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Chinese Census

November 8, 2010

Like the United States, China is conducting a population census this year.


The world’s largest census…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If you live in the United States, you probably filled out a U.S. Census form earlier this year. Well, another census is underway, in the world’s most populous country, China. Geographer Kam Wing Chan of the University of Washington says counting so many people poses many challenges. For one thing, China’s population is becoming more mobile, with many migrants seeking jobs far from home.

KAM WING CHAN (University of Washington):
People are moving around a lot more so this creates tremendous logistical difficulties to really pin down the numbers.

He says of China’s approximately 1.3 billion residents, as many as 200 million are migrants. He adds that unlike the U.S., which conducts its census by mail, Chinese census workers go door-to-door.

It’s trying to count everybody. The idea is to try to reach everybody in 10 days. They have done a lot of preparation work.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.