Each of the state's 100 counties has met or topped the rate at which of residents mailed in their 2000 census forms, making it one of the few states nationwide with a boost in early participation in the current population count.
The average increase in 2010 census participation is 12.9 percent, officials said, with 66 counties increasing their participation by at least 10 percent.
Seven counties had a 79 percent mail-in rate, including Chatham and Person counties, while Avery County had the lowest participation statewide at 63 percent.
The door-to-door segment of the census, in which workers try to contact households that didn't mail in their census forms, begins Saturday. The Census Bureau estimates that 48 million households nationwide will be visited by a census taker during this segment, which runs through July 10.