UNION CITY, N.J. — A final push is underway to get New Jersey residents to fill out the 2020 Census.
New Jersey is lagging behind other states in the survey, and minority communities tend to be undercounted. So, that’s where census workers are hitting the streets as time runs out.
Gov. Phil Murphy was in Union City on Tuesday along with the mayors of municipalities across Hudson County — the most diverse county in the state — to call on residents to fill out the census.
"The money has got to go somewhere, and we have to make sure it comes here to New Jersey," the governor said.
So far, more than 68% of New Jersey households have filled out the census form and 27% have been interviewed by a census taker, putting the state in the 28th spot overall when compared to the rest of the country.
Hudson and Essex counties have the worst response rates in northern New Jersey, prompting a focus from census takers who are working to ensure the state does not lose federal money to other states. Electoral college votes and representation in Congress are also at stake.
"Just from a perspective of political power it is so important for us to hold what we've got," said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
New Jersey is already considered a donor state, meaning it pays more to the federal government than it receives back in financial aid.
The state relies on billions in federal funding to pay for hospitals, public safety, school lunch programs and other services.
The deadline to be counted in the 2020 Census is Sept. 30.