MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Uncle Sam calls 'Census 2010' a 'snapshot of America," but the ten question survey can tell you a whole lot more than a picture ever could.
"It tells us what we've become, and it begins a discussion about what we want to be in the future," explained census bureau director Robert Groves.
In Alabama, Pike Road mayor Gordon Stone already has ideas for the road ahead.
He says the census could spike his town's population over the 5,000 mark and help pave the way for a school system.
"When you've been listed at 350 people and you have over 5,000, and you've been trying to apply for grants and working through the process for the last six years like we have since we had our big growth, it's pretty important," Stone said.
Some cities have a lot to lose if the numbers don't tip in their favor. Montgomery stands to miss out on millions for public transportation if the population shifts strongly.
"We would not enjoy as much federal subsidy as we have in the past, so it's critical in that one area alone that we do well in the count," Strange explained.
Businesses are also watching the numbers. Baptist Health tells WSFA 12 News they base recruitment and staffing on the census. Also, municipalities will redistrict areas based on the results.
That's why leaders say it's important for everyone to fill out the form.
"We know what are numbers are, we just hope there's enough participation to validate those numbers," Stone said.