By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Assignment Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way announced on Tuesday that New Jersey has reached a 68.1% self-response rate for the 2020 census, which is a new state record.
This year’s self-response rate eclipsed the previous mark of 68% set in 2000. New Jersey reached a 67.6% self-response rate during the last census cycle in 2010, but plenty of different campaigns scattered throughout the state have helped New Jersey set a new record.
“Our hard work over these last several months is paying off,” Secretary Way, who also serves as the chair of the New Jersey Complete Count Commission, said in a press release. “Thank you to our network of County and local governments, nonprofits, local complete count committees and New Jersey residents for stepping up to the plate during these unprecedented times by spreading the word about the Census and filling it out. I’m especially proud of New Jersey’s self-response rate in this difficult time, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing many of our efforts online.”
Gateway, Operation South Jersey, and Unidos Para La Familia are among the groups that have encouraged Census participation throughout 2020. In August, those three organizations teamed up to provide free produce along with Census forms in downtown Bridgeton. Although filling out a Census form wasn’t required to receive free produce at that time, community members who participated in the event were educated and informed about just how important the Census is.
Although the vast majority of people fill out their Census forms online, over the phone, or by mail, the Census Bureau has also sent out a number of folks going door-to-door to ensure that people are counted.
“The Census is critical for New Jersey to prepare for a strong future, as this will determine federal funds as well as representation in Congress,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a press release. “I thank everyone who has responded – whether it be online or working directly with a Census taker. If you haven’t completed the Census, make sure you’re counted today.”
The deadline to fill out this year’s Census is September 30.
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