April 1, 2020
An issue has come up regarding towns that share a zip code; for example, Point Pleasant Borough, Bay Head and Point Pleasant Beach. When completing the online questionnaire, some residents are reporting that the address on the review screen defaults to an adjacent town.
The US Census Bureau has been contact to confirm that the census responses are being tabulated to the correct municipalities when there is a mailing address or zip code issue.
The Census ID code is tied to an actual field location for that housing unit, so it would be tabulated to the correct town, even though the online questionnaire address may default to an adjacent municipality. The online Census form can also be completed by manually inputting an address instead of the code; however, the “wrong” mailing address may still come up on the review screen. The response from the US Census Bureau is as follows:
“Census geography is different from USPS geography. Zip codes are based on USPS delivery routes and can have various municipal names associated with them. The zip code geography is not equivalent to the municipal legal geography (legal town boundary). The Census Bureau relies on accurate mailing addresses to distribute the 2020 Census. In addition to mailing addresses, the Census Bureau Master Address File contains a geographic location for every known living quarters that corresponds to the location of the physical address structure. This geographic location is either a latitude/longitude coordinate or a Census Tract and Block. It is the geographic location of the housing unit that is used for data tabulation, not the mailing address. So if a housing unit is located within the legal boundary of a certain city or town, the housing unit will be tabulated to legal boundary even though their mailing address may have a different town name.”
For more information follow this web page: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/usps_census_city.html