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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.1When will households receive the notification letters?

    • Notification letters have been sent to households by phases starting from 23 June 2021. Households should receive the letters before end June 2021.

  • 1.2Why have I not received a notification letter?

    • Not every household will receive a notification letter from the Census and Statistics Department prior to the conduct of the Census because:

      1. For quarters without identifiable postal addresses in the “Frame of Quarters” maintained by the Department (including some newly erected buildings, non-built-up areas and non-residential quarters), the letters will be distributed by the census officers during their visits to the households; or
      2. Notification letters are issued on the basis of quarters. If there are more than one household living in your unit of quarters, you may ask the other household(s) whether they have received the letter from the Department.

(A) General information

  • 2.1How can I use the online system to complete the questionnaire?

    • Upon receipt of the notification letter, you can use the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to complete the questionnaire.

      You can activate your Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account by scanning the QR code printed on the notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration), or entering the Household Reference No., Account No. and Activation Key, which are also printed on the notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration), in the System. After activation, you can complete the online questionnaire.

      Details can be found on “A Pamphlet for 2021 Population Census” enclosed in the notification letter.

  • 2.2Who can use the online system to complete the questionnaire? Is there any age restriction for the users? Can children complete the online questionnaire by themselves?

    • All respondents can use the online questionnaire to provide the information required for the 2021 Population Census. The information should be provided by the household members concerned personally. Persons aged under 15, or those who cannot personally answer the questions, may have their household head or other adult household members (excluding domestic helpers) report the information on their behalf.

  • 2.3Do I need to provide any contact information to complete the online questionnaire?

    • You are required to provide your contact number to facilitate communications between you and Census and Statistics Department on matters related to the 2021 Population Census. If the phone number provided by you cannot receive SMS, you are also required to provide your email address. In case you have forgotten your system login password, the system will use this contact information to authenticate your identity and help you retrieve your password, with a view to protecting the security of your account data.

  • (B) System requirements and technical issues

  • 2.4Can I complete the online questionnaire on mobile phones or mobile tablets?

    • You can complete the online questionnaire on your mobile phones and mobile tablets which support web browsing. You can also use your mobile phones and mobile tablets to scan the QR code printed on your household notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration) to access the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System, further simplifying the system account activation process.

  • 2.5What are the system requirements for completing the online questionnaire?

    • Internet Browsers

      • Internet Explorer 11 or newer versions
      • Firefox 76.0 or newer versions
      • Google Chrome 81.0 or newer versions
      • Safari 12.0 (Mac) or newer versions
      • Microsoft Edge 83 or newer versions

      Mobile Device Operating Systems

      • iOS 12 or newer versions
      • Android 9 or newer versions

      You are recommended to use devices with more recent versions of browsers and operating systems for the best experience using the online questionnaire.

  • (C) Data security

  • 2.6How to ensure the security and confidentiality of information stored in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System?

    • Data confidentiality is a major concern of the Census and Statistics Department in conducting statistical surveys. According to the provisions of the Census and Statistics Ordinance, it is an offence to disclose information pertaining to individual person or household to unauthorised persons. The following measures are adopted for the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to safeguard the security and confidentiality of information:

      1. Password is required for account login to the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System;
      2. Information is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol during transmission over the Internet;
      3. Information submitted to the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will be will be stored and processed in a government server;
      4. The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System complies with Government’s information security requirements. Before production rollout, security risk assessment and audit as well as privacy impact assessment had been conducted by an independent auditor; and
      5. Access to information in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System is restricted to authorised personnel only.
  • 2.7What do I need to know about data protection when using the online questionnaire?

  • 2.8What can I do if I do not want the household head to access my reported data provided in the online questionnaire?

    • During the account activation process, you can apply for a “separate account” from the main household account, as long as you provide a phone number that can receive SMS or an email address. The Account No. and Activation Key of the “separate account” will be sent to you for account activation. Other household members cannot access the data in the “separate account”.

  • 2.9How to make sure that information collected through the online questionnaire is accurate?

