Okahomans need to take five minutes and fill out the census form

Oklahomans are being slow in filling out their census forms. Make sure you count.

It takes less than five minutes and can be done online or by phone.

Results determine much of what happens in the next decade.

The lines for congressional seats and state legislative districts are drawn based on census data. If Tulsa is underrepresented in the count, it will end up being underrepresented at the state and U.S. capitols for 10 years.

Census data also guides where about $675 billion in federal funding for infrastructure and services including hospitals, schools, senior centers, job training centers, emergency services, bridges and public works projects.

Much is at stake, and Oklahoma does not want to be shorted in these services. Voters want districts carved out by accurate data.

The U.S. Census has been tracking how many responses have been returned.

So far, about 44% of Oklahoma residents have self-responded, with 35% of those doing so online.

Oklahoma trails the national returns of about 49%.

Oklahoma’s county-by-county self-responses vary from the low of 8% in Cimarron County to the high of 54% in Canadian County.

Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, which combined represent more than one-third of the state, are both at 49%.

Among cities, Tulsa is at 46% and Oklahoma City is at 49%. The highest response has been from Piedmont and Edmond at 61%.

Historically, census workers are sent to homes to gather information or drop off forms to encourage participation. Those field operations have been suspended until June 1 to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading.

As everyone takes shelter in their homes, there is no better time to be counted.

The 12 questions are straightforward, asking the names, ages, race and ethnicity of residents. By federal law, individual information is not shared with other government agencies, only the summary of data.

This is one of the most important responsibilities of living in the U.S. For more information, go to 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.


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