GREENSBORO, N.C. — Right now, North Carolina is getting a "C." From Asheville to Wilmington and Charlotte to Greensboro and Winston-Salem, we're anywhere from 61% percent to 68% as a self-response rate for the census.
Why are we doing so poorly?
“Many of those other states don’t have as many rural areas as you have so they didn't have to have census materials hands delivered. NC also didn't start again until May 11. And NC wasn’t one of the states that started non-responsive follow-ups in July, NC started in August,” said Marilyn Stephens of the Atlanta region.
Cities self-response rates as of Oct. 2:
• Raleigh – 68.1%
• Durham – 62.4%
• Fayetteville – 61.9%
• Charlotte – 65.9%
• Greensboro – 66.8%
• Winston-Salem – 61.7%
• Asheville – 64.2%
• Wilmington – 61.7%
Now, before you give me this eye roll and say, “It's just the census,” let Marilyn Stephens say this.
“Once a decade a get to reset the dial on more than seven trillion dollars on essential programs and services. We’re talking infrastructure, emergency management, and preparedness, healthcare, education, social services, public transportation, senior services, veterans services, early head start and head start programs, energy assistance. More than 140 programs, we need our fair share”.
To get the money, folks need to fill out the census.
By phone 844-330-2020
A census worker could be making the rounds in your neighborhood. So, don't be surprised if you hear a knock at the door.
“They'll have a photo ID, they'll be carrying a bag with the census logo, their hand-held computer will have the insignia on it. And yes, they'll be wearing a mask,” Stephens said.
The questions the census asks are:
How many people live in the household?
Is there a mortgage or rent?
Names and birthdates of each person living there
What is the relationship to the census informer?
Race and Ethnic origin
“We are not going to ask for money, we're not going to try to sell you car warranty insurance, we're not going to ask for your credit card, or your social security number, we're not going to talk politics, party or candidates,” said Stephens.
The deadline now for the census is Oct. 30.