JERSEY CITY, NJ - While observers closely watch the number of coronavirus cases in Hudson County and beyond, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise also has his eyes set on another set of figures: response rates to Census 2020.

The stakes, including access to trillions of dollars in federal funding, are so great that getting Hudson County’s population counted accurately in this year’s once a decade effort that stakeholders began strategizing how to get residents involved well over six months ago. 

While every household across the nation should have received an invitation to take the census by now, as of Saturday only 13.8 percent of Hudson County’s homes have responded, a number that falls well below the statewide average of 18.1 percent. In places like Bayonne and Jersey City the response rate is even lower at just 15.2 percent and 12.7 percent respectively.

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Now a confluence of events, the opening of self response on the US Census Bureau’s website, and the onslaught of coronavirus forcing people to stay in their homes, presents a unique opportunity to help increase the number of those being counted, DeGise told TAPinto.

“Access to medical care, school meal programs that are feeding our children while classrooms are closed, emergency planning,” DeGise listed off, “the dollars for these types of programs are allocated based on census counts. We are seeing now, more than ever, why that matters.” 

With a series of census related events that would have been held to help residents respond canceled or postponed until after the coronavirus spread subsides, DeGise doubled down on his plea to residents to respond on their own.

“While we’re working tirelessly to beat back the challenge this global health crisis has brought to our community, we also must be planning for the next decade of challenges,” DeGise added. “That’s why getting every resident counted in Census 2020 really matters.”

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