sb-ocean-aveThe Census Bureau reports that Sea Bright lost 22 percent of its population from 2000 to 2010. No way, says the mayor. (Click to enlarge)

Municipalities along the length of New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast saw dramatic declines in year-round populations. the Star-Ledger reports, citing new Census Bureau data.

Among them: Sea Bright. Though the mayor there, like her counterparts elsewhere along the Shore, isn’t buying it.

Citing data from the 2010 Census, the Sledger reports that all but eight of the 49 towns and boroughs that border the Atlantic Ocean — from Sea Bright to Cape May Point — lost year-round population from the 2000 count.

Congressman Frank Pallone disputes the Census figure, the Sledger says:

Pallone, whose district includes Monmouth County coastal towns from Sea Bright to Belmar,said statistical sampling — the practice of projecting a larger population from a smaller head count — would have provided a more accurate representation of numbers at the Jersey Shore than the actual enumeration attempts.

“I think the head-to-head count just misses a lot of people, particularly with minorities and seniors,” Pallone said. “And in a majority of the Shore towns, you do have a lot of minorities and seniors.”

The Census Bureau has specific guidelines for people who live at two or more residences, whether it is for work purposes or seasonal travel. Respondents are asked to count where they “live and sleep most of the time” as their primary residence. If the time is equally divided, or if a usual residence cannot be determined, respondents are counted at the residence they were staying at on April 1, 2010 — or Census Day.

Pallone said “snowbirds” who spend most of the year in New Jersey but happened to be in Florida when the 2010 Census forms were due — may not have declared the Garden State as their primary residence.

“And if you show an undercount, you won’t be getting a lot of federal money for services that these residents use most of the time,” he said.

More from the article:

There are others in Pallone’s camp. In Sea Bright, where the population count went from 1,818 in 2000 to 1,412 in 2010, Mayor Maria D. Fernandes said many residents didn’t receive Census forms.

“Since the last Census, we had some houses razed and replaced by bigger homes for year-round residents,” she said. “I thought we might have a population increase.”