- Cathy O’Connor
Take the census and be counted
This week, the first round of U.S. Census questionnaires were mailed to homes in Oklahoma City. With the concern and constant conversation about the spread and impact of COVID-19, it’s possible that this survey could get overlooked, but participation is critical for the long-term economy, health and vitality of our city.
The census is the country’s most important tool for collecting data on the characteristics of individuals, households, and housing units. It’s the primary source of data used to determine our system of political representation, inform business development and investment, and allocate government funds to where they are most needed.
City planners use data from the census and other surveys to create demographic profiles of the city. These reports help planners understand how the population has changed over time and trends toward how it might change in the future. Planners regularly look at factors such as age, race/ethnicity, household size, and renter and ownership rates when updating the city’s comprehensive plan and small area plans. They also use demographic information from the census to plan inclusive and effective outreach strategies.