    • Several ways are implemented in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to safeguard the accuracy of data:

      1. The system will perform real time validation on the data provided through the online questionnaire. Alert messages will be displayed for any potential errors found. You will then be requested to check and amend the answers (if necessary);
      2. Commonly referred terms will be used in the questions such that the questions are easy to understand. For more complicated questions, more details will be provided to guide you to answer. Definitions of certain terms will be provided as well; and
      3. After submission of the online questionnaire, the whole questionnaire will be checked again against a more comprehensive set of validation rules. If necessary, our staff will contact you by phone or field visit for verification.
  • 2.10Can I use public computer facilities (e.g. computers in coffee shops) to complete my online questionnaire?

    • Although the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System is secure and data therein are encrypted during transmission over the Internet, we cannot enforce the same level of security in all public computer facilities. For security reasons, the use of public computer facilities for completing the online questionnaire is therefore not recommended. Also, please do NOT disclose personal data easily to other persons.

  • 2.11How to avoid providing data in a fraudulent website?

    • Please scan the QR code as printed on the household notification letter (for households will be subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households will be subject to simple enumeration) or directly type in our thematic website address (www.census2021.gov.hk) in the address bar of the web browser, and enter the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System through the website. Do not use the hyperlinks provided by suspicious emails or websites. Also, please scan your personal computers for viruses regularly to prevent data leakage.

  • (D) Tips in system operation

  • 2.12Can Household Reference No., Account No., Activation Key and password be changed?

    • The Household Reference No., Account No. and Activation Key are used to identify different households and thus the information cannot be changed. You must create your account login password during account activation. After activation, the Activation Key is no longer valid and you have to enter your password to log in your account. If necessary, you can change your password any time.

  • 2.13What should I do if I forget the online questionnaire account password?

    • You can click “Forgot Password” on the login page for “Existing Users”. There are 2 different kinds of password retrieval processes, depending on the contact information provided by you during the account activation stage:

      SMS users

      You need to input the Household Reference Number and Account Number (or Account Name, if specified by you during the account activation stage). The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send a "one-time passcode" to your registered phone number. You need to input the passcode and answer a preset security question (specified by you during the account activation stage). After going through these verification steps, you can reset the account password to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System.

      Email users

      You need to input the Household Reference Number and Account Number (or Account Name, if specified by you during the account activation stage). The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send the password hint message (specified by you during the account activation stage) to your registered email address. Please note that the password hint message is not the account login password. You still have to use the original password to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System.

  • 2.14What is the use of the QR Code printed on the household notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration)?

    • The QR Code printed on your household notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration) can help you activate your Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account more conveniently. You can use your mobile devices to scan the QR Code to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to save the time of typing the Household Reference No., Account No. and Activation Key manually.

  • 2.15I cannot clearly identify the characters shown on the verification code label, how can I input verification code correctly?

    • To prevent machine-generated logins, you are required to enter a verification code when you log in. You may either click the speaker button to listen to the characters spelt out by the system or click on refresh button for another group of characters.

      Verification Code
  • 2.16Will the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) contact the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System users via email or SMS?

    • C&SD will contact the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System users via email or SMS under the following situations:

      1. For households who have registered an online questionnaire before but not yet submitted the questionnaire, C&SD will send an email or SMS in due course to remind them to submit the online questionnaire as soon as possible.
      2. When users click “Forgot Password” on the login page for “Existing Users”, the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send a “one-time passcode” SMS to the user’s registered contact phone number, or the password hint message (specified by the user during the account activation stage) to the user's registered email address.
      3. When users' account has been reactivated, a new activation key will be sent to users by email or SMS.
      4. Separate account activation details will be sent to Separate Account applicants by email or SMS.

      C&SD will NOT ask households to submit information by email or SMS. If there is such case, please call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 immediately for follow-up.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 2.17I have suspended using the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System for a while to handle some other matters. Upon return, I find that the system has logged out. What should I do?

    • If you have neither made any request for action by the system nor entered data for 15 minutes, the system would automatically log out. You need to log in the system again.

  • 2.18How can I know that my online questionnaire is successfully submitted to the Census and Statistics Department?

