Every 10 years, the national census is taken, which helps to allocate funding for local communities.
However, this year, census responses are lacking in not only Bryan County, but throughout the entire state of Oklahoma.
As of late last week, only around 58 percent of Oklahoma residents had completed the 2020 Census survey. That number stood at just 53 percent for Bryan County.
Durant Area Chamber of Commerce representatives are working to get the word out, imploring area residents to complete the survey, which would bring $1,675 per year, per person from the federal government to the community.
If every Durant resident was counted in the census, the total sum would be in excess of $30 million per year in government funding.
Those dollars could be used for things such as road improvements, schools, hospitals, emergency services, parks and even recreational activities in communities.
The census results also determine the number of state and local government representatives that areas receive, in addition to new school and voting districts.
"It’s a big deal for our community and what that money can do to help us," said Durant Area Chamber of Commerce representative Matt Davison. "Over a 10-year period, that is nearly $17,000 for each person listed on the census that goes to our community.
"People complain about road conditions all the time, and this is something easy they can do to help fix that. They get counted and that money goes back to our community and programs that everyone in the community utilizes."
"You can do it online and it takes less than 10 minutes. There are also plenty of places in town, like the chamber (office) or public library, where you can go fill it out in person. By law, only the Census Bureau can have that information, so they don’t have to worry about it going to any solicitors or others," Davison explained.
"This is something everybody in our community needs to do and get counted. There are a ton of things that money can go to help over the next decade."
The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to end all counting efforts on Sept. 30.
Additional information is available at www.my2020census.gov, where the survey can also be completed, as well as by phone at 844-330-2020.