WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The census deadline is fast approaching and several areas of Wichita Falls are still on the under-reporting list.
Monday is the last day for residents to make sure they are counted but people in areas such as the Lucy Park neighborhood, MSU area, East Side and East Scott to the city limits are still showing less than a 51% self-response rate.
See the full list of neighborhoods that have less than a 51% self-response rate below,
- Kell south to Holiday Creek; Taft west to Kemp (MSU area) -49.6%
- Kell north to 10th St; Harrison/Taft west to Kemp -47.3%
- Lucy Park neighborhood -45.6%
- Broad/Holiday west to Brook & north downtown to Wichita River -48.6%
- Greater downtown -42.4%
- Eastside – MLK Jr. Blvd east to Harding/Wichita River -46%
- East Scott to City limits; Fisher; Business Park/Central Frwy/287 -46.3%
- Lynwood & East Lynwood -43.1%
“We need them counted because so much rides on the decennial count,” Wichita Falls Planning Administrator and Decennial Census Staff Liaison Karen Montgomery Gagne said.
For every community across the nation, the results from the census help in important decision making, that’s why Wichitans are being asked to be counted.
“There’s a vast amount of federal funding that is related to population and demographics so we have to have a good count so we can qualify for those funds,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.
That was Wichita Falls’ Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim who said an accurate census count affects a lot even down to new schools, new roads, assistance for the homeless and needy children and more.
“Lots of businesses make decisions based upon population and demographics, who lives in a community, how many people, what are their incomes, racial breakdowns to help businesses make great decisions,” Florsheim said.
Florsheim said it is also a moral thing because many things indicate that Wichita Falls is growing but if residents don’t do a good job of getting counted then it doesn’t matter.
Montgomery Gagne explains why the average person should care about being counted.
“We used information from George Washington University and also from the Texas State Data Center and we calculated that for each person if you are not counted we could lose $20,000 of federal funding over the next decade,” Montgomery Gagne said.
Florsheim and Montgomery urge Wichitans to use their voices, count themselves in ensuring Wichita Falls does not lose out over the next decade.
Montgomery Gagne said Wichita Falls is doing a pretty good job of reporting statewide but there is still much work to be done.