April 1 was Census Day — 36.5% of NJ households have responded
This is the first decennial census allowing U.S. citizens to be counted online. And with plenty of people stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like many New Jerseyans are taking advantage of this route.
Of the 36.5% of New Jersey households (as of Wednesday) that have already responded to the 2020 Census — a response rate that's right in line with the rest of the nation — more than 93% used the internet to submit responses, according to data available online.
Scroll down to see county-by-county response rates.
"I'm really glad they do have an online option," said Michael Hayes, assistant professor of public policy at Rutgers University-Camden. "In the long run, I think this country is going to get through this problem, and we need to have as reliable of data as possible."
Responses help determine how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated for the next decade, and how many representatives each state gets in Congress.
The decennial count is required by the Constitution, but the process has adopted some changes in response to the public health crisis. Field operations to count populations in non-households have been pushed back until at least April 15. Census takers won't hit homes until late May, to hear from those who have not yet responded.
"Census Day (April 1) is not like Election Day or Tax Day — it's not a deadline and it's not your last chance at all," said Ali Ahmad, the U.S. Census Bureau's associate director for communications.
Responses can be submitted online, over the phone, and by paper through the mail.
2020 Census household response rates by NJ county (as of 4/1/20)