Sluggish Census response could affect North Carolina's federal funding as deadline nears

Have you filled out the census? Time is running out.

"Right now North Carolina isn't responding as well as we hope," said Stacey Carless, NC Counts Coalition executive director.

In fact, North Carolina ranks 36th in the United States when it comes to household census responses. With a 58 percent self-response rate, our state is lower than the national average of 62 percent.

"If we have an undercount, then we literally leave money on the table and that funding is distributed to other states," Carless said.

Right now our state receives over $23 billion a year in federal funding based on our census numbers. If we still want that dollar amount to properly reflect our community's needs, people have to respond. And it's been even more difficult to inform people during a pandemic.

"It's really difficult because we can't do face to face interactions so it makes it harder because typically you want to go to the community," Carless said.

Still, the outreach continues from organizations like NC Counts Coalition and even our local governments-as we get closer to the extended Oct. 31 deadline

"We're talking about federal funding that really helps build healthy and vibrant communities all throughout North Carolina and this is for the next 10 years," Carless said.

If you don't self-report, keep in mind someone may come to your home beginning August 11. If you'd like to fill out the census online, visit 2020census.gov.
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