Four in six Oklahomans still haven’t submitted census forms as deadline quickly approaches

With less than three weeks remaining until the Sept. 30 deadline for the 2020 U.S. Census, approximately 40% of eligible Oklahomans have not filled out the form, ranking Oklahoma 41st in state Census response rate. In an effort to encourage participation in the Census, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) has entered into a final sprint to increase the state’s response rate.
“The U.S. Census plays a key role in providing needed federal funding to help Oklahoma drive our communities forward,” said Justin Brown, OKDHS Director. “It is critical that eligible individuals fill out the Census so our state can receive the money and resources it needs to properly support initiatives like food assistance, education, infrastructure and healthcare.”
Every 10 years, the Census works to accurately count everyone living in the U.S. and its territories. Critical funding for important programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are determined from the U.S. Census. Last fiscal year, Oklahoma’s SNAP program distributed more than $840,265,422 in food assistance to 378,417 Oklahoma families. Without an accurate Census count, Oklahomans lose out on needed federal assistance.
To encourage more participation by the Sept. 30 deadline, OKDHS is sharing important information you need to know about the U.S. Census:
Your participation is critical. Federal and local officials will use the 2020 data to make important decisions regarding needs for new schools, roads, and services for children and older Americans.
Census results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars are allocated to programs like Medicaid, Head Start and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). When you fail to complete the Census, you keep your community from receiving the resources it needs to best support your family, your neighbors and your fellow citizens.
Everyone counts. From newborns, to college students, to people in health care facilities, every person alive on April 1, 2020 should be counted in the 2020 Census. If you have questions about where family members should count themselves, please visit 2020census.gov for a complete list of special circumstances you may need to consider.
Teens can help, too. If you are 15-years-old or older, you are responsible for ensuring your household completes the Census. The Census form is available through the mail or online and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
“A lot can change in the next 10 years, and the brief 10-minute Census form is vital to shaping the future of our local communities between now and 2030,” added Brown. “This September, do your part to help make Oklahoma a top-10 state by completing the U.S. Census.” Ensure you and your family are counted by responding to the Census before Sept. 30 at 2020census.gov.

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