    • When online questionnaire has been successfully submitted, an acknowledgement message will be displayed on the screen. You may print or save the page for reference. C&SD will not send other confirmation notices to you separately.

  • 2.19Can I request for accessing to my personal data after completing my online questionnaire?

    • Under Sections 18 and 22 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, you have a right to request access to and correction of your personal data held by us, and may seek access to or correction of your personal data by addressing the request to the Data Controlling Officer, Census and Statistics Department, 21/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China. Please note that a written authorisation will be required if you wish another person (including the person who has provided data on your behalf) to make a data access request or data correction request on your behalf.

  • 2.20Why are my data in the online questionnaire cleared after account reactivation?

    • For data security and privacy protection, all data provided previously will be erased automatically after the account has been reactivated.

  • 2.21Can I change to use online questionnaire after I have made an appointment for face-to-face interview?

    • Yes. If you have activated the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account, you can use online questionnaire in the same account.

  • 2.22Is it necessary for me to complete the entire online questionnaire in one go? Can I save a partially completed online questionnaire for completion later?

    • You can complete and submit the online questionnaire immediately after activating your account, or you can log out at any time. The system will save all the data you have provided when you click the “Save and Continue” button. Subsequently, please log in your account as "Existing User" to complete and submit the online questionnaire.

  • 2.23What does the circle icon with an "i" in some questions in the online questionnaire mean?

    • You can click the icon for supplementary information on the question concerned.

  • 2.24Why does the system stay on the same page instead of proceeding to the next page after I have clicked the "Save and Continue" button?

    • Please check if there are unanswered questions or “Error Message” on the page. You must answer all the questions on the current page with no “Error Message” displaying, and then click the “Save and Continue” button to proceed to the next page.

  • 2.25What should I do if information on the account settings have to be amended after account activation?

    • You can log in your account as "Existing User", click "Account Settings" on the menu and enter the correct information.

  • 2.26Do I need to re-enter information if I have been disconnected from the online questionnaire due to network problems when I am filling in the online questionnaire?

    • When you finish answering the questions on a page of online questionnaire and click the "Save and Continue" button, the system will save the entered data and proceed to the next page of questions. Saved data need not be re-input even if you have logged out or have been disconnected from the online questionnaire due to network problems.

  • 2.27What should I do if I found that there are some mis-reported information in my submitted online questionnaire?

    • After the online questionnaire has been submitted, you cannot log in your Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account again. If there are mis-reported data in your submitted online questionnaire, you may call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 to provide the correct data.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 2.28Will census officers visit my household after I submit the online questionnaire?

    • The online questionnaire submitted by households will undergo detailed checking procedures. If necessary, census officers of our department will contact you for data verification by phone or field visit.

  • 2.29Can I proceed to a specific question directly without clicking the "Back" button?

    • The questions are placed on different pages according to their characteristics, and there are also titles at the top of each page, for example, “1 Housing Characteristics”, “2 Demographic and Social Characteristics (Part 1)” and “3 Demographic and Social Characteristics (Part 2)”. You can click on the appropriate title to proceed to the specified page.

  • 2.30I have answered all the questions. Why do I fail to submit the online questionnaire?

    • Please check if there is any “Error Message” on any page. You can submit the online questionnaire only after correcting all wrong answers.

  • 3.1Can I ask to check the Hong Kong Identity Card of the census officers?

    • No. You could only check his/her Census Officer Certificate of Identity issued by this Department. In case of doubt on the identity of the census officers, you may call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 for verification.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 3.2How to identify of census officers?

    • Each census officer will wear a purple T-shirt uniform and a 2021 Population Census badge, and carry a red satchel with the 2021 Population Census logo. They will also identify themselves with a Census Officer Certificate of Identity issued by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). This certificate will bear the photo, name and identity number of the census officer concerned. Households are reminded to check the identity of the census officers before admitting them to your premises for interview. In case of doubt, households may call the Census Hotline at 18 2021 for verifying the identity of the census officers.

      If the household has not responded to the survey or contacted C&SD, C&SD will not call the household to conduct telephone interview. The online display 18 2021 will be used when census officers call the household for follow-up purpose.

