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News & Updates



The NC Rural Center is proud to partner with the NC Counts Coalition to ensure that every North Carolinian, especially rural people are counted in the 2020 census. The NC Counts Coalition serves as a hub to facilitate cross-sector coordination among government, planning and community organizations, service providers, businesses and others to achieve a complete and accurate Census count for North Carolina.


Why It Matters

ALL residents get counted in the census—children, seniors, people of color, immigrants (legal and undocumented), tribal communities, homeless, homeowners, renters, students, workers—everyone.

Everything that is important to you and your community (e.g., disaster response, education, economic development, housing, local infrastructure, community planning and development, public safety, roads, and many more) are ALL influenced by your efforts to count EVERY person in the upcoming Decennial Census.

Stakeholder Engagement to Ensure an Accurate Count

We know that lack of access to the internet, social isolation, housing status, language barriers, distrust, and fear, are some of the reasons that many people do not participate in the census. 

It is critical that anchor institutions and community based organizations—our hospitals, libraries, clinics, community colleges, schools, child care centers, and local and state government officials are vessels for information and resources to support every North Carolinian in participating. Safe havens and community institutions like churches, libraries, barbershops, and hair salons can also serve as conduits of information to reach hard-to-count communities. We must all do our part. 

Decennial Census Influences Political Representation

  • The Decennial Census is used to determine our representation in the Congress – it is an essential part of our democratic heritage. 
  • For all electoral bodies that use geographically defined membership (i.e., Congress, state legislature, school boards, etc.), census data is used to redraw district lines (aka, redistricting) to determine representation. 
  • This is particularly critical now in North Carolina where growth in some urban areas is dramatically greater than in rural. 

Decennial Census Shapes Funding Flows

  • The Decennial Census is also critical to a large number of state and federal funding programs. For example, US Department of Agriculture funding for community water systems, state funding for education, housing, and countless others are all dependent upon an accurate census count. 
  • When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.

How to Participate

  • Did you know? This is the first year the Census is being offered online. 
  • But there are several ways to participate, including by paper or over the phone. This is to ensure that no person—regardless of access, language, or information barriers—is left out of the count. 
  • The census will be printed in English and Spanish. 
  • Telephone assistance and an online census questionnaire will be available in 13 languages. Guides and glossaries will be available in 59 non-English languages and Braille. 
  • Census day is April 1, 2020, however online responses will start being accepted in March 2020.