China's national census
China's sixth nationwide census will start on Nov. 1 and finish in June 2012, Guangzhou Daily reported on Tuesday.
The census-takers will go into every household to collect data from Nov. 1 to Nov. 10. They will ask for private information, such as nationality, education, occupation, marital status, births, social security, death and housing.
People from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreigners living and working on the mainland will be counted for the first time during the sixth national census.
From People's Daily Online, 2010/10/10
Notices have already gone up - my notice says that data collections officially started 2010/10/08.
I would like to follow any other poddies' experiences with the census collectors ..
I've learnt a little vocabulary already - they will ask if I am 流动 liúdòng (itinerant). I wonder if foreigners will be asked the full range of questions?
I think I will start by writing out the notice，headed 温馨提示 wēnxīntíshì (amusingly translated as 'Warm Tips' at a nearby public toilet.)
bodaweiOctober 10, 2010, 04:05 PM
Notice about census circulated a couple of days ago:
[insert your street name]社区居民：
第六次全国人口普查工作已经启动，人口普查工作是一项重大的国情国力调查，人口普查主要调查人口和住户的基本情况，内容包括：性别，年龄，民族， 受教育程度，行业，职业，迁移，流动，社会保重， 婚姻生育，死亡，住房情况等。
[insert your street name]社区第六次全国人口普查工作定于2010年10月8日正式开始入户，届时普查员将会到每一户居民家中进行信息登记。 此次人口普查工作，属于单位家属区的由单位派普查员进行登记，有物业管理的小区由物管公司登记，没有物业管理的小区由社区据委会进行登记。 住户也可以带上户口册和相关证件到单位，物管公司或者据委会进行登记。
[insert your street name]社区据委会2010年10月8日
bababardwanOctober 10, 2010, 09:01 PM
Am I reading this correctly? The census takers will also go into homes in Taiwan? No biggie then?
Hmm - ambiguous wording; you may be right, although that does not make sense for Hong Kong, Macau, does it. We would expect people from HK and Macau to be included in the Census as a matter of course.
You are right - there is a special form for people from HK, Macau, Taiwan and foreigners, all who are living on the mainland. It has an English translation. Now I have to go and get the real Chinese form (because I'm curious about the questions being asked). I asked a friend 'what do I say when they ask "what do you want this for?" and he suggested I say 没外什么‘。But he says that they won't ask, because the forms are 免费. I just love the Chinese logic. :)
bababardwanOctober 10, 2010, 09:07 PM
yeah, this 温馨提示 is interesting.
提示..to draw attention to something
It's the 温馨 [also meaning warm] part that's interesting. I guess it's used in the sense of warming you up to the idea? Getting you ready in advance for something upcoming they're bringing to your attention. Anyone got a more accurate take on what this means? I guess the whole 温馨提示 just means "notice" .
I think so, this often heads public notices - see photo elsewhere 'one small step forward, one large step for civilization')
Here's a bit of a vocab list (corrections welcome):
国情国力 (national features and resources)
受教育程度 (education level)
迁移 (change in address)
社会保重 (community protection)
婚姻生育 (marriage & childbirth)
住房情况 (housing situation)
Just to clarify - this term 温馨提示 does not actually mean 'prompt'. (The dangers of over-analysing and looking at characters in isolation.)
It simply means 'notice' - but it has a friendly laid-back kind of tone, in contrast to something that might be headed 'Attention!'. This is an interesting aspect of the culture - that is, the friendly tone conveyed even though everyone is required to comply.
bodaweiOctober 10, 2010, 11:16 PM
The part I find interesting is the process (how different to the West!) The use of a street organising committee to supervise data collection. Furthermore, the delegation to our 小区 staff to collect information (where you have property management people on site). There will be a cost in accuracy, but it saves resources. In Australia we do employ volunteers to collect information but there is standardized nation-wide training and close supervision. Also, they can come to our door any time up to 10 pm! Whoa, that wouldn't happen in Australia.
