Who’s that knocking on the door? Waimai? Nope, just your friendly local census enumerators.
Expats will be included in the seventh Chinese national population census, which will officially start November 1 and run until December 10. Some households may have already received a visit as census staff are gauging housing and demographic conditions.
Foreigners who are on “short-term stays such as business trips or family visits, are excluded,” reports Shenzhen Daily. However, a Beijing-based census employee encouraged all foreign residents to fill out the form “regardless of the duration and type of their visas.”
The information to be collected includes “the resident’s relationship with owner of the home, gender, date of birth, purpose of staying in China, duration of stay, education, nationality and housing conditions,” according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
From our personal experience, the enumerator fills out the information above on their device and then asks for your mobile number. They will then send a verification code to your mobile device for confirmation of the uploaded information. The information provided is encrypted and will be sent to the National Bureau of Statistics database after confirmation by authorities.
A national population census is conducted by China every 10 years. The last census in 2010 cost RMB700 million and revealed that the nation’s population had increased to 1.37 billion, growing at an annual average rate of 0.57%.
An accurate population survey will provide “key resources for the government’s planning on social development and livelihoods,” states Global Times. For example, China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) will start to be reviewed in late October.
South Koreans, Americans and Japanese were the top three foreign nationalities among 593,832 expats surveyed, according to the official database of the sixth census.
[Cover image via Shenzhen Daily]