Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari is urging all Ocean County residents to fill out the 2020 Census if they haven't already done so.
"The steps you take now to fill out the Census have an effect on federal and state funding for the next decade. This is the time to fill out the Census for 2020," said Vicari. "The Census directly impacts the federal and state funding allocated to New Jersey and its counties, municipalities and communities.
"Gov. Murphy has been strongly encouraging everyone to fill out their Census forms," Vicari said. "We need everyone's participation. During the coronavirus pandemic we are hearing a lot about the need to financially assist businesses, seniors, health care providers. That money is based on Census participation figures. Now more than ever, we need everyone to be a part of this and fill out the Census."
According to the Governor's office, New Jersey ranks 21 out of 50 states in the number of completed census forms returned to the federal government. About 59 percent of the state's residents have returned their forms.
Vicari said the recent $106 million federal CARES Act aid package to fight the COVID-19 crisis is an example of the kind of federal programs that can be impacted by the census.
"When the federal government looks to make an appropriation like this, they take census data into consideration," he said. "This is just one example of why it is so important that each and every Ocean County resident is counted."
The Census has taken place every 10 years since 1790, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution - an effort to count every person living in the United States.
The results of the Census affects the distribution of billions of dollars to states and communities every year for the next 10 years.
"Our state's federal funding related to the COVID-19 recovery depends on the completeness of our Census count," Vicari said. "This is so very important to all of us as this pandemic has affected everyone."
This is the first year where about 80 percent of residents have received a mailing directing them to complete the Census online at www.my2020census.gov. Residents can also submit their form by phone, or request a mail-in form by calling 1-800-923-8282.
Vicari also emphasized that Census data and the collection of the data is strictly confidential and protected by Federal Law under Title 13. The information on the census questionnaire cannot be used for any other purpose or shared with any other institutions or agencies.
The results of the Census also determines how Congress is apportioned.
"These are key factors in us obtaining our fair share of funding for many vital programs and services, such as important infrastructure improvements, senior services, public health, education, transportation, and block grant programs," Vicari said.
Additionally, Ocean County is unique because of the number of snowbirds – people that spend winters elsewhere – that live in the County.
"With more than 170,000 seniors living in Ocean County, it is important our snowbirds who live in Ocean County most of the year are counted here," Vicari said.
Residents are encouraged to go to Ocean County's 2020 Census Facebook page @OceanCounty2020Census to get updates regarding this year's Census in Ocean County or check out the Census website, www.2020census.gov.