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What is the Census?

Every 10 years, the U.S. government counts everyone, regardless of age or citizenship status. This year, the Census is available online, by phone, or by mail.

How has COVID-19 impacted the Census?

2020 Census Extended to October 31, 2020

The 2020 Census deadline has been extended to October 31, 2020. Under the adjusted 2020 Census operational plan, in-community activities will resume after June 1, 2020, as Area Census Offices begin returning to full staff capacity. This change would push delivery of the final counts from December 2020 to April 2021. We encourage people to monitor the US Census COVID-19 Updates website for the latest information.

I Never Received a Census Mailing – What Happened?

In planning for the 2020 Census, US Mail delivery to all areas of the country was analyzed. This information categorized about 5% of households as “Update Leave,which means these households were set to receive hand-delivered Census questionnaires. The majority of housing units in these areas did not have mail physically delivered to the individual housing unit. This designation can include rural areas with centralized mail delivery, some Native American Reservations, and even apply to some urban locations using centralized mailboxes. To see how your area was categorized, visit the 2020 Census Type of Enumeration ViewerDue to COVID-19, Update Leave operations were suspended just as they began, so most of these households have not yet received any census information. This is now scheduled to resume on June 13. But even if you didn’t receive a mailing or a hand-delivered questionnaire, anyone can respond at any time online at or by phone at 1-844-330-2020.

Responding to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail is the best way to respond without any in-person contact. 

Even if you haven’t received a Census 2020 mailing or you lost your code, you can respond at or 844-330-2020Remember – the Census is SAFE, EASY and IMPORTANT.

Top Reasons to Fill Out Your Census Form

It’s EASY: Fill out a Census form online, by phone (844-330-2020), or by mail — and your community wins!

It’s About Your MONEY: North Carolina receives about $23.8 billion a year in federal funding from Census data for vital things like education, health care, and transportation. The number of people counted in your community decides how much government money comes back to where you live.

It’s About Your POWER: The number of people counted in your community affects how voting districts are drawn, who you get to vote for, and how many people represent you. More people counted means more political power at all levels.

It’s About Your FUTURE: Gov’t and business leaders use the Census to make plans for your community – inc. whether you’ll get new grocery stores, hospitals, schools, and more.

Got questions?

Call our hotline — 507-COUNTED (507-268-6833) — to learn more.

Get Involved: 


Why It’s Important

North Carolina is projected to gain an additional seat in Congress, assuming there is an accurate 2020 Census for the state.

“ accurate count of the U.S. population forms the basis for many important but often overlooked political, economic, and social decisions that are made that end up affecting our daily lives.” –C.N. Le, Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst

One Form, 9 Questions, 100% Confidential

Sample of the 2020 Census Questionnaire (excludes URL/contact information): English | Spanish/Español

Answer simple questions about yourself and everyone living with you as of April 1, 2020:

  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on
    April 1, 2020? Includes everyone living and sleeping in your home most of the time.
  2. Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2020, that you did not include in Question 1? Including any related or unrelated children; adult relatives, including in-laws; and adult non-relatives, such as roommates.
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan? This question helps produce statistics on homeownership and renting.
  4. What is your telephone number? In case there are any questions about your form.
  5. What is Person 1’s name? Start with the person who pays the rent or mortgage.
  6. What is Person 1’s sex? For the Census, you can only mark ONE box: male or female.
  7. What is Person 1’s age and date of birth? This means Person 1’s age as of April 1, 2020. For babies less than 1 year old, do not write the age in months. Write 0 as the age.
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? For the Census, Hispanic origins are not considered races.
  9. What is Person 1’s race? You can mark one or more boxes AND print origins.

If more people live in your home, you’ll keep going, printing the name of “Person 2” and so on; also answer “Does this person usually live or stay somewhere else?;” and “How is this person related to Person 1?” Don’t worry — your privacy is protected.

Why It's Important

As of 2016, North Carolina was the 12th fastest growing state in the country and the ninth most populous state in the country. Census data will be used to attract businesses to the state, and it will help our communities plan for growth.

Your Privacy is Protected.

Census responses are confidential.

Citizenship status is not asked, and no court, welfare or immigration agency – not even ICE – can see how you answered. Census workers face jail time for revealing anything on your form.

Why It's Important

Census data is used for allocation of $675 billion a year from large Census guided federal programs. North Carolina receives about $16 billion annually in federal funding from Census guided federal programs.