      C&SD has set up service centres at 6 different districts for conducting interview with persons of different races and persons living in Sub-Divided Units (SDU).

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 3.3How long will it take to complete a questionnaire for a household?

    • It depends on the number and characteristics of household members. The estimated time for a household of 3-4 persons is about 10 - 15 minutes for households subject to simple enumeration and 40 - 50 minutes for households subject to more detailed enquiry.

  • 3.4At what time of the day will the census officers visit the households?

    • Household visits will usually be carried out from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day starting on 18 July 2021. Depending on situations, visits may be made during 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for households living in remote areas, or with appointments so arranged. Households can make an appointment online or by calling the Census Service Centre at 18 2021.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 3.5How will the face-to-face interview be conducted?

    • To better protect the safety of the census officers, census officers will be arranged in pairs to conduct the face-to-face interview. Depending on the number of members in a household and the actual circumstances, the two census officers may conduct the face-to-face interview with different household members at the same time to shorten the interviewing time. In addition, census officers will use mobile tablets for data collection, replacing the traditional paper questionnaires, to streamline the overall data collection process and improve data quality.

(A) General introduction

  • 4.1How can I use the online system to book an appointment for interview online?

    • Upon receipt of the notification letter, you can book an appointment for interview online via the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System.

      You can activate your Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account by scanning the QR code printed on the notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration), or entering the Household Reference No., Account No. and Activation Key, which are also printed on the notification letter (for households subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households subject to simple enumeration), in the System. After activation, you can book a preferred date and timeslot for interview.

      Details can be found on “A Pamphlet for 2021 Population Census” enclosed in the notification letter. You can also contact the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 to book an appointment.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.2What are the advantages of using appointment booking service?

    • The appointment booking service facilitates you to book a convenient time for the interview in advance.

  • 4.3When can I book an appointment for interview online? What are the time slots available for booking?

    • Upon receipt of the notification letter, you can book an appointment for a face-to-face interview. Three time slots are available on each day during 18 July to 2 August 2021: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Census officers will visit your household for interview during the appointment time slot. If you have any special appointment request, you can call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 for assistance.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.4How many time slots can I choose each time?

    • You can only select one preferred time slot for the interview.

  • 4.5How do I know whether the online appointment has been confirmed?

    • After booking an appointment online, the system will request you to confirm the appointment details. After confirmation, the confirmed information will be shown on the screen. You can save or print that page for reference.

  • 4.6Will personal information be stolen over the Internet when booking interview appointment online?

    • Households have to input their login credentials correctly to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System. All the information will be encrypted during transmission over the Internet. Also, please scan your personal computers for viruses regularly to prevent data leakage.

  • 4.7Do I need to provide any contact information to book interview appointment online?

    • You are required to provide your contact number to facilitate communications between you and Census and Statistics Department on matters related to the 2021 Population Census. If the phone number provided by you cannot receive SMS, you are also required to provide your email address. In case you have forgotten your system login password, the system will use this contact information to authenticate your identity and help you retrieve your password, with a view to protecting the security of your account data.

  • (B) System requirements and technical issues

  • 4.8What are the system requirements to book interview appointment online?

    • Internet Browsers

      • Internet Explorer 11 or newer versions
      • Firefox 76.0 or newer versions
      • Google Chrome 81.0 or newer versions
      • Safari 12.0 (Mac) or newer versions
      • Microsoft Edge 83 or newer versions

      Mobile Device Operating Systems

      • iOS 12 or newer versions
      • Android 9 or newer versions

      You are recommended to use devices with more recent versions of browsers and operating systems for best experience to book interview appointment.

  • (C) Data security

  • 4.9How to ensure the security and confidentiality of information stored in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System?

