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NC Lags Behind Others States In Census Count

Census 2020
Census Bureau

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Carolina lags behind most states in the percentage of residents who have been counted.North Carolina is among the bottom 10 states in the U.S. that have responded to the Census so far. Less than 17% of its households have filled out a Census form, either online, by mail, or by phone. The national average is 19%.

The coronavirus outbreak has slowed down efforts to mobilize citizens and “Get Out the Count” efforts, according to Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC Chapel Hill.

“There’s been a lot of investment in planning in-person activities, block parties, very high density outreach," Tippett said. "Obviously those plans are being not just re-evaluated, but changed.”  

In the first week of Census counting, the top five North Carolina counties to report are Caswell, Alexander, Lee, Orange and Rockingham.

Added Tippett: “We are noticing that North Carolina is particularly less likely to be responding online, which may mean people have responded to the Census but their responses have not yet been processed at the bureau level.”

The only southeastern state with a lower response rate than North Carolina is West Virginia, at 14%.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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