Census Live page at



Public Information Office