Governor Kevin Stitt kicked off the 2020 Census Symposium on Monday, August 26, at MetroTech Conference Center with the announcement of Executive Order 2019-32, which establishes the Oklahoma Census 2020 Complete Count Committee.
“A complete and accurate count of Oklahoma’s population is vital to the success of our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “With this Executive Order, I am directing state government to collaborate with leaders across Oklahoma to encourage participation and ensure that every Oklahoman is counted in the 2020 Census. With everyone’s participation, I believe our state’s population will exceed 4 million people.”
The Oklahoma Census 2020 Complete Count Committee will consist of up to 20 individuals appointed by the Governor who will work to provide recommendations on how Oklahoma can receive the most complete and accurate census count.
In addition to the state committee, the Department of Commerce is working to encourage formation of local Complete Count Committees across Oklahoma.
“The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is coordinating with leaders in all 77 counties to form local Complete Count Committees,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “These trusted partners have the relationships in their local communities to encourage participation in the hard-to-count geographies and populations. Improving upon the participation rates from the 2010 Census is a large undertaking and will ensure that Oklahoma is not undercounted.”
Census Day will be April 1, 2020, but Oklahoma residents can self-respond to the 2020 Census beginning in early March 2020, via the internet, by phone, by traditional paper census questionnaire, or in-person with a U.S Census Bureau enumerator.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a full count of the population in Article 1, Section 2. The Census Bureau has counted every resident in the U.S. every ten years since 1790.
The Census Bureau does not appropriate funds to the states. However, decennial census counts are used when determining how to allocate federal funds. Because of this, it is extremely important that all Oklahomans respond to the Census.
“Beyond the Constitutional mandate requiring the decennial Census for reapportionment, the 2020 Census will be used over the following ten years as a baseline to distribute federal funding from approximately 300 federal programs,” said Jon Chiappe, Director of Research & Economic Analysis, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “These programs impact the state, tribal nations and our local communities in many aspects of our lives including education, healthcare, housing, and transportation among others. If we are not accurately counted, it will place a burden on our state, tribal and local governments as they provide services to larger populations with fewer federal resources.”
The Executive Order regarding the 2020 Census can be viewed here: https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/Executive/1888.pdf.
About the Oklahoma State Data Center
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce operates the State Data Center for the state of Oklahoma. A partner of the U.S. Census Bureau, the State Data Center ensures Oklahoma’s citizens, communities, and businesses have access to critical Census data.