WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “Everyone counts in Wichita Falls” is the motto for the city’s Census Committee as they prepare for the once a decade tradition of counting everyone in the United States.
The once a decade tradition of counting everyone in the United States has made its way back to Wichita Falls. The last census taken was in 2010, and Wichita Falls had a little more than 104,500 people. However, Wichita Falls Planning Administrator Karen Montgomery-Gagne thinks there will be an increase this time around.
“We feel that we have grown,” Montgomery-Gagne said. “We feel that there’s been development and change within our community, but the official numbers tell the story, and that’s why this is our opportunity over the next three months to really get out and help people understand, be educated, and aware that it matters.”
Finding out the exact number of how many people live in Wichita Falls will also impact the city.
“Those figures that come back after the Census count can greatly impact funding that directly impacts many of our local nonprofits, different sectors of our community,” Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Lindsay Barker said.
The city isn’t the only thing affected by this.
“This is the most equitable way that the country for over 300 years has been able to distribute fairly tax dollars and also representation at a state level in the House and the Senate,” Montgomery-Gagne said. “Also, more importantly nationally in the house and in the senate.”
As for those that are incarcerated, in the military, in college or homeless they also count towards the city’s census.
“We also have a division of the Census Bureau that is called Group Quarters and they work with different organizations where there is an administrator type position and there’s people that sleep and stay in those facilities,” Montgomery-Gagne said.
In the end, the hope is there will be growth when the new numbers come out in March of 2021.
The Census Committee is hosting a kickoff event. It will be on Tuesday at noon on the front steps at the Memorial Auditorium. For the first time ever, there will be three ways you can fill out a census form, by phone, online or filling out a paper form and mailing it.