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Census undercount impacts Bixby

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City budgets live and die by the census numbers. The figures make a big difference in how government money is distributed. So when Bixby's numbers came back surprisingly low - the city got out the map - and discovered one thousand people were missing.

For years, the fertility of the soil in Bixby attracted farmers to move here. But over the last ten years, some parts of Bixby have grown into large subdivisions. These homes cost more than a quarter million dollars each - but in the last census, they were overlooked, sort of.

Micky Webb, City Manager: "The most important thing is that we get it as accurate as possible."

When the census bureau reported the year 2000 numbers for Bixby - city leaders knew something was overlooked. And it turns out they were right - six square miles of Bixby - everything west of Sheridan road - was missed.
Webb: "It's only an undercount in relation to the city of Bixby and not to Tulsa County. Those individuals have been counted, it's just they were attributed to an unincorporated area."

The census bureau correctly counted the older established neighborhoods of Bixby, it was the newer areas to the West that were missed. City leaders say in the last ten years, that's where most of the new people have moved."
Bixby Citizen: "I think it gets overlooked a lot, but it's pretty busy."

Folks here say they're used to people thinking not much happens in Bixby - but that's wrong. Bixby Citizen: "I know it's grown a lot since I moved here."

The census bureau reports Bixby grew by four thousand people in the last ten years - the city thinks there's maybe one thousand more than that.

A few prairie dogs did make a well publisized move out of town, but regardless of the exact number, Bixby is Oklahoma's second fastest growing midsize city, behind Owasso.

There's still plenty of elbow room in town, but not as much as the government says.

Bixby Citizen: "I know it's growing, there's a lot of people."

The census bureau acknowledged the error, and is in the process of revising the numbers. They should be done in about a month.
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