KENAI - State and federal officials are already gearing up for the 2010 U.S. Census, even though it is a couple of years away.
According to officials, a yet-to-be named Alaska community will have the honor of being the first location to be counted in the nation.
Plans are going forward to have dress rehearsals in selected areas of the state.
The count is to start in the third week of January 2010, most likely in a community in Southeast.
Jack Cannon, research analyst with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, says U.S. Census Bureau Director Steve Murdock will visit Alaska personally to count the first people for the census.
Cannon said that according to state demographers, nothing unusual is anticipated to come from the 2010 numbers. The new figures likely will demonstrate the continued relatively strong growth of Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough.
Residents in Alaska's major cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau will get census forms in the mail to be filled out and returned.
In areas with nonstandard mailing addresses, census-takers will physically locate the address and update information, and leave a mail-back form to be completed by the resident.
That same method will be used in Anchorage where appropriate, as well as in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the eastern part of the Kenai Peninsula, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and in towns and hub cities in the Bush.
In some areas, such as the 217 Alaska Native villages and in rural areas of Southeast Alaska, census workers will do the counting on the spot.
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