At OK Policy, we often use Census numbers to understand what’s happening with Oklahoma’s people and economy. But the Census is so much more than just a convenient tool for policy analysis. Data from the Census is essential for deciding the distribution of billions of dollars in federal grants, for helping private businesses make decisions about where to locate and expand, for helping non-profits and public agencies target programs where they’re needed most, and for making sure Americans have fair voting representation in state and national elections.
For all of these reasons, it’s essential that Oklahomans are accurately counted in the 2020 Census. Unfortunately, Oklahoma contains many of the hardest to count Census tracts in the nation — areas where about one-quarter or more of households did not mail back their 2010 Census questionnaire. In particular, young children under 5, who by estimates are about 7 percent of Oklahoma’s population, are undercounted at a higher rate than any other age group.
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