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April 1st Census Day Brings Large Bump In North Carolina Daily Response Rates

April 1, 2020 was National Census Day, a key reference date for the 2020 Census that is used to determine who is counted and where in the 2020 Census. National Census Day brought the largest single day response rate in North Carolina (3.2 percent) seen since the Bureau has been reporting self-response rates. Of the 50 states and Washington, DC, North Carolina had the 12th highest ­bump in cumulative response rates due to Census Day, gaining 3.2 percentage points. Internet Census responses accounted for 91 percent of that 3.2 percent increase. Responses on April 2, 2020, which were reported on April 3, 2020, fell to prior daily response levels.

The top ten counties that saw the largest bumps from April 1, 2020 to April 2, 2020 were:

  • Orange County – 4.7 percentage points
  • Union County – 4.6 percentage points
  • Wake County – 4.6 percentage points
  • Johnston County – 4.5 percentage points
  • Camden County – 4.4 percentage points
  • Gates County – 4 percentage points
  • Franklin County – 3.9 percentage points
  • Granville County – 3.9 percentage points
  • Pitt County – 3.8 percentage points
  • Cabarrus County – 3.8 percentage points
Of these top ten, at least 87 percent of the Census Day was accounted for by internet response.In recognition of National Census Day, NC Counts Coalition hosted a virtual press conference followed by a virtual Census Day Party with live DJs and artwork by Wake County artists inspired by the Census operation. The press conference included remarks by NC Counts Coalition’s executive director, Stacey Carless, about the importance of the Census amidst COVID-19; updates on counting rural North Carolina by Brandy Bynum Dawson, Director of Advocacy for NC Rural Center; an update on Census operations by Lindy Studds, Media Specialist for the Field Division of the US Census Bureau’s Atlanta Regional Office, and; an update on North Carolina’s participation rates by Dr. Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography. NC Counts Coalition also rolled out its outreach campaign, iCountNC, which includes a website, www.iCountNC.org.

Governor Roy Cooper commemorated the day by issuing a proclamation declaring April 1, 2020 as National Census Day in North Carolina.

About the Census

The Census happens once every decade with the mission of counting every person living in the United States once, only once and in the right place. The 2020 Census is a huge opportunity for North Carolina, especially because North Carolina’s population has increased by 10 percent since 2010. North Carolina is now the ninth most populated state, the fifth fastest growing state by numeric growth and the 10th fastest growing state by percent.The message is simple and can be summarized with three C’s:

1. Responding to the Census is convenient. Households can respond by mail, phone (1-844-330-2020) or online (www.my2020Census.gov). North Carolina residents have until August 14, 2020 to partipcate in the Census.
2. The Census is 100% confidential and protected by federal law. Answers to the Census will not be shared with anyone for at least 72 years.
3. Everyone must be counted because the Census is critical to the economic and general-well-being of North Carolina. 
  • An accurate count is critically important as it determines how much federal funding North Carolina will receive for essential services that impact local communities. In 2017, North Carolina received nearly $24 billion in federal Census guided funding to support programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, school lunch vouchers, affordable housing, highway planning, transit infrastructure and more.
  • The Census count is also used to shape congressional representation and more. Currently North Carolina has 13 representatives in the U.S. House but stands the chance of gaining one seat with a complete and accurate 2020 Census count. If that happens, North Carolina’s congressional districts would have to be redrawn, which would also lead to an increase in the number of electoral votes North Carolina has in presidential elections.
“As we grapple with COVID-19, we must not forget the Census,” said Stacey Carless, Executive Director of NC Counts Coalition. “North Carolina must be counted to ensure that our state receives the funding it needs post Coronavirus to ensure vibrant and healthy communities throughout North Carolina. We only get one shot every ten years to get it right and NC Counts Coalition and our partners remain committed to counting every single individual in North Carolina.”For more information on the Census, please visit www.iCountNC.org.

About NC Counts Coalition

NC Counts Coalition serves as a hub to facilitate cross-sector coordination among government, planning and community organizations, service providers, businesses and others to support a complete and accurate Census count for North Carolina. NC Counts strategically identifies and addresses barriers to Census participation among traditionally undercounted communities. Our Coalition is comprised of more than 400 nonprofit, local government, business and service providing organizations committed to Make NC Count. For more information go to our website at www.nccensus.org