OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. - The census happens every 10 years, and it can mean a lot of federal dollars going to schools, roads, bridges as well as nonprofits.
It's a population count that translates into $675 billion toward schools, roads, fire departments and hospitals to name a few.
"For Oklahomans ,that's about $6.5 billion of what we receive in the federal funds based on the population. That will go up or that will go down depending on the count that we have," Tricia Woodward, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, said.
In exactly one year, workers with the census bureau will count every single person in the United States, and they want it to be fool-proof.
"Everyone. The homeless, the unemployment, the apartment dwellers, immigrants. Anyone who is living in the United states on April 1 needs to be counted because we will get federal dollars,” Woodward said.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy worries about getting an accurate headcount on children under the age of four.
"Oklahoma has a history of undercounts. Last year, the estimate was about 8,500 households were not counted accurately, " CEO of OICA Joe Dorman said.
In Oklahoma, each person counts as $1,675 every year for 10 years.
That's why they're raising awareness with the new coalition “Count Me IN Oklahoma.”
That money will also help fund programs like:
- Medicaid and Medicare Part B
- Highway planning and construction
- Title 1 grants for education.
"Please be willing to be counted because one of the reasons you get these services from us is because we get the money, and we get the money based on the count of people in Oklahoma,” President and CEO of Oklahoma Center for nonprofits Marnie Taylor said.
The census questions will be released in June following the Supreme Court's decision on whether the question on immigration is legal.
They are encouraging everyone to fill it out online next April 1.