250,000 still holding out on census

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2011, 12:00am


Only about 50,000 of the 300,000 households that did not complete census questionnaires by the government's original deadline have complied with a new deadline to return their questionnaires, the Census and Statistics Department says.

The 300,000 households, about 12.5 per cent of the 2.4 million total, missed a July 15 deadline for completing the census. Households that failed to complete the forms had until August 2 to meet a census officer for a face-to-face interview, but census staff could not contact these households for a face-to-face interview.

The tardy households were given a new deadline of August 15 to return the forms. The department said it expects the return of more questionnaires in the coming weeks. Households that fail to respond to census questions can be fined HK$2,000, but the department said it was unlikely that they would be fined. The non-response rate in 2001 was 10 per cent.

The Population Census occurs every 10 years. From June 30 to July 15, households had to fill out a questionnaire and send it back electronically or by traditional mail.

By August 3, the Census and Statistics Department had received around 1.1 million postal questionnaires and over 300,000 e-questionnaires.

On Monday, the department will begin a post-enumeration survey in different areas of the city to verify the information gathered during the census period. Officers will check 16,000 households, selected at random, between now and September 30. Households will receive a letter before their visit and will be asked basic questions.

During the census-taking process, 48 incidents involving census workers were reported - including two indecent assaults.