    • Data confidentiality is a major concern of the Census and Statistics Department in conducting statistical surveys. According to the provisions of the Census and Statistics Ordinance, it is an offence to disclose information pertaining to individual person or household to unauthorised persons. The following measures are adopted for the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to safeguard the security and confidentiality of information:

      1. Password is required for account to login to the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System;
      2. Information is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol during transmission;
      3. Information submitted to the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will be stored and processed in a government server;
      4. The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System complies with Government’s information security requirements. Before production rollout, security risk assessment and audit as well as privacy impact assessment had been conducted by an independent auditor; and
      5. Access to information in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System is restricted to authorised personnel only.
  • 4.10What do I need to know about data protection when using the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System?

  • 4.11Can I use public computer facilities (e.g. computers in coffee shops) to use the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System?

    • Although the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System is secure and data therein are encrypted during transmission over the Internet, we cannot enforce the same level of security in all public computer facilities. For security reasons, the use of public computer facilities for booking an appointment for an interview is therefore not recommended. Also, please do NOT disclose personal data easily to other persons.

  • 4.12How to avoid providing data in a fraudulent website?

    • Please scan the QR code as printed on the household notification letter (for households will be subject to more detailed enquiry) or the paper questionnaire (for households will be subject to simple enumeration) or directly type in our thematic website address (www.census2021.gov.hk) in the address bar of the web browser, and enter the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System through the website. Do not use the hyperlinks provided by suspicious emails or websites. Also, please scan your personal computers for viruses regularly to prevent data leakage.

  • (D) Tips for appointment booking and system operation

  • 4.13Do I need to book an appointment or wait for the visit by census officers at home?

    • It is not a must to book an appointment. You do not have to worry about waiting for the visit by census officers at home. If we do not receive your completed questionnaire, our census officers will visit your household to assist you in providing the required information before 10 p.m. starting on 18 July. In case our census officers cannot contact your household, they will leave an appeal letter inviting you to call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 during the service hours for conducting a telephone interview or book an appointment with census officers for interview.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.14How many days before the appointment date should I make the request for appointment?

    • You should make the request at least 2 days before the appointment date either through the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System or by calling the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please make the request at least 1 day before the appointment date.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.15Can Household Reference No., Account No., Activation Key and password be changed?

    • The Household Reference No., Account No. and Activation Key are used to identify different households and thus the information cannot be changed. You must create your account login password during account activation. After activation, the Activation Key is no longer valid and you have to enter your password to log in your account. If necessary, you can change your password any time.

  • 4.16What should I do if I forget the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System account password?

    • You can click “Forgot Password” on the login page for “Existing Users”. There are 2 different kinds of password retrieval processes, depending on the contact information provided by you during the account activation stage:

      SMS users

      You need to input the Household Reference No. and Account No. (or Account Name, if specified by you during the account activation stage). The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send a "one-time passcode" to your registered phone number using SMS. You need to input the passcode and then answer a preset security question (specified by you during the account activation stage). After going through these verification steps, you can reset the account password to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System.

      Email users

      You need to input the Household Reference No. and Account No. (or Account Name, if specified by you during the account activation stage). The Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send the password hint message (specified by you during the account activation stage) to your registered email address. Please note that the password hint message is not the account login password. You still have to use the original password to log in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System.
  • 4.17I cannot clearly identify the characters shown on the verification code label. How can I input verification code correctly?

    • To prevent from machine-generated logins, you are required to enter a verification code when you log in. You may either click the speaker button to listen to the characters spelt out by the system or click on the refresh button for another group of characters.

      Verification Code
  • 4.18Will the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) contact the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System users via email or SMS?

    • C&SD will contact the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System users via email or SMS under the following situations:

      1. For households who have registered an online questionnaire before but not yet submitted questionnaire, C&SD will send an e-mail or SMS in due course to remind them to submit the online questionnaire as soon as possible.
      2. When users click “Forgot Password” on the login page for “Existing Users”, the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System will send a “one-time passcode” SMS to the user’s registered contact phone number, or the password hint message (specified by the user during the account activation stage) to the user's registered email address.
      3. When users' account has been reactivated, a new activation key will be sent to users by email or SMS.
      4. Separate Account activation details will be sent to Separate Account applicants by email or SMS.

      C&SD will NOT ask households to submit information by email or SMS. If there is such case, please call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 immediately for follow-up.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.19I have suspended using the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System for a while to handle some other matters. Upon return, I find that the system has logged out. What should I do?

