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2016 Population By-census to commence on June 30

Published date: 23 June 2016

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) announced today (June 23) that the 2016 Population By-census (By-census) will be conducted from June 30 to August 2 this year and notification letters will be mailed out to the sampled addresses today. The coming By-census will offer an e-questionnaire option for self-enumeration by households. Households may also choose to provide information through personal interviews.

Announcing details of the By-census at a press conference today, the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Leslie Tang, said, "Statistics compiled from the information collected in the By-census are vital to the development of our society. Such statistics are useful to the Government for major planning such as building roads, hospitals and schools. They are also useful references for formulating policies related to the provision of public services. Moreover, academics and the private sector frequently use these detailed population statistics for research and business purposes."

The By-census is conducted under the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Cap. 316), which states that all persons specified to provide the required information to the C&SD are obliged to do so. Mr Tang stressed that all information collected under the By-census will be used only for compiling statistics and kept in strict confidence. The information will not be released to any organisation or government department, he said.

About 10 per cent of residential addresses in Hong Kong have been randomly selected for participation in the 2016 Population By-census, covering about 300 000 households, for enumeration. Basic demographic information and a broad range of socio-economic characteristics will be collected from members of the households. All households and persons staying in the sampled addresses will be enumerated.

Notification letters will be sent out to the sampled households in purple envelopes, and the e-questionnaire account information uniquely assigned to each household will be printed on the notification letter. From June 30 onwards, households will be able to complete and submit the e-questionnaire through the 2016 Population By-census website (www.bycensus2016.gov.hk) or a dedicated mobile app downloaded from the website.

Mr Tang said, "With the introduction of the e-questionnaire, individual household members can use desktop computers, mobile tablets or smartphones to complete and submit the e-questionnaire anytime and anywhere to suit their schedules. It is convenient and environmentally friendly.

"Starting from July 16, the C&SD will also arrange census officers, who will work in pairs, to conduct face-to-face interviews with households that have not yet submitted the e-questionnaire."

Mr Tang added that this will be the first time that census officers will use mobile tablets to collect the information. The computer system will transmit the information in an encrypted format to the data centre. Thereafter, the transient information stored in mobile tablets will be erased automatically to further strengthen data security. Also, using mobile tablets allows immediate computer validation of answers. This guarantees the quality of the collected data and reduces the need to contact the households again to verify the data.

During the visit, census officers will wear a purple T-shirt uniform and a 2016 Population By-census badge, and carry a red satchel with the 2016 Population By-census logo. They will also identify themselves with a Census Officer Certificate of Identity issued by the C&SD. Households are reminded to carefully check the identity of census officers before admitting them to their premises for the interviews. In case of doubt, households may call the By-census Service Centre on 18 2016 to verify their identity. Over 150 telephone lines manned by specially trained staff will be set up in the By-census Service Centre. Apart from checking the identity of the census officers, members of the public may also call 18 2016 for queries related to completing the e-questionnaire, or to make an appointment for a face-to-face interview.

The C&SD has hired some 5 900 tertiary students and some 500 primary and secondary school teachers to carry out data collection duties for the By-census. Mr Tang said, "I express my gratitude to teachers and students for their participation. I also hope that the sampled households will offer their support to the 2016 Population By-census, and co-operate in providing accurate information, so as to facilitate the smooth completion of this project, which is vital to the development of our society."

It is an established practice to conduct a population census every 10 years and a by-census in the middle of the intercensal period. The aim is to obtain up-to-date benchmark information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the Hong Kong population and its geographical distribution.

Members of the public may call the By-census Service Centre on 18 2016 or visit the 2016 Population By-census website to obtain more information about the By-census. The By-census Service Centre will commence operation tomorrow. Service hours are from 9am to 10.30pm, seven days per week, until August 2.

Last revision date: 23 June 2016

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