Conceptual Framework

The 2001 Population Census was conducted in the thirteen-day period from 15 to 27 March 2001. It comprised a simple enumeration on six-sevenths of households to provide basic information like age and sex and a detailed enquiry to the remaining one-seventh on a broad range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics of household members.

The 2001 Population Census covers the Hong Kong Resident Population at the 2001 Population Census moment. The Hong Kong Resident Population comprises Usual Residents and Mobile Residents (please see the section on Definition of Terms for definitions of these).

The basic unit of enquiry in the 2001 Population Census was the household. Households can be distinguished into non-domestic and domestic households. There are two types of non-domestic households, namely collective households and mobile households. Collective households are made up of people living in institutions (such as old people's homes), staff quarters of factories and similarly.

Domestic households are made up of people living under the same roof, whether related or not, and sharing food and expenses. Statistics on household characteristics like household size and household composition are confined to domestic households and persons in domestic households only.

The population covered under common subject areas in the analysis of the 2001 Population Census data are shown in the table below.

Subject area Whether included in the subject area
Usual Residents Mobile Residents
Hong Kong Resident Population included in the subject area included in the subject area
Usual Residents included in the subject area Not applicable
Mobile Residents Not applicable included in the subject area
Labour force included in the subject area included in the subject area
Working population included in the subject area included in the subject area

Definitions of Terms

Census moment: This refers to the reference moment of the 2001 Population Census which was fixed at 3:00 a.m. on 14 March 2001. In recording the whereabouts of a person at the census moment, a person who was on night shift, on the way home or at a place not for accommodation was regarded as staying in the quarters being enumerated.
 
Domestic households: A domestic household consists of a group of persons who live together and make common provision for essentials for living. These persons need not be related. If a person makes provision for essentials for living without sharing with other persons, he is also regarded as a household. In this case the household is a one-person household.
 
Economic activity status: The population can be divided into two main groups, economically active population (that is the labour force) and economically inactive population. (Please see economically active population and economically inactive population.)
 
Economically active population: Economically active population, synonymous with the labour force, comprises the employed (that is the working population) population and the unemployed population.
 
Economically inactive population: This comprises persons who have not had a job and have not been at work during the seven days before the Census, excluding persons who have been on leave / holiday during the seven-day period and persons who are unemployed. Persons such as home-makers, retired persons and all those aged below 15 are thus included.
 
Hong Kong Resident Population: The Hong Kong Resident Population at the census moment covers "Usual Residents"and "Mobile Residents". "Usual Residents" refer to two categories of people: (1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who had stayed in Hong Kong for at least three months during the six months before or for at least three months during the six months after the census moment, regardless of whether they were in Hong Kong or not at the census moment; and (2) Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents who were in Hong Kong at the census moment. As for "Mobile Residents", they are Hong Kong Permanent Residents who had stayed in Hong Kong for at least one month but less than three months during the six months before or for at least one month but less than three months during the six months after the census moment, regardless of whether they were in Hong Kong or not at the census moment.
 
Labour Force: Please see economically active population for details.
 
Mobile Residents: They are Hong Kong Permanent Residents who had stayed in Hong Kong for at least one month but less than three months during the six months before or for at least one month but less than three months during the six months after the census moment, regardless of whether they were in Hong Kong or not at the census moment.
 
Unemployed Population: The unemployed population refers basically to persons aged 15 and over who should (a) not have had a job and should not have performed any work for pay or profit during the seven days before the Census; (b) have been available for work during the seven days before the Census; and (c) have sought work during the thirty days before the Census.
 
Usual Residents: Usual Residents refer to two categories of people: (1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who had stayed in Hong Kong for at least three months during the six months before or for at least three months during the six months after the census moment, regardless of whether they were in Hong Kong or not at the census moment; and (2) Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents who were in Hong Kong at the census moment.
 
Working Population: The working population refers to persons aged 15 and over who should (a) be engaged in performing work for pay or profit during the seven days before the Census; or (b) have formal job attachment during the seven days before the Census. The working population can be distinguished into:

Employee: A person who works for an employer (private companies or government) for wage, salary, commission, tips or payment in kind. Domestic helpers, outworkers and paid family workers are also included here.

Employer: A person who works for profit or fees in his / her own business / profession and employs one or more persons to work for him / her.

Self-employed: A person who works for profit or fees in his / her own business / profession, neither employed by someone nor employing others.

Unpaid family worker: A person who works for no pay in a family business is also considered employed. Food and lodging and pocket money are not counted as pay.