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Press Release

Release Date: April 28, 2020

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • Kyle Key

Of the many reasons for Oklahomans to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census, perhaps the easiest to understand is the amount of federal dollars coming to the state with each resident who does so.

According to Kyle Key, Chickasaw Nation executive officer of self-governance, that money translates into investments in hospitals, bridges, road construction and numerous federal programs.

“There’s a lot of federal funding tied to census data,” Key said. “In fact, it’s over $675 billion in roughly 325 federal programs – important ones too – Medicaid, Medicare Part B, federal direct student loans, federal Pell grants, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, to name a few.”

Key says it adds up to $9 billion every year for a 10-year period, or $1,800 per resident per year for the state of Oklahoma.

Key said the census is designed to count all residents, not just American citizens, living in the United States and its territories every ten years. “I know a lot of people have heard about a citizenship question being on the form, but that is not on the U.S. Census.”

Key is chairman of the Chickasaw Nation’s effort to encourage participation for all residents, not just Chickasaw citizens.

“The Chickasaw Nation, under the leadership of Governor Anoatubby, was one of the first tribes to have a Complete Count Committee,” he said.

“We encourage all people to participate in the 2020 census, not just Chickasaw citizens. Native Americans were undercounted in the 2010 census by five percent. That is a number more than double the next group.”

The U.S. Census also determines the number of seats Oklahoma occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 2000 census resulted in one lost Congressional seat for the Oklahoma delegation.

He said companies use census data in determining in which communities they are likely to be successful.

“When businesses want to decide where to build a new location, they’ll look at the census population data to decide if there’s enough population there to support their needs, or if there’s enough labor pool there.”

Gone are the page turning, seemingly endless and prying questions of an earlier census. The 2020 U.S. Census is much shorter, simpler and easier to fill out.

“It’s about nine questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete online,” Key said.

“Most residents of the U.S. have already received a postcard inviting them to participate in the census. This postcard explains what to do. Or if you haven’t received that card or have discarded it, you can go to and complete it there.

Another option is to call 844-330-2020 to do it over the phone.

Residents not replying will be visited by a census worker who will deliver forms personally.

Key said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final date to have all forms submitted has been pushed back from July 31 to October 31.