- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The U.S. Census reported Tuesday that it will spend $500 million on a public outreach campaign for the upcoming Census count. The massive push to get the word out includes 1,000 ads in a dozen languages, designed to reach 99% of U.S. households.

It’s a big population, which now stands at 330,222,422 people as of January 1 — up by 21,476,884 or 6.96% in the last decade. But 12 languages is not quite enough to reach everybody on the finer points of the big people count. The federal agency also will offer consumer information about the 2020 Census itself in 59 languages before the tallying begins in mid-March.

“We want to make sure that everyone can respond to the 2020 Census. To help you answer the census, the U.S. Census Bureau provides translated web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print,” the Census Bureau advised.

Those languages include Gujarati, Igbo, Navaho, Sinhala, Tigrinya and Yiddish, among the many.

If a community speaks a language “beyond those supported by the Census Bureau,” the agency also offers a template and language glossary for those who want to make their own guide.

“We are extremely committed to reaching those people who are historically undercounted,” said Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham.

Who will be the very first to be counted by Census personnel? That would be the folks who live in Toksook Bay, Alaska — a remote fishing village on the Bering Sea that can only be reached by dog sled, snow machine, or bush plane when the ground is still frozen. They will hear from Census takers beginning Jan. 21.

“Remote Alaska’s vast, sparsely settled areas traditionally are counted in January of the decennial census year. Local census takers must get a head start while the frozen ground allows easier access to the remote areas with unique accessibility challenges,” the agency explained.

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