Nearly six months after the start of the 2020 Census, Oklahoma is still ranked in the bottom 10 in the nation for census response rate. We’ve talked about the census numerous times before and there’s always been plenty of time to complete the questionnaire to ensure you and your household are accurately counted. But this time, it’s different. This time, the census ends in just a couple of weeks, and Oklahoma’s response rate is sitting at only a little over 60 percent.
It’s been estimated that for every person not accurately counted for by the census, our state could lose nearly $17,000 in federal funding over the course of 10 years for important core services like education, health care, transportation and social services. Just an undercount of two percent could cost the state nearly $2 billion in lost federal funds. As we continue to navigate the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our state budget, it’s more important than ever that we claim our fair share of federal funds.
Across the district, Rogers county’s census response rate is 69.1 percent, and Mayes county’s is 51.8 percent. Now is the time to make the final push to the finish line and end strong. It’s up to all of us to remind our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to make sure they are counted.
September 30 is the final deadline to complete the census questionnaire, which is only taken once every 10 years. The next decade of federal funding for Oklahoma’s schools, hospitals, roads and more is reliant on high participation right now. If you haven’t already, you can self-respond at www.2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020. Those who haven’t responded may also receive a visit from a Census Bureau employee to collect the information. Although these workers are doing their best to stop by every household without a response, we don’t want you to fall through the cracks. Please call or visit the website to ensure your home is accurately counted. The total process only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
Thank you for allowing me to be your voice at the State Capitol. If there’s something I can help you with, please feel free to reach out by calling 405-521-5555 or emailing Marty.Quinn@oksenate.gov.