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Population and Housing Census

Posted October. 07, 2010 02:20,   


Sixty countries will conduct a census this year. Many governments conduct a regular census, usually every five or 10 years. Korea conducts a national population and housing census in years ending in a 5 or a 10 and China does so every 10 years. A census is the systematic acquisition and recording of information about the members of a given population. The term is mostly used for a national population and housing census. Census data is commonly used to formulate government policy, conduct research and business marketing, and form a baseline for sampling surveys. This year, countries will include in their census features of multicultural families such as the entry time of marriage migrants, use of the means of transportation such as bicycles, and the number of foreigners. The results will be announced next year.

China’s official population is close to 1.4 billion, up from 1.29 billion 10 years ago. Beijing’s next census starts early next month and will require 1.4 trillion won (1.2 U.S. billion dollars) in budget and six million staff. India is conducting a biometric census of its 1.2 billion people. In next year, New Delhi will collect fingerprints and take photos of everyone over age 15 to create a national database, and will then issue its first national ID cards. Korea will conduct its census Nov. 1-15 at a cost of 180 billion won (160 million dollars) with 113,000 survey staff.

Statistics Korea Commissioner Yi In-sill said that from 2015, census procedures will be more simplified to raise convenience and save costs. More administrative records such as those of residential and building registration will be used, and sample surveys will be conducted on just 10 percent of the population.

This year’s census staff mainly comprise housewives who will take on the task of visiting 15.8 million homes nationwide. Affluent households who were not cooperative should be more willing to participate in the census this year. Households should check if the staff member is carrying the proper ID, which is double the size of a driver’s license.

Households who do not want a door-to-door visit can reply online. The participants’ numbers will be delivered to each home Oct. 19-21 and the survey can be done at www.census.go.kr Oct. 22-31. The online response rate was just 0.9 percent (140,000 households) in 2005, but this year’s target is 30 percent (5.6 million households). Doing the census online can save both time and paper. Canada, which is known for its forest industry, aims to have 35-40 percent of its census done online next year, up from 18 percent (2.26 million households) in 2006.

Editorial Writer Hong Kwon-hee (konihong@donga.com)