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City of Norman Aims for a Complete Count in 2020 Census

on February 20, 2020

Beginning March 12, the City of Norman encourages all residents to respond to the 2020 Census survey to ensure Norman gets its fair share of federalfunding and more.

The census, which counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, occurs every 10 years. It is important to respond in the 2020 Census, because experts estimate each household that doesn't complete the census survey costs the community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person, per year, for 10 years.

Beginning March 12, every home in Norman will receive an invitation by mail to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, residents can respond for their household in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. This year marks the first year that you will be able to respond to the census online.

“Once a decade, we have the ability to influence how billions of dollars in federal funding are spent across states and communities. A complete and accurate count of Norman residents in the 2020 Census will significantly impact the future of our community,” said Norman Mayor Breea Clark. “The census is confidential and protected by law, and it funds things like highways, fire departments, schools and health clinics. Its impact is profound, and it only takes a few minutes to fill out.”

The census provides critical data that helps allocate billions of dollars in federal funding each year. Support for many community services are impacted by the census, including but not limited to:

  • Free breakfast and lunch programs for schools
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Transit
  • Head start
  • Highways
  • Hospitals
  • Pell grants for students

According to 2020 Census Senior Partnership Specialist Jeronimo Gallegos, the most important first step to completing the census is to know the facts.

“The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your personal information and to keep responses confidential,” said Gallegos. “I, like every census worker you’ll see in Norman, have taken an oath to protect your personal information for life. The census is easy, safe and important.”

The 2020 Census Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed to make it easier to identify and gain insight into historically hard-to-survey areas. Based on the 2010 Census, Norman’s historically undercounted populations include university-aged individuals, rural communities and households with children under five.

“Census data is used to fund public programs and works all around us on a day-to-day basis. From our rural communities near Little Axe to our bustling campus at the University of Oklahoma, every response matters and every single person counts,” said Lynne Miller, chairman of Norman’s Complete Count Committee and former City of Norman Mayor.

The U.S. Census Bureau will count you at your usual residence, which is the place where you live and sleep most of the time. People who do not have a usual residence should be counted where they are on April 1.

“One of the biggest misunderstandings that traditional college-aged students have about the census is that they are being counted by parents or legal guardians in their hometown or someplace else,” said David Surratt, University of Oklahoma vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “All students on the University of Oklahoma campus are residents of Norman the majority of the year, which means it is imperative they fill out a census survey for themselves. This is every students’ opportunity to leave a legacy in Norman and inform how federal funds are distributed for programs and services critical to both our city and university community.”

The census questionnaire asks simple questions, such as how many people are living or staying in your home on April 1, whether a home is owned or rented and the age of each person in your home. The census will not ask for your social security number, citizenship status, bank accounts, or any questions on behalf of a political party. Learn more about the Census at okc.gov/census.

About the 2020 Norman Census

The City of Norman and partners throughout the community want every Norman resident to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. The federal government uses census data to help determine important local factors like tax funding and representation in Congress. Experts estimate each household that doesn't complete the census survey costs our community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person, per year, for 10 years.