2010 census forms ready to be filled out

(NBC) - This week, you will be seeing something that comes in your mail once every ten years.

Starting Monday, U.S. Census forms will be sent out to the majority of American households. Census time comes once a decade. This year, the official count kicked off in January in Alaska.

"This is a very important thing we do every ten years. It's a cornerstone of the democracy," said Dr. Robert Groves, Director of the Census Bureau.

Ten simple questions about personal and household information.

"Most of the information is basic demographic information. It's not getting too detailed into your life," said Texas public information coordinator Wendy Jorgensen.

They're answers that carry a lot of weight.

"Over 400 billion dollars a year in taxpayer money is returned to neighborhoods and cities and counties and states based on counts," said Groves.

The results will also help distribute congressional seats to states and what community resources to provide.

The Census Bureau rolled out a 133 million dollar ad campaign to get the word out. The message aired in 28 languages. Census Bureau officials say the form takes about ten minutes to complete.

Officials say that during the last census in 2000, six-point-four million people were not counted. Most of them were from lower income and minority groups.

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