Residents in Huai’an, Jiangsu province, show their booklets to promote the national population census. VCG
Knock knock. Starting from Nov 1, people will be knocking on doors across the country to collect personal information. But don’t panic. This is for the seventh national population census.
The Chinese population census takes place every 10 years. It gathers data including name, age, ID number, gender, education, job, marital status and housing situation.
Tracking down more than 1 billion Chinese citizens is by no means easy. This year, about 7 million staff will be needed to visit homes for registration work, according to Xinhua. New methods will also be used during this census, including online information registration, application of electronic devices and big data.
Compared with previous surveys, new methods will be convenient for people who are not living where they are officially registered, as well as those who do not want to be bothered by census takers’ door-to-door surveys. The new methods also reduce census takers’ workload.
The data is expected to give a full picture of the population, including its size, structure and distribution and recent changes. It provides support for making national development policies.
The census has a large impact on our lives. For instance, areas with a high number of children may receive more funding for public schools. Researchers can use the results to investigate population trends in different cities. The census will help to find out the number of foreigners living in China. It can also tell how many Chinese people have moved to other countries.
However, citizens’ privacy concerns could be one of the biggest challenges. Some may not be willing to give their personal information to census takers because they are worried about what the data would be used for.
There are also worries about privacy leakage among the public.
In response to such concerns, Jiangsu’s pilot work zone allowed residents to upload personal data on their own through WeChat, which avoids information leakage. The data will be delivered directly to the National Bureau of Statistics through a WeChat program, the Global Times reported.