By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Canadian County leads the way in Oklahoma census responses.
Topping the list of all 77 counties statewide, Canadian County’s self-response rate to the 2020 U.S. Census stood at 67.5% on July 1. Of that total, 59.1% of responses had been made online.
Canadian County’s final 2010 census response rate was 71.6%.
The State of Oklahoma’s census response rate now stands at 56.2% compared to the final 2010 response rate of 62.3%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The top 10 counties in Oklahoma census responses (as of July 1) are: 1. Canadian (67.5%); 2. Cleveland (65.2%); 3. Rogers (64.9%); 4. Wagoner (63.9%); 5. Washington (63.5%); 6. Tulsa (62.4%); 7. Garfield (62.1%); 8. Logan (61.6%); 9. Oklahoma (61.0%); and 10. Kay (60.2%).
“It’s good news to hear we’re number one,” said Yukon’s Jack Stewart, Canadian County’s District 3 commissioner. “But we still have a large margin to make up to meet our goal of 100%.
“I’m encouraged that Canadian County residents have responded so well thus far. It seems most of our citizens realize the importance of completing the census. We encourage those who haven’t already responded to do so as we work together to beat our 71.6% response rate from the 2010 census.”
Self-response rates by Canadian County municipality (as of July 1) are: Piedmont (75.6%), Mustang (74.2%), Yukon (73.6%), Union City (61.6%), El Reno (56.4%), Okarche (45.8%), and Calumet (37.4%).
The deadline for responses is Oct. 31. Starting in August, census takers will visit homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
The 2020 Census asks a few simple questions about people living in each household. This includes the type of dwelling (house, apartment or mobile home), number of people living there, and each person’s name, sex, date of birth, race, and origin.
One person who is at least 15 years old should respond for each home. They should live in the residence themselves and know general information about each person living there.
Completing the census is more than a civic duty. It is the law. The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years.
In December, the U.S. Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the president and Congress as required by law.
BY MAIL, PHONE, ONLINE
Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby encourages citizens to fill out the 2020 Census by mail, phone or online.
It takes less than 15 minutes and an accurate count is critical, Selby added.
“The results of the census are very important to our community,” she said. “It determines the amount of federal dollars we get for our schools, streets, our police and fire, and the list goes on.”
The results are used to determine how many legislators represent municipalities at the State Capitol and how many representatives Oklahoma will have in the U.S. Congress.
Commissioner Stewart reiterated the need for Canadian County residents to take the time to fill out their 2020 Census forms.
“We want Oklahoma to receive its fair share of federal funds and we want there to be a fair apportionment of state dollars,” the three-term county commissioner said.
The census is a survey taken every 10 years to get an overall look at communities across the United States and how to better serve them.
The census is used by lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others to help determine funding, congressional representation and more.
The goal of the 2020 Census is to count every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
The 2020 Census marks the 24th time the country has counted its population since 1790.
Information that respondents provide for the census will not be shared – not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, not ICE or any other government agency.
“It is not an invasion of privacy but a way to help our community become stronger and be represented better,” Mayor Selby said.
Households can respond online by visiting 2020census.gov, by calling (844) 330-2020 or by mail using a self-addressed envelope provided.