Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen, chair of the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee, issued the following statement on today’s hearing on the 2020 census, the timeline and status of the collection of census data in New Jersey, the importance of the census for the distribution of federal funds, and how COVID-19 has impacted the intake of information thus far:
“We have a ways to go when it comes to securing a complete count for the U. S. Census. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed door-to-door collection of census data and this has hurt the count in many vital communities throughout the State.
“New Jersey’s response rate is currently around 63 percent, less than our response rate from this time ten years ago. Now that we have more time with the census extension, we have to get the word out to residents to fill out the census form.
“We have seen major growth in our Asian, African American, and Latino communities over the last decade. A complete count is crucial to ensuring all New Jersey communities are fairly represented in government and have access to our fair share of federal funding.
“One hundred people NOT counted equates to a $1.2 million loss in funding. There’s $45 Billion at stake here for New Jersey. With a complete count, New Jersey has access to that funding. Without an accurate count, the money will go to another state.
“Encouraging and promoting the census and getting residents to get online, or fill out the mailed form is how we use this additional time we have wisely.”