Beijing's population still increasing

By Wang Wen (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-18 08:06
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Beijing's sixth census shows that the expatriate community in Beijing has remained stable at 110,000, census officials said on Wednesday.

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Gu Yanzhou, deputy director of the Beijing sixth population census unit, said that according to the census, the number of expats in Beijing is consistent with records from the local police office, which showed there were about 110,000 at the end of 2009.

He said enumerators had visited about 98 percent of families in the city by the time the door-to-door interview period had finished on Monday, and they had collected 8.6 million questionnaires in total.

"It is definite that the total population in Beijing has gone up, although we do not know the exact number yet," Gu said.

The population increase will be much more than the 600,000 shown in the local annual selective census, he added.

One group of residents that proved difficult to interview was the city's homeless migrant population. Census enumerators went to the spots where they live, such as bridge arches and bus stations, to interview them at midnight on Nov 1, the first day of the door-to-door interview period.

According to the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, the census managed to interview almost all the homeless migrants in the city and the number is around 2,300.

The census period officially ended on Nov 10, but the questioning was prolonged for five days to Nov 15, because some residents were unavailable.

"It's unavoidable that some residents will miss the census although we aim to keep the rate as low as possible," Gu said.

Keeping the number of missing residents to a minimum is important, because the local government will determine future policies according to the result of the census, Gu said.

The national standard sets the rate of missing reports at no more than five in 1,000.

Some residents can expect another round of door-to-door interviews between Nov 26 and 30 because a check will be carried out in 20 communities to compute the rate of missing reports.

Those who have yet to complete the census can register in sub-district offices before Nov 20.

The national sixth population census involves about 1.35 billion people and the total budget is about 8 billion yuan. The local government has invested about 290 million yuan in the local census, which means the government has invested about 10 yuan a person in Beijing during the census. The national average is about 6 yuan.

"The higher cost in Beijing is attributable to the high labor cost in the city," said Pang Jiangqian, director of the population and employment department of the Beijing Statistics Bureau.

Beijing's data will be collected and inputting will begin from late November. It is due to finish on March 15, 2011.

The final report will not be released until April 2011.

China Daily

(China Daily 11/18/2010 page25)