    • If you have neither made any system action nor entered data for 15 minutes, the system will automatically log out. You need to log in the system again.

  • 4.20Why are my previous the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System data cleared after account reactivation?

    • For data security and privacy protection, all data provided previously will be erased automatically after your account has been reactivated.

  • 4.21What does the circle icon with an "i" in some questions in the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System mean?

    • You can click the icon for supplementary information on the question concerned.

  • 4.22What should I do if information on the account settings, quarters or household members has to be amended after account activation?

    • You can login your account as "Existing User", click "Account Settings", “Quarters Information” or “Household Member Information” on the menu and enter the correct information.

  • 4.23How can I find out whether the appointment is successfully made if the booking is suddenly terminated due to network or computer problem?

    • You can re-enter the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System and click “Enquire Appointment” to check your appointment details. If no appointment record is shown, please make the appointment again.

  • 4.24I am using the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System now. Can I book an interview appointment online?

    • All users of the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System can use interview appointment booking function to book an interview appointment.

  • 4.25Can I call the enquiry hotline to change or cancel appointment, or enquire details of appointment booking which was made online?

    • Yes. You can call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 to change or cancel appointment, or enquire details of appointment booking.

      For appointment change or cancellation, please make your request at least 1 day before the appointment date.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.26Is it the only way to make an appointment through the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System? What should I do if I do not have a computer at home?

    • Apart from using the online appointment service, you can make an appointment for interview by calling the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 4.27Can the separate account users of Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System book an appointment online for an interview?

    • Both main account (i.e. Account No. 01) users and separate account users can use the Online Questionnaire and Online Appointment System to book an interview appointment.

  • 5.1My household is selected for a detailed enquiry. Why cannot I use paper questionnaire to provide information?

    • For households subject to more detailed enquiry which involves a number of data topics and more complicated concepts, it is more effective to collect the information by face-to-face interview or online questionnaire. Paper questionnaire is therefore not provided to the households.

  • 5.2My household has more than 5 members but there are only 5 columns on the paper questionnaire. What should I do?

    • If there are 6-10 members, you may use the other four columns other than the first column of the questionnaire overleaf (i.e. another language version). If there are more than 10 members, you should call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 for obtaining additional copies of paper questionnaire.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 5.3May I return the completed paper questionnaire before 30 June 2021?

    • You may choose to complete and return paper questionnaire before the census period (i.e. before 30 June 2021) in case the residency patterns of all household members as at 3 a.m. on 30 June 2021 (the census reference moment) are known in advance (e.g. with reference to the daily routine and any planned trip). Otherwise, you should complete and return the paper questionnaire until the launch of the census period.

  • 5.4What should I do if I do not know how to complete paper questionnaire?

    • You should call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 for assistance.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 6.1Will information on individual persons and households collected in the 2021 Population Census be used for criminal investigation, taxation, rates evaluation, or enforcement of the housing or immigration ordinances?

    • No. We would like to assure you that information collected in the Census regarding individual persons and households will be kept in strict confidence and will not be disclosed to any unauthorised parties, including Government departments. Such information will only be used for compiling statistics but not for other purposes. Under the Census and Statistics Ordinance, it is an offence to disclose the particulars of individual persons or households to unauthorised persons.

  • 6.2How would the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) protect the privacy and confidentiality of the data provided by respondents of the 2021 Population Census?

    • To protect the respondents from fake enumerators:

      Each census officer will wear a purple T-shirt uniform and a 2021 Population Census badge, and carry a red satchel with the 2021 Population Census logo. They will also identify themselves with a Census Officer Certificate of Identity issued by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). This certificate will bear the photo, name and identity number of the census officer concerned. Households are reminded to check the identity of the census officers before admitting them to your premises for interview. In case of doubt, households may call the Census Hotline at 18 2021 for verifying the identity of the census officers.

