CHARLOTTE, N.C. – From education to roads and the power grid to hospitals, the census is key when it comes to how the federal government compensates states.

“The census data is gonna help us with recovery from the COVID outbreak,” said Bob Coats, the N.C. Governor's Census Liaison on the NC Complete Count Commission.

Officials say full participation is the only way to get an accurate count, and, therefore, the state's fair share.

Though there are pressing concerns right now, like staying healthy and/or financially afloat, officials actually say more than half of U.S. households have completed the 2020 Census.

“The United States response rate was at 53.7 percent,” at one point on Wednesday, Coats said.

He says it's crucial every resident in any state do all they can to participate, even during this crisis.

“If we have bad data, then we don't have an appropriate voice in Congress, we don't have the tax dollars that we've already paid to serve our needs, and we have bad data for planning for our future,” Coats said.

He says any state with a large population and rich diversity already faces inherent challenges to every census count. But now, “that COVID has had an impact on census operations,” Coats said.

Despite not having the usual door-to-door worker with that paper questionnaire in hand, “the census is still moving forward in the midst of all the news and health concerns,” he said.

The sooner you respond, Coats says, lowers the likelihood a census worker wearing gloves and a mask knocks on your door later in the summer.

“You can still be counted safely in your home while maintaining social distance,” he added.

“Century Link's connectivity will provide the public internet response system for up to 125 million households,” said Zane Ahmed, VP and General Manager for the company's civilian law enforcement practice.

He says, rest assured, responses will be transmitted securely and privately.

“It takes two minutes to fill out online,” Ahmed explained. “It's secure data, there's not a lot of personal, PIA data that goes across it, so you're not filling out your Social Security numbers, that kind of stuff.”

Online, however, isn't the only way to get counted.

“We know in North Carolina there are about 700,000 households that don't have internet access at home,” Coats said.

It can be done over the phone via 12 different languages.

“In this new world, with the pandemic, COVID-19 pandemic going on, it's even more important to do this cause the government has stopped people from going door-to-door,” Ahmed said.

The phone number to complete the 2020 Census is 1-844-330-2020. The website is

Beginning June 13, census workers will begin going door-to-door. They will be wearing protective gear, they'll have proper identification, and that paper form.