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Fast-growing Oklahoma City surges to Top 25 of biggest U.S. cities, highlights importance of taking the 2020 Census
Oklahoma City has surged to No. 25 on the list of biggest American cities, underscoring the importance of federal funding tied to the 2020 Census needed to keep pace.
Oklahoma City’s population has grown an estimated 12% since the 2010 census to 655,057, according to data released May 21 by the U.S. Census Bureau.
But only people who are officially counted in the 2020 Census will be included in the official population statistics the federal government uses to determine our community’s share of federal funding and other important decisions.
Experts estimate each person in Oklahoma City who isn’t counted will cost our community about $17,000 in federal funding over the next 10 years. The funding is tied to education, highways, health care and much more.
An inaccurate census count would be doubly painful for Oklahoma City. The community would miss out on our share of federal funding for people who already live here, and get behind on what we need as we grow.
Take the census now if you haven’t already at my2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020. Language options are available.
Response rate so far
Oklahoma City’s response rate of 59.3% as of May 28 is just behind the national average of 60% and above the statewide average of 53.9%.
OKC is also comfortably ahead of Tulsa for now. Tulsa’s response rate is 57.4%, 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.
The response rate tracks the percentage of households that have responded to the census.
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 by mail from the U.S. Census Bureau on how to respond. If you don’t have a letter, 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.
Community services with federal funding tied to the census count include:
- Breakfast and lunch programs for schools
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Head Start
- Pell grants
The census also determines congressional representation for each state.
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.
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Katy Gustafson, APR