2010 Census

The 2010 Decennial Census - Importance to Byram Township

As you know, the United States Constitution requires that a population census be conducted every ten years in the country. The overarching purpose of the census is to equally apportion members of the House of Representatives. Therefore, the Decennial Census is important to the entire nation when it comes to equitable representation in the House. (The U.S. Senate is apportioned two Senators per state.)

Unfortunately, Byram Township most likely did not get accurately tabulated in 2000 due to the fact that the township’s liaison with the U. S. Bureau of Census was ineffective. Not only that, but the Census Bureau’s 2001 request to the township to review the census results and challenge any undercounts went unopened until Mayor Danielson took office in 2002.

Mayor Danielson found that over 200 new homes were built and occupied in Byram Township from 1990 to 2000 and there was an increase of over 400 Byram students in the Byram and Lenape Valley School Districts. Given this scenario and an average population of 3.5 per household in our area, the population should have increased by between 700 and 800 people.

The 2000 Decennial Census only showed a population increase of about 200 for the entire decade of the 1990’s. The Byram Township population may have been undercounted by as much as 10%.

Although late in the process, the U. S. Bureau of Census permitted Byram Township to conduct a late partial audit of the 2000 census tracts. Mayor Danielson and then-Police Lieutenant Raymond Rafferty conducted a field audit and found whole streets were not counted or likely counted as in the neighboring town. Based on the field audit, the Census Bureau then increased the 2000 census for Byram by about another 200.

It is important to Byram Township to have an accurate Decennial Census next year. Some state and federal funding is population based and we have a potential of losing funds each year of a decade as we may have lost from 2000 to now.

Mayor Danielson has been networking (to the point of a first name basis) with the U.S. Bureau of Census over the phone, via e-mail and in person at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for at least the last three years. Chris Hellwig, Byram Township Planning and Development Director, has been paying close attention to the 2010 process and we are again hosting the training of census takers in the municipal complex.

Mayor Danielson assures Byram Township residents and taxpayers that the 2010 Census will be far more accurate than the 2000.

photo by Joyce Bambach

photo by Joyce Bambach