The 2020 U.S. Census population numbers were released recently showing a 3.9% increase in Enid, putting us nicely over the 50,000 mark at 51,308.

Passing the threshold of 50,000 people classifies Enid as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and as the ninth-largest city in the state, just behind Midwest City.

Enid remains the largest population center north of I-40 and west of I-35 and serves a trade area of over 150,000 people who shop, receive medical care and conduct business in Enid weekly.

The results of the census will have an impact on Enid over the next 10 years in a variety of ways. The new status as an MSA will increase funding for federal programs like SNAP, Medicaid, transportation funding and various education programs. It is estimated that each individual has a census value of $1,675 per year. Over the next 10 years, an estimated $859,409,000 in federal funds will be dispersed in Enid. The increase in federal funding will benefit our entire community and provide much-needed services.

The census results will also bring opportunities for business growth. When companies are looking to open new locations, they tend to set a baseline population requirement of 50,000. With our growth in both the retail and business sector over the past five years, Enid has moved beyond this baseline number. And growth begets growth — new business and quality of life opportunities fuel population growth, which in turn bring more jobs and investment to a community.

We expect that we will continue to see an increase in population as Enid has many of the qualities that families are coming to value following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enid has balanced public health concerns with economic and business freedom, which is something people are looking for after suffering through the economic hardship of shuttered businesses and high unemployment.

Additionally, Enid boasts short commute times, a low crime rate, state-of-the-art school facilities, two regional medical centers, new athletic facilities and a thriving public art and music scene. These are qualities that our friends in urban areas can only dream of, and as people are reprioritizing their life post-pandemic, places like Enid will reap the rewards.

The 2020 census was a huge win for Enid and we look forward to seeing just how much we grow in 2030!

Powell is executive director of the Enid Regional Development Alliance.

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