Census is a year from now, and it starts in Toksook Bay



The U.S. Constitution requires a counting of the population every 10 years to realign congressional representation. The next federal decennial Census will be taken in 2020, and it starts a year from this week in Toksook Bay.

Past communities that opened the national Census season were Noorvik in 2010 and Unalakleet in 2000 and 1990.

If you’re looking for a job, there will be a lot of these census gigs, and some of those are work-from-home jobs, while others are in the field. Some can last for several weeks, plus weeks of training.

Jobs include field representatives, who go from door to door with tablets, and at-home field representatives, who conduct census calls while in their sweat pants at the kitchen table.

Some of these jobs in Alaska will start later this year, after fishing season, due to training. But because of the federal government’s partial shutdown, those interested might have to wait a few days for the Los Angeles office to get up and running.

The census not only determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress, it’s used to redraw district boundaries.

[Information for Census jobs can be found at this link to U.S. Census Office in Los Angeles]

With Alaska’s high unemployment of 7.1 percent, the work is welcome by hundreds of families and individual Alaskans. Most of the urban areas are counted by phone, but in rural areas, it is difficult to get an accurate count because people come and go in villages, so often local field staff is employed.


The U.S. Census has a job in Bethel for a partnership specialist (tribal.) Posted last week, the closing date is Jan. 30. The salary range is $45,900 to $105,847 per year.

The Bethel area encompasses Toksook, one of three villages located on Nelson Island, 115 miles northwest of Bethel, an area inhabited by Yup’ik Eskimos for thousands of years. The City of Toksook was incorporated in 1972.

In 2010, the Toksook census showed 590 residents. Today, about 638 residents are estimated to live there.

Details on the Bethel job are here.