Pilot survey for 2011 population census to start

     The Census and Statistics Department will conduct a pilot survey from June 22 to August 3 to test the questionnaire design and the operational arrangements of the 2011 Population Census to be conducted in mid-2011.

     Following the established practice of conducting a population census every 10 years, Hong Kong will conduct a population census in 2011.  The aim is to obtain up-to-date benchmark information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population and on its geographical distribution.  Such information is vital to the Government for planning and policy formulation and important to the private sector and academia for business and research purposes.

     "A population census is a complex and important statistical exercise.  The pilot survey helps test the various aspects of the operation well in advance so that any necessary enhancements can be introduced in good time before the census operation in 2011," the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Fung Hing-wang, said today (June 21).

     The pilot survey will cover some 30,000 quarters in four selected District Council districts: Central and Western, Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong, and the North.  All households and people staying in the selected quarters will be enumerated.  Respondents in nine-tenths of the sampled quarters will be subject to simple enumeration.  A "short form" will be used to collect some basic demographic characteristics of individual persons.  Respondents in the remaining one-tenth sampled quarters will be covered by a detailed enquiry on a broad range of socio-economic characteristics and a "long form" will be used.  The department will send out letters in the coming few days to inform households in these sampled quarters that they have been selected for the pilot survey.

     To tie in with the current lifestyle of Hong Kong people, a multi-modal data collection approach will be used for the coming population census. The pilot survey will be divided into two phases.  In the first phase, respondents of the selected quarters are encouraged to choose the self-enumeration mode through completion of an e-questionnaire online (eform.censtatd.gov.hk) or postal return (applicable to "short form" quarters).

     For the remaining respondents not choosing self-enumeration, the department will arrange census officers to conduct interviews in the second phase from July 17 to August 3.

     Each census officer will carry a Government/Enumerator Identity Card and a certificate issued by the department authorising the officer to conduct the survey.  Households are reminded to check carefully the identity of census officers before allowing them to enter their premises.  Households that wish to book a preferred date for the interview can use the department's online booking service (bookvisit.censtatd.gov.hk) or call 2153 2011. The booking service will start on July 7.

     Mr Fung appealed to households of the selected quarters choosing self-enumeration to return the completed questionnaires to the department by July 6 so as to achieve effective resources deployment in the second phase of data collection.

     The 2011 Population Census will be conducted as a mandatory statistical enquiry under the Census and Statistics Ordinance.  However, the pilot survey is conducted as a voluntary statistical survey under Part IIIA of the ordinance.  In accordance with the ordinance, information on individuals or households will be treated in strict confidence and will not be released to any other people or organisations (including government departments) outside the department.  All questionnaires will be destroyed within 12 months after the survey is completed.

     Enquiries about the survey or the identity of census officers can be made on 2153 2011 starting from June 22.

Ends/Monday, June 21, 2010
Issued at HKT 14:39


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