      To ensure protection of data confidentiality by staff:

      1. All Temporary Field Workers will take an oath of secrecy.
      2. The confidentiality of the 2021 Population Census data is governed by the Census and Statistics Ordinance under which it is an offence to disclose the particulars of individual persons or households to unauthorized persons.
      3. The importance of protecting data confidentiality and the legal consequence of improper handling of the data will be stressed in the training of Temporary Field Workers.
      4. When the Temporary Field Workers log in their tablets for interview, the system will remind them to ensure data confidentiality.

      To protect data confidentiality during storage, processing and dissemination of data:

      1. All collected data, including those provided by households through the Internet and collected by temporary field workers using mobile tablets, will be encrypted during transmission, and will only be stored and processed in a government server. The transient data in mobile tablets will also be encrypted and then deleted once uploaded.
      2. All completed questionnaires, in both paper questionnaires and electronic forms, will be destroyed on or before June 22, 2022.
      3. The reference link between record and address of quarters will be deleted when the data set is constructed for subsequent tabulations.
      4. All published tables will be scrutinised to ensure that personal particulars cannot be derived.

  • 7.1What factors are considered for selecting data topics of the 2021 Population Census?

    • In deciding the topics to be included in the 2021 Population Census, various factors are considered, in particular the usefulness of data, the feasibility of data collection and the accuracy of data collected.

  • 7.2What are the data topics for the 2021 Population Census?

    • The data topics for the 2021 Population Census cover 6 aspects, including (i) demographic and social characteristics (e.g. year and month of birth and sex), (ii) educational characteristics (e.g. educational attainment and field of education), (iii) internal migration characteristics (e.g. place of residence 5 years ago), (iv) economic characteristics (e.g. income and hours of work), (v) housing characteristics (e.g. floor area of accommodation, rent and mortgage payment or loan payment) and (vi) household characteristics (e.g. relationship to head of household).

      The 46 data topics for the 2021 Population Census are listed below:

        Demographic and social characteristics

      1. Year and month of birth
      2. Sex
      3. Marital status
      4. Usual spoken language
      5. Ability to speak other languages/dialects
      6. Ability to read/write languages
      7. Nationality
      8. Ethnicity
      9. Place of birth
      10. Elderly persons requiring care
      11. Educational characteristics

      12. School attendance
      13. Educational attainment (highest level attended)
      14. Educational attainment (highest level completed)
      15. Field of education
      16. Place of study
      17. Mode of transport to place of study
      18. Internal migration characteristics

      19. Whereabouts at census reference moment
      20. Duration of residence in Hong Kong
      21. Place of residence 5 years ago
      22. Economic characteristics

      23. Economic activity status
      24. Industry
      25. Occupation
      26. Whether having secondary employment
      27. Earnings from main employment
      28. Earnings from other employment
      29. Other cash income (including cash income from rent)
      30. Hours of work
      31. Place of work
      32. Mode of transport to place of work
      33. Housing characteristics

      34. Type of quarters
      35. Type of accommodation
      36. Whether the quarters is used as usual or occasional residence
      37. Whether the quarters is a subdivided unit
      38. Number of rooms in the residence (including living or dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms or toilets, bedrooms, other rooms, cocklofts and bedspaces)
      39. Floor area of accommodation
      40. No. of households in quarters (derived)
      41. No. of occupants in quarters (derived)
      42. Tenure of accommodation
      43. Rent (including rates, government rent and management fees)
      44. Mortgage payment or loan payment
      45. Household characteristics

      46. Type of household
      47. Relationship to head of household
      48. Whether a member of household
      49. Household size (derived)
      50. Household composition (derived)
      51. Household income (derived)
  • 7.3Does the 2021 Population Census require households to provide sensitive information such as Hong Kong Identity Card number, asset, bank deposit, etc.?

    • All respondents are not required to provide sensitive information such as Hong Kong Identity Card number, asset and bank deposit. For the data topics covered in the 2021 Population Census, please refer to the Frequently Asked Question no. 7.2. If you have any doubt about the identity of census officer, please call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 to confirm his/her identity.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]

  • 7.4The questionnaire of the 2021 Population Census requires every household member to provide a "Name / Preferred name". Is it a must to provide the full name on the Hong Kong Identity Card?

