By Jim Buchanan

People in Jackson County who have not filled out the 2020 Census should be on the lookout for Census materials delivered to their homes.

Census workers will be dropping off the materials to people who don’t receive mail at their home addresses, a process that has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Census counts people where they live, not where they receive their mail. Data derived from the Census is used to determine a wide array of federal and state funding covering items ranging from school lunches, services for the elderly and much more. In Jackson County each person counted equates roughly to $1,600 in funding returning to the county per year, or about $16,000 until the next Census in 2030.

As of Monday afternoon the national self-response rate stood at 60.9 percent, while North Carolina’s self-response rate was 57.2 percent. Jackson County’s self-response rate was 30.1 percent. Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossamon announced at last Thursday’s town board meeting the town’s response rate was at 44 percent. 

For more information go to or call the Jackson County Planning Department at 631-2261.