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January 16, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

City expats to be counted in census

CHINA'S sixth national population census will begin in Shanghai on November 1, with foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan included for the first time.

Trained census workers will visit residential complexes, hotels and even prisons to collect information on people's ages, nationality, levels of education, profession and population migration, said officials from Shanghai Statistics Bureau, the government department in charge of the census in the city.

They will also collect data on Chinese citizens' marriage, housing, income and social security.

Vice Mayor Yang Xiong stressed the importance of the census at a meeting yesterday where he announced the start of preparations for the census, including assigning, recruiting and training some 100,000 census workers and information technology support.

He said the census was a "very important" comprehensive overview of local social and economic conditions and could provide detailed information and guidance for future urban planning, resources development, population management and policies involving health care, traffic and social insurance.

"The population condition has undergone great changes since the last census in 2000. New findings from the 2010 census on changes of population amount, structure, distribution and living standards will provide accurate and scientific information for the government to map out plans for economic and social development," Yang said.

For expats, there will be translated versions of the form with the final choice of languages still under discussion.

Officials said foreign-language versions will be simpler concerning cultural and background differences than the one for Chinese citizens.

All expats will be included although the details of those living in the city or staying here for more than six months will be more important for data analysis as they are considered local permanent residents, officials said.

There were 19.21 million permanent residents by the end of last year, officials told the meeting.

"Investigating expatriates is a hard part of the census and we will dispatch staff with high quality and proper foreign language ability to do the investigation," said statistics bureau director Wang Zhixiong.


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