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Be Counted OKC: About half of Oklahoma City residents yet to take the 2020 Census

Post Date:04/21/2020 8:15 AM

With the 2020 Census under way, about half of Oklahoma City residents have yet to be counted. You can take it now if you haven’t already at my2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020. Language options are available.

Oklahoma City’s response rate of 50.7% as of Tuesday morning is right on par with the national average of 50.7% and above the statewide average of 45.7%.

OKC is also comfortably ahead of Tulsa for now. The response rate up the turnpike is 48.2%, putting Mayor David Holt in good position to win his friendly bet with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and fly the City of OKC flag above Tulsa City Hall.

But everyone in Oklahoma City who isn’t counted will cost our community nearly $17,000 in federal funding over the next decade, so it’s important to get the other half of OKC in gear.

“I ask our residents to take five minutes and fill out the census,” said Mayor Holt. “You can do it online and you will see the personal benefit many times over. An accurate count means more federal funding for services that you will end up using. The thousands of dollars that your reply brings is worth five minutes of your time. Consider that even right now in the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the federal funding is dependent on our population. Many, if not most programs operate the same way. Please take five minutes and be counted!”

Central, south and east Oklahoma City generally have the lowest response rates so far. Two census tracts in mostly commercial and industrial areas – one near NW 63rd and Classen Boulevard and another near the VA Hospital – have response rates of 0%.

By comparison, north, west and far south OKC have response rates well above average. The highest response rate is 73.6% in a tract near NW 192nd Street and Western Avenue.

Take the census at my2020census.gov, or by phone in English at (844) 330-2020. The Census Bureau has increased capacity at its calling centers. A list of phone numbers to take the census in other languages is here at 2020census.gov.

About the census

The census is the once-a-decade count of every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. It counts everyone, regardless of citizenship.

Most households in America have already gotten information on how to respond from the U.S. Census Bureau. Check your mailbox. If you don’t get a letter or want to fill it out before you get one, you can still complete the questionnaire at my2020census.gov.

You can respond online this year for the first time, or by phone or mail. It’s important to include everyone living in your household on April 1, even people temporarily living with you. People who don’t have a permanent residence should be counted where they were on April 1.

A complete and accurate count of Oklahoma City residents in the 2020 Census is critical. Experts estimate each person who isn’t counted in the census survey costs our community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person every year for 10 years. It also affects congressional representation and more.

Community services with federal funding tied to the census count include:

  • Breakfast and lunch programs for schools
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Transit
  • Head Start
  • Highways
  • Hospitals
  • Pell grants

The census questionnaire asks nine simple questions, like how many people were living or staying in your home on April 1, whether a home is owned or rented and the age of everyone in the household. The census will not ask for your social security number, citizenship status, bank accounts or any questions on behalf of a political party.

Learn more about the census in Oklahoma City at okc.gov/census.

Federal law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep your responses confidential and protect your data. It also requires everyone to be counted in the census. Visit 2020census.gov for more on the census.

The Census Bureau is asking Congress to extend some census deadlines because of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Media Contacts
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550
kristy.yager@okc.gov

Katy Gustafson, APR
(405) 200-5631
katy@goodengroup.com

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