The 2020 Census kicked off in mid-March as the U.S. Census Bureau works to count every person living in the United States and its five territories.
Census response rates can have a significant impact on rural communities as each person counted in the census brings an estimated $16,750 to their community over the next 10 years. The population counts also determine government representation as they are used in drawing congressional and state legislative districts.
With all that weighs on the results of the 2020 Census, it seems surprising that response rates would be low in rural areas. But one reason may be because some rural Oklahomans have not yet received a census ID in the mail.
In areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home, known as “update leave” areas by the U.S. Census Bureau, census packets with a census ID number are delivered in-person by census workers rather than through the mail. Census workers confirm or update a household’s physical location address and then leave a census questionnaire packet in these areas.
The U.S. Census Bureau began delivering census packets to update leave areas on March 15, but operations were suspended on March 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Previously, the Census Bureau said operations in update leave areas would resume on June 13. However on Monday, the Census Bureau announced it would resume operations in some areas – including Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland Counties.
Once a census packet has been delivered, households should respond to the 2020 Census as soon as possible using the included census ID number. Households can respond online at my2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by completing and returning the paper form by mail.
What should I do if I haven’t received a census packet?
Households that have not yet received a census ID in the mail may self-respond without a census ID by phone or online at My2020Census.gov if they have a city-style or 911 address.
Those who have not yet received a census ID and do not have a city-style address are encouraged to wait for a census packet to be delivered by a census worker.
Census Bureau operations in update leave areas will run through July 9. If a household has not received a census ID by that date – whether in the mail or in-person – contact the phone questionnaire assistance line at 1-844-330-2020 to request a census packet from a census worker.
Census response rates as of May 6
Top 10 Oklahoma counties for response rates, as of May 6
- Canadian County, 64.5%
- Cleveland County, 62.5%
- Rogers County, 61.1%
- Washington County, 60.2%
- Wagoner County, 59.8%
- Tulsa County, 58.8%
- Garfield County, 58.5%
- Oklahoma County, 57.9%
- Logan County, 57.7%
- Kay County, 57.3%
Bottom 10 Oklahoma counties for response rates, as of May 6
- Ellis County, 25.9%
- Roger Mills County, 25.5%
- Pushmataha County, 24.0%
- Adair County, 22.2%
- McIntosh County, 22.0%
- Harper County, 21.3%
- Dewey County, 20.6%
- Marshall County, 19.8%
- Beaver County, 18.7%
- Cimarron County, 10.4%
For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit 2020Census.gov.