Update April 26: The Census Bureau announced statewide population totals for the 2020 census. Alaska's resident population is 733,391 which means the target population for each of Alaska's 40 House districts will be 18,335 for the coming redistricting cycle.
Timing of Redistricting Data in Flux
On February 12, the Census Bureau notified the Board that Redistricting data would be delivered by September 30, 2021.
On March 15 and again on April 1, the Board received emails from the US Census Bureau which appeared to amend their initial deadline announcement. In short, these state that Redistricting data may be available the third week of August in a "legacy format." On April 20, the Census announced that early-release, legacy-formatted data would be published on August 16, 2021.
A mid-late August delivery has the potential to allow the Board to begin work weeks before the previously announced September 30 deadline. Lawsuits are pending against the Census over the delay, so the situation remains fluid and deadlines are subject to further change.
The Board is consulting with our software vendor and legal counsel on how best to take advantage of the legacy format data while remaining within our Constitutional requirements.
The 2020 United States Census has been an unprecedented effort conducted in the teeth of a pandemic. Delays, lawsuits and counter suits have been seen from every angle with conflicting information in abundance. Deadlines have shifted one direction and then whipsawed another.
- NCSL has an overview of 2020 Census events >
- Official Census News & Events Website >
- Pew Research discussion on Census Accuracy >
Unlike some states, Alaska's constitutional authors foresaw this potential and set the schedule for Alaska redistricting to be triggered "immediately following the official reporting of each decennial census of the United States" (Alaska Constitution, Article VI, §3). After official receipt, the constitution requires that the board adopt a draft plan within 30 days and a final plan within 90 days. See Governing Law >