New Jersey will lose money to other states if its residents do not complete and return census

Sparta /
| 21 Jul 2020 | 01:41

    To the Editor:

    Hopefully, you filled out the census form for your household.

    Census statistics impact education, transportation, libraries, community centers, and so much more. Fair share of funding to states depends on an accurate census count. Funds not given to a state because of an undercount are distributed to other states. If New Jersey is undercounted, New Jersey loses money.

    At the time of this writing, New Jersey is ahead of the national response rate, which is 62.1%. New Jersey’s response rate is 64.1%. Sussex County’s is 66.6%. Congressional District 5 is at 72.6%. District 11 is at 66.1%. Sparta is at 73.3%. I got these statistics from It’s a fascinating site, and answers many questions about the census. It also notes myths and rumors about the census.

    The U.S. has conducted census every ten years since 1790. 2020 is the first year that responses can be done online, by phone, or by mail.

    Sussex County is ahead of the national curve in responding to the census so far, and that’s something to be proud of. Way to go, Sparta, for being way ahead! What would really be amazing is if our state and our communities had a response rate in the 90+ percentile.

    Here’s a challenge: Personally speak to three people and ask them if they have done the census yet. Ask those three to ask three others. If someone has not responded to the census, help them do it. It’s so easy online, and literally takes about 5 minutes.

    Let’s all work to ensure that our state and communities get the funding we deserve through an accurate census count. It’s one of the easier civic activities we can do.

    Ann Pompelio

    Sparta, N.J.