The Census and why the numbers matter for Jenks
The headlines have been clear: Jenks remains one of the state’s fastest growing cities, per the United States Census. In fact, Jenks grew another 50% in population over the past decade. Our population
stands at 25,949, up from 16,924 in 2010.
Every ten years, as mandated by the Constitution, the federal government conducts a direct count of every resident in the United States. But why is this important and how does this impact the lives of the residents of Jenks?
The first and most impactful reason is representation in Congress. Once the numbers are finalized, apportionment and redistricting can begin. Apportionment refers to the number of representatives each state has in the U.S.
House of Representatives and redistricting refers to the congressional, state, and local district boundaries. This ultimately affects citizens’ representation at all levels of government. For example, if a state loses enough population (or doesn’t grow as fast as other states) it will lose representation in Congress. If it gains population, it will most likely gain representation.
Another way the census impacts Jenks residents i
s state and local money received from the federal government. The data gathered from the census will be used to help distribute funding for federal programs such as Medicaid, infrastructure, education grants and more. Much of where this money goes is dependent on the demographics of each state and municipality.
The federal government isn’t the only entity that greatly benefits from census data. Both state and local governments need the information to help allocate funding for roads, schools, and other public sector investments. Even businesses greatly benefit from the information gathered as it makes them aware of the population’s needs and patterns, which allows them to adapt and provide for their customers.
From representation in government, to funding mechanisms, and vital information for both public and private sectors, the census is an integral part of American life.