I have already been involved in a kind of survey in this area - pretty funny. It was to gauge reaction to a levy on property owners to undertake important public works. It was made clear to me that 'everyone' was voting 'no'. The locals thought this was something the 'government' should be paying for. Also, they wanted my name even though I am just a tenant.
bodaweiOctober 11, 2010, 02:06 AM
More vocabulary from the notice (again, corrections are welcome):
进行登记 (to carry out registration/complete the forms)
物业管理 (property management)
户口册 (residence book)
相关证件 (related paperwork – ie. related to户口册)
单位，物管公司或者据委会 (your work, the property management office, or the census committee)
名位住户 (a respectful reference to the householder)
给予 (to give or afford)
大力 (great efforts, energetic)
支持 (to support or provide)
配合 (co-operation), so望名位住户给予大力支持配合 ([we the committee].. would like your enthusiastic co-operation)
bodaweiOctober 12, 2010, 03:24 PM
婚姻生育 (marriage & childbirth)
I believe this is where they ask you for details of children born in wedlock. What happens about children born out of wedlock? Are they not counted in the Census? Do they get a 户口? Any poddies know anything about this?
Hmm - seems that this is a live issue:
A police directive said that, in preparation for [the National Census], officials must give household registration papers [ie. 户口] to children born in violation of family-planning directives. Normally such papers are handed to “black children”, as offspring like Mr Yang’s are commonly known, only on payment of a huge fine (or fee, as officials say). In cities this is often between five and ten times the local average annual income.*
But officials have been trying to quash the speculation, saying that “fees” will still be imposed.
[The Economist, 2010/08/19]
* 'Mr Yang' is the activist who was widely publicised in March for having a second child in violation of the rules. It was reported in various places that he haid he 'wanted a boy' and apparently had a girl who he called 若男 Ruonan (like a boy).
bodaweiOctober 13, 2010, 11:40 AM
Meanwhile, the Economist is running a story on China’s one child policy, which is coming under pressure from within. But though many Chinese would like to see the policy lifted, the Chinese Academy for Social Scientists says that the problem will be getting women to want to have more than one child:
Some Chinese scholars argue that the government is at risk of overdoing things. They say the country’s fertility rate may actually be much lower than the official figure of around 1.8. This number has been used for more than a decade … It suggests a comfortable levelling off after a steep decline in the rate in the 1970s, after mild childbirth restrictions were introduced.
The recent CASS report said the rate that would be expected if women had exactly as many children as allowed would be 1.47. The government uses the higher figure believing that many “black children” were missed by censuses. But the report disagreed, saying such serious underreporting was unlikely. It said data showed that the 150m-strong migrant population has a fertility rate of only 1.14 (similar to that of registered urban residents). This belies the common image of migrants as big producers of unauthorised offspring. Zhang Juwei of CASS believes the overall fertility rate is no higher than 1.6.
China cannot avoid its looming ageing problem, but these lower fertility estimates suggest its impact could be greater than officials have bargained for. The CASS study calls for a “prompt” change of policy to get the fertility rate up to around the “replacement level” of 2.1. The problem could be in persuading Chinese to have more children. In cities and wealthier rural areas, surveys found that the number of babies women said they actually wanted would produce a fertility rate well below 1.47.
[From the Joyfulpapist blog on Wordpress]*
* I am aware that they may have a barrow to push. :)
chanelle77October 15, 2010, 01:07 AM
About two weeks ago, there was a nice lady from the governments national census at my door and wanted me to answer a few questions and needed our passports. At first I did not realize this was the census thing and it took me a minute to realize what was going on and what she wanted. I saw the notice on buses in Nanjing just 2 days before and suddenly I remembered!
This lady (and her colleages) in Nanjing did not have any special form and could not speak English. Everything was in Chinese. So, we discussed everything in Chinese and I ended up translating the form for her and writing a little notice in English for other Laowei who live on my compound and others close to us. All in all it was a nice experience :-)