The Permian Counts

The Permian Counts is an educational campaign to maximize 2020 Census participation across the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

The Permian Basin encompasses some of the fastest growing communities in the country, and with growth expected to continue over the next 10 years, an accurate count in the 2020 Census is essential to sustaining the future of the region, ensuring the Permian receives adequate federal funding.

Census results influence many areas that are important to the future of the Permian.

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map of Permian Basin region

What is the Census?

The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and so much more.

Ensuring that all residents of the Permian Basin are counted in the 2020 Census is vitally important to the region’s future.

Download a full report to see all areas that are influenced by census data.

  • Permian Basin Population
  • Federal Funding

Get Counted

The 2020 Census can be completed in one of three ways – over the phone, by mail or online – and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. To learn more about your options and to complete the census online, visit the US Census.

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Economic Impact on the Permian Basin

To better understand the economic and fiscal implications of census participation, the Permian Strategic Partnership commissioned a study by The Perryman Group in January of 2020, which revealed the profound impact of a potential undercount.

The Perryman Group’s economic impact study applied the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate of how many residents of Texas and New Mexico would not participate in the census and adjusted it for regional factors. The study showed almost two percent of Permian Basin residents would likely not be counted, and the repercussions of such an undercount would be extensive.


Estimated Direct Potential Losses of Federal Dollars in the Permian Basin

Average Annual
Health Programs-$539.7M-$54.0M
Housing Programs-$42.3M-$4.2M
Food and Nutrition Programs-$40.3M-$4.0M
Education and Job Training-$26.2M-$2.6M
Social and Protective Service Programs-$11.1M-$1.1M
Miscellaneous Programs-$25.1M-$2.5M

Estimated Total Potential Losses in the Permian Basin due to Undercounts

 Gross ProductJob
Health Programs-$882.2M-9,763
Housing Programs-$54.5M-551
Food and Nutrition Programs-$57.8M-476
Education and Job Training-$40.3M-525
Social and Protective Service Programs-$17.6M-208
Miscellaneous Programs-$23.8M-1,151
Job Years


Gross Product

$ 0 B

Local Government

$ 0 M

Based on The Perryman Group’s estimates of potential Permian Basin undercounts and related funding losses. Miscellaneous programs include a variety of funding categories with relatively small allocations, such as several types of block grants, administrative funds, arts and cultural programs, and agricultural and environmental initiatives. The Permian Basin Region for purposes of this study includes Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, Winkler, and Yoakum counties in Texas and Chaves, Eddy, and Lea counties in New Mexico.

Frequently Asked Questions


Once a decade, America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. The census was first taken in 1790, as mandated by the Constitution. It counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.

Participating in the census is a civic duty.

An undercount means that less than the whole of a population has been counted. An undercount in the census may occur due to factors such as miscommunication of its importance and whether or not to respond, or a fear of providing information.

In the Permian in particular, the large population of workers who move in and out of the area can contribute to significant undercounts.

You should complete the census in the community in which you spend 51 percent or more of your time, which can be urban or rural.

The census should be completed by anyone and everyone living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status.

Every household should receive an invitation to participate in the census by April 1, 2020. You should respond with how many people are living in your household as of this date. The final day to respond to the 2020 Census is October 15, 2020.


As one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, an accurate census count is more important than ever. Accurate counts ensure the Permian Basin receives adequate federal funding for various programs and understands population changes in order to better plan for the future.

The census determines where tax money is spent. Representation from our communities helps direct federal funding to support programs important to our citizens.

The Permian Basin has unique population trends and housing developments. Our substantial transitional workforce can cause confusion about where to be counted and rural oilfield housing communities can be difficult to reach.

Your household is defined as the place in which you spend 51 percent or more of your time as of April 1, 2020. This value dictates where you respond to the census.

An undercount can have a significant impact on the Permian, both in the immediate near term and into the future. Research from The Perryman Group estimates that potential undercounts across the Permian could result in potential total losses of $1.1 billion in gross product and 13,135 job-years of employment over the next 10 years. Estimated loss to local government entities include $52.9 million.

These are meaningful funds with the potential to transform public services and advance our economic infrastructure.

Representative census counts can also prevent downstream losses caused by undercounts, including supplemental funding for nutrition, education, social services, healthcare and other programs and can lead to decreased productivity, efficiency and overall community health.

To learn more about the importance of an accurate count in the Permian, access the full impact study conducted by The Perryman Group.

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