North Carolina self-response rates

On Friday, March 20 the U.S. Census Bureau began publishing self-response rates for the 2020 Census. The rates represent the number of households that have filled out their census forms on their own (online, by mail, or by phone) as a percentage of all housing units, calculated since the Bureau started sending out invitations to participate in the Census in early March.

On a weekly basis through the end of May, we will be updating self-response rates for North Carolina at the state, county, and census tract level. Note: while Census Day is April 1, households can respond to the census through July. Self-response—when households respond by internet, mail, or phone—occurs through May. After this, the Bureau begins non-response follow-up operations and sends Census Bureau workers to individual households.

NC Census 2020 Response Data – State, Counties, Tracts

Data guidance (PDF)

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State and County-Level Response Rates – Week ending March 29

North Carolina: Census 2020 Real-Time Response Rates – Week ending March 29 (PDF)

County-Level Response Rates – Week ending March 29

Key takeaways for week ending March 29

  1. North Carolina is currently among the bottom fifteen states in the nation for Census response: As of March 30th, North Carolina is ranked 39 out of 50 states and DC. 30% of households in North Carolina have now responded to the Census, compared to 33% nationally.
  2. North Carolina households continue to lag in online responses: 25% of North Carolina households responded online versus 29% of households nationally. This gap has increased from last week.
  3. Four of the top five highest responding counties are in either the Triangle or Charlotte metro regions – Orange, Union, Wake, Chatham.
  4. The lowest-response counties primarily located in Western North Carolina – This includes Graham, Jackson, Avery, and Swain counties. Household internet access tends to be lower in this region of the state.
  5. There is a widening gap between NC’s response rate and the national average. North Carolina lags the national response rate by 3.1 percentage points, a larger gap than last week (2.6 percentage points).
  6. Census tracts with the largest minority population (50% or higher) are lagging behind the state average: Just 27% of households in these census tracts have responded to the Census — three percentage points lower than the state average.
  7. The largest disparity in response rates exists between households with low internet access and high access. 35% of households in tracts with the highest internet access have responded to the 2020 Census versus 27% of households in tracts with the lowest internet access.
  8. Census tracts with the large immigrant populations (5.7% or higher foreign-born residents) had the highest response rates: Response rates were highest (31.1% average) in tracts where 5.7% to 9.8% of the population was foreign-born; census tracts with the highest concentration of foreign-born residents (9.8% or higher) had the second highest average self-response rates (30.8%).


State and County-Level Response Rates – Week ending March 22

North Carolina: Census 2020 Real-Time Response Rates – Week ending March 22 (PDF)

County-level response rates – Week ending March 22

Key takeaways – Week ending March 22

  1. North Carolina is among the bottom ten states in the nation for Census response: As of March 23rd, North Carolina ranked 41st with just under 17% of households responding, compared to 19% of households nationally. West Virginia (ranked 51st) is the only southeastern state with a lower response score than North Carolina (14%).
  2. North Carolina households have been slower to adopt online Census response: 13% of households responded to the Census online in North Carolina vs. 16% nationwide.
  3. One in five households have already responded in the top five counties – Caswell, Alexander, Lee, Orange, and Rockingham counties.
  4. Lowest-response counties primarily located in Western North Carolina – Graham, Jackson, Avery and Watauga counties were among the bottom five.

Last updated: March 31, 2020


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