SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Since last year, the Township of Scotch Plains has constantly reminded and encouraged residents to fill out their Census forms. The efforts have bared fruit as Scotch Plains leads New Jersey and indeed the entire country in response rate

"Scotch Plains is leading the nation and state with a 43.4% response rate (Wow!)," wrote Kevin Derricotte, Congressional Liaison & Partnership Specialist at the NY Regional Census Center of the U.S. Census Bureau in an email to Tom Strowe, who is helping to spearhead the Census effort locally.

We strongly encourage the residents of the Township of Scotch Plains to complete their 2020 Census questionnaires next year. Mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Census is a civic activity, which requires a count of our population to be taken every ten years. -- Scotch Plains Township website (Census page)

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"The importance of a complete and accurate 2020 Census cannot be overstated. Its results help decide how more than $675 billion in federal funds are dispersed across the country on services ranging from roads, infrastructure, schools, libraries, and emergency services," says Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith.

"Although the April 1 Census Day event at the Scotch Plains Library is canceled due to the coronavirus, April 1 is still considered the key reference date to include everyone living in your household on your Census response," Tom Strowe added. "Make sure everyone in your household is counted: parents, children, grandparents, roommates, — basically anyone living with you at the time you receive your Census questionnaire. They are all considered members of your household."

Census results will also determine the number of Congressional districts that New Jersey is allotted (which also effects our total Electoral Vote for President) and will also be used to draw state legislative district lines. Failing to achieve a complete count of Township residents could result in critical funds being denied to our community for each person not counted.   

In 2010, Scotch Plains had an 87 percent response rate. While this is an excellent response rate, we are committed to obtaining a complete and accurate count in 2020. That 13 percent low non-response rate could mean the difference between more or less funding for our community.   -- Scotch Plains Township website (Census page)

"We want to remind our residents that answers to Census questionnaires are completely confidential and sharing or revealing answers on questionnaires is punishable by federal law," Strowe says. 

To respond online, visit: or call (844) 468-2020 to respond by phone. If you would like to speak with someone in Scotch Plains Town Hall regarding the Census, please contact Tom Strowe at (908) 322-6700 ext. 317 or is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.