The population in the Permian Basin has boomed in the last decade, and city and county officials here are working to make sure the 2020 U.S. Census data reflects that.
For every person, that is $1,500 in federal funding, but that is only if people complete the census.
"Every ten years the federal government requires that everyone living in the United States be counted, that number is important because the federal money can go to our hospitals, roads and things like that," said Rebecca Bell with the Complete Count Committee for Midland Census.
This is why Midland and Odessa have invested a combined $155,000 into the census this year.
"The amount of federal aid is dependent upon the amount of people in a particular area," Bell said. "So if you’re thinking about not completing the census we strongly advise you to complete it because that’s how the area can make improvements."
Bell says the census people get in the mail can be completed online. The survey takes about 10 to 20 minutes to do and does not require you to be a U.S. citizen.
While West Texas is known for being a transient community, Bell says if people spend more than 50% of their time here, they need to be counted. But tracking them down can be tricky.
“We’ve made some strategic marketing and publicity for the people that work in the oil and gas industry," Bell said. "That way they know it’s important for them to be counted."
Bell says census workers are even going into man camps to get a more accurate count.
“I think it’s going to change our population drastically,” Bell said.
In 2010, Midland’s population was 130,000 people. In 2020, Bell thinks it will be closer 200,000 people.
“If you consider there might be 200,000 people in Midland County there might also be 200,000 people in Ector County, combine that together that’s 400,000 or more people living in the Midland-Odessa metropolitan area,” Bell said.
Bell says they are looking for more part-time employees to help with the 2020 census. They have 56% of the positions filled.
They are paying about $22 an hour for employees to collect data out in the field. For more information on how to apply click here.