Once every 10 years, Americans have the opportunity to be counted in the U.S. census. A local group paraded through Tulsa this weekend, making sure more people have done their part when it comes to the once-a-decade count.
The Tulsa Regional Complete Count Committee said about 63 percent of Tulsa households have responded to the 2020 census, which is a few points shy of 2010’s response rate. The group spent its Saturday hosting another caravan, encouraging Tulsans to fill out this year’s census.
City of Tulsa Community Partnerships Director Kyle Ofori said many people may not realize the impact they can make but participating in the census influences how federal funding flows into city programs that support resources like healthcare, roads and education.
"We're in the last few weeks of self-response for the 2020 census, and at this point, we need to make sure that as many people are counted as possible,” Ofori said.
The count also impacts political representation and can shape some legislative boundaries. Ofori said groups that have been historically undercounted include people of color, children under age 5 and people living in apartment complexes or rural areas.
"We like to look in areas that have response rates that are either lower than the city average or that have a lower response rate than they did 10 years ago," Ofori said.
Tulsa firefighters joined in on the fun, handing out goodie bags as they rolled through area neighborhoods.
"With our little packets of candy, we included some census information for people to understand what it is that we're doing and what we're promoting,” Community Service Council of Tulsa Innovation, Data and Research Director Melanie Poulter said.
Ofori said it only takes about 10 minutes to be counted. Residents can either call, mail in a paper version or visit the census website by clicking here.