In order to encourage participation, the Census Bureau has been undertaking an aggressive advertising campaign, which even included spending $2.5 million to create buzz during the Super Bowl.
Now, President Obama is getting in on the act in a new public service announcement which will be distributed online and given to radio and TV stations. Past presidents have made similar calls.
A new video on the Census website, aptly titled "A 2010 Census Message from President Obama," highlights the importance of the Census and calls for mass participation.
Beginning with a little history, Mr. Obama says, "Every ten years, our Constitution requires the Federal Government to conduct a Census." More specifically, the Census has been taking place since 1790 and is mentioned in Article 1 of the Constitution.
"This helps determine your representation in Congress, as well as how federal funds are spent on things like schools, roads, and where businesses decide to put new stores and factories," he continues.
"So When you get your Census form in Mid-March, take about ten minutes to answer the ten questions, remembering to include everyone in your household, because we can't move forward until you mail it back," Mr. Obama concludes.
While some have criticized the agency's $133 million ad budget, the Associated Press reports that Census Director Robert Groves defends the expenditures by saying that it will save money by motivating people to mail in their form early, which avoids costly follow-up visits by census workers.