Governor Roy Cooper declared April 1, 2020, as National Census Day to encourage all North Carolinians to participate in the census and be counted. The 2020 Census will determine how much federal funding flows to North Carolina communities and how much representation our state gets in Congress. North Carolina residents began receiving invitations on March 12 and will be able to take the brief questionnaire online for the next few months.
“The 2020 Census is North Carolina’s opportunity to ensure everyone has a voice and is counted,” said NC Dept. of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders, Chair of the NC Complete Count Commission. “This is our chance to bring tax dollars already paid – an estimated $16 billion for our state – back to local communities to support vital infrastructure including roads, public transportation, housing and schools, and also impacts college loans and scholarships, healthcare and food assistance, among other critical social programs.”
The 2020 Census is the first in history to be available online using a computer or mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet; however, the Census survey also can be taken by phone or submitted by mail. Census support is provided in more than 60 languages.
A complete and accurate population count in the 2020 Census is critical to shaping our state’s future for the next decade. The information is used to distribute federal funding, decide how many seats North Carolina gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, and make planning decisions at the state and local level.
The NC Complete Count Commission has worked with partners across the state to increase the participation rate from the prior Census. An undercount of our population means a significant loss of funding. According to 2010 Census data, 24 percent of North Carolina households did not respond to the Census -- which risked millions of dollars lost in funding over the last decade.
As a precaution and for the safety and health of staff and the public, the U.S. Census Bureau recently modified its operations, including changing deadlines to respond, due to recent developments of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). However, residents can complete the census without ever leaving their homes.
“The Census is safer and easier to take than ever,” said Bob Coats, North Carolina’s Census Liaison. “North Carolina residents can submit their questionnaire online, by phone or mail, without ever leaving home or having to talk with someone face-to-face.”
The mobilization of Census enumerators to knock on doors in low-response areas has been delayed, but the Bureau remains on track to deliver a complete population count, and apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to each state, to the President by December 31, 2020.
“It is not too late to help Census efforts in your community, to support the efforts of your local Complete Count Committee,” said Secretary Sanders. “Everyone must count for our state – regardless of age, race, citizenship, voter registration, religion, place of residence or family status. All people living in our state count, and we need everyone’s help to make sure North Carolina counts.”
For additional information on the 2020 Census or to learn how you can help raise awareness, visit census.nc.gov.