Pilot Survey for 2006 Population By-census

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) will conduct a Pilot Survey from July 15 to August 16, 2005, to test the questionnaire design and the operational arrangements of the population by-census to be conducted in the summer of 2006.

It has been an established practice since 1961 for Hong Kong to conduct a population census every 10 years and a by-census in the middle of the intercensal period. Following this practice, Hong Kong will conduct a population by-census in 2006. The aim is to obtain up-to-date benchmark information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population and its geographical distribution. Statistics compiled from such information are vital to the Government in planning and policy formulation, and are also important to the private sector for business and research purposes.

A population by-census is a complex and important statistical exercise. The Pilot Survey will enable any potential problems in the statistical operation to be identified and solutions devised in good time before the by-census field operation in 2006. In particular, detailed testing on the questionnaire design and the electronic questionnaires planned to be used in the population by-census in 2006 will be conducted.

A total of 3 600 quarters have been selected for the Pilot Survey. All households and people living in the selected quarters will be subject to an enquiry on a broad range of socio-economic characteristics. They will be asked to provide information on their households such as tenure, rent, and mortgage payment; and information on each of the household members such as age, sex, marital status, educational attainment, place of study and work, place of birth, place of residence, economic activity status, and income.

Census Officers from the C&SD will visit the selected quarters from July 15 to August 16. The department will send out letters in advance to these sampled households for the Pilot Survey, informing them about their selection for the survey and the names of the Census Officers who will visit them during the specified period.

Each Census Officer will carry a Government/Enumerator Identity Card and a certificate issued by the department authorising them to conduct the survey. Households are reminded to carefully check the identity of Census Officers before allowing the Census Officers to enter their premises.

The population by-census in 2006 will be conducted as a mandatory statistical enquiry under the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Chapter 316). However, the Pilot Survey is conducted as a voluntary statistical survey under Part IIIA of the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Chapter 316). In accordance with the Ordinance, all information collected from the survey pertaining to individual people or households will be treated in strict confidence and will not be released to any unauthorised parties including government departments. All questionnaires will be destroyed within 12 months after the survey is completed.

Households that have queries about the survey or the identity of the Census Officer may call the C&SD at 3582 3800.

Ends/Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Issued at HKT 12:00