National population census focuses on foreigners

08:19, July 12, 2010      

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A special questionnaire has been designed for China's 6th national population census starting Nov 1, which for the first time will count the number of residents from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreigners who are living and working in China.

International migration will become a new feature of the national population census in November, said Feng Nailin, head of the National Bureau of Statistics' population and employment statistics department.

He made the remarks at a forum held by the United Nations Population Fund at Expo 2010 Shanghai's UN Pavilion on Sunday, the 21st World Population Day.

"In general, they will be included during the next population census through the same method of counting used for mainland residents, namely household visits," Feng said.

The census group can use alternative methods of counting rather than household visits, if respondents prefer.

"The questionnaire for foreigners is much easier and shorter compared to that for mainland residents. They have only eight items to fill out on the questionnaire."

The census questionnaire for foreigners will include name, age, gender, nationality, reasons for coming to China, levels of education, length of stay and relationship to household.

More than 6.5 million census counters will be recruited for the sixth national population census, most of whom are local residents, or staff from neighborhood or village committees.

Feng said each counter will have to work 40 to 60 days and is responsible for collecting 250 to 300 people's data.

The country carries out a national population census every 10 years, and the previous five censuses only covered people with the nationality of, and living in, the People's Republic of China.

The population census in 2000 showed the world's most populous country had 1.29 billion people.

According to the National Population and Family Planning Commission, the population on the Chinese mainland will reach 1.39 billion by the end of 2015, among which as many as 700 million people will be living in urban areas, exceeding the country's rural population for the first time.

The number of people aged 60 or over is expected to annually increase by 8 million to 200 million by the end of 2015.

This year, the theme of World Population Day was Everyone Counts, which emphasizes the role of good demographic data in planning public facilities and making evidence-based population policies for the future.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

China Daily

(Editor:梁军)

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