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Charlotte Talks: As Census Ends This Month, Fears Of Undercount Grow


Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020

The 2020 census is coming to a close a month earlier than expected. The once-a-decade count is critical in determining where $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding is spent, but a massive undercount could influence those figures.

The U.S. Census Bureau will end the count Sept. 30 rather than at the end of October, which includes door-knocking and online, phone and mail responses. The count has already been delayed by the pandemic, and experts worry an undercount will primarily impact people of color by impacting what communities federal funding is spent in.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, “A complete and accurate census count could bring $1,823 per person per year in federal and state funds back to North Carolina communities, helping our most vulnerable populations including the elderly and communities of color.”

Mecklenburg County is reporting approximately 64%, while North Carolina’s response rate is below the national average at roughly 60%, meaning almost 4 in 10 households need to be counted in the next 30 days.

We look at why the census is a part of the Constitution, how to participate, and how the results will shape our country until at least 2030.


Mike Schneider, census reporter for The Associated Press

Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.