Photo by phitar
While we’re extremely curious to know exactly how many expats actually make up the Shanghai diaspora, this piece of news also makes us worried for all those people on maaaybe not so legitimate visas (English teachers, we’re looking at you): For the first time, foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will be included on China’s sixth national population census. Says Shanghai Daily:
Trained census workers will visit residential complexes, hotels and even prisons to collect information on people’s ages, nationality, levels of education, profession and population migration, said officials from Shanghai Statistics Bureau, the government department in charge of the census in the city.
They will also collect data on Chinese citizens’ marriage, housing, income and social security…
For expats, there will be translated versions of the form with the final choice of languages still under discussion.
Officials said foreign-language versions will be simpler concerning cultural and background differences than the one for Chinese citizens.
All expats will be included although the details of those living in the city or staying here for more than six months will be more important for data analysis as they are considered local permanent residents, officials said.
Gulp! The census begins on November 1 this year, so we guess you have a good amount of time to get your stuff in order. Most importantly, you should probably register at the police office sometime before then – while usually the chances of people finding and fining you for not doing that are pretty slim regularly, we’re betting a surge of government workers carrying clipboards and coming to chat about your “visa status” and “term of residency” could probably skew those odds.
That having been said, we can’t help being a little excited to see how demographics have changed in the last 10 years (the fifth census was in 2000). Back then, they found out that the population had doubled since the country took its first census in 1953: from 582 million to 1.2 billion. An English short summary of the 2000 census, written by the University of Washington, can be found here.