    • The "Name / Preferred name" on the census questionnaire refers to any name that a respondent may use for identification purpose. It is required for census officers to differentiate between household members during interviews or subsequent verification by telephone or revisits.

      "Name / Preferred name" does not have to be the full name on identity documents or travel documents. Apart from the full name or a shortened form of the full name (e.g. Mr Chan, John), any other name that a respondent prefers to be called (e.g. Mom, Son, Mr A) is acceptable.

  • 7.5Why is there a question on the amount of time I expect to stay in Hong Kong in the second half of 2021 while the Census is mainly focusing on the situation on 30 June? How should I fill in the questionnaire if I cannot ascertain my travel plans in the second half of 2021 because of the epidemic?

    • The 2021 Population Census enumerates the Hong Kong population under the “resident population” approach. Whether a person belongs to the Hong Kong Resident Population depends not only on whether he/she was in Hong Kong at the reference moment (i.e. 3 a.m. on 30 June 2021), but also the amount of time he/she stayed and will stay in Hong Kong in the 6 months before and after the reference moment. The relevant information is thus collected in the Census.

      If the respondent stayed in Hong Kong for 3 months or more in the first half of 2021, there is already sufficient information to classify him/her as a Usual Resident under the Hong Kong Resident Population. In this case, the respondent is not required to provide the amount of time he/she expects to stay in Hong Kong in the second half of 2021.

      While the future travel plans are always subject to change, respondents are only required to provide a broad range of time they expect to stay in Hong Kong in the second half of 2021. If you are unsure of your travel plans, please just choose the option closest to your expectation with the information at hand.

  • 7.6Part B of the Short Form questionnaire is applicable to “private housing” only. What are the types of housing included?

    • In Part B of the Census Short Form, “private housing” refers to the following types of housing:

      1. Flats and apartments in multi-storey blocks or houses built by the private sector mainly for residential purpose;
      2. Former subsidised sale flats (i.e. those flats that can be traded in the open market), such as flats under Housing Ownership Scheme (HOS) and Tenant Purchase Scheme of the Housing Authority with premium paid, but excluding subsidised sale flats that cannot be traded in the open market (e.g. flats without premium paid and flats in the HOS Secondary Market);
      3. Villas / bungalows / modern village houses;
      4. Simple stone structures / traditional village houses;
      5. Units of quarters in purposely-built staff quarters buildings;
      6. Units used for residential purpose in non-residential buildings (such as commercial buildings and industrial buildings); and
      7. Private temporary structures such as roof-top structures and huts.

  • 8.1Can I refuse to participate in the 2021 Population Census?

    • The 2021 Population Census is conducted under the Census and Statistics (2021 Population Census) Order, which was made by the Chief Executive in Council in October 2020 under section 9 of the Census and Statistics Ordinance.

      Under the Census and Statistics Ordinance, specified persons are legally obliged to provide the information required by the 2021 Population Census.

      Under Section 13(1) of the Ordinance, any person to whom a schedule is delivered under Section 12 of the Ordinance shall complete the schedule or cause it to be completed to the best of his knowledge and belief by providing the information specified, in the manner and within the time indicated, in such schedule and shall thereafter return it in the manner and within the time specified therein. Under Section 14(1) of the Ordinance, every person, whether or not he is a specified person, in possession of information required to be given for the completion of a schedule shall, to the best of his knowledge and belief, answer any question put to him by a census officer which is necessary for the completion of the schedule. Any person who contravenes Sections 13(1) and 14(1) commits an offence.

      Under Section 16 of the Ordinance, any person who enters or causes to be entered in any schedule required to be completed under the Ordinance any particular which he knows to be false or which he does not believe to be true commits an offence.

      Census data are widely used by both the Government and the private sector. It is therefore very important for the Census and Statistics Department to ensure the data are of good quality. This relies very much on the co-operation of the public in providing accurate and complete information. It is therefore necessary for Hong Kong, as in many other places in the world, to make it a legal obligation to provide the data required in the Census. We assure you that data collected regarding individual persons and households will be kept in strict confidence and will not be released to any other parties including government departments. All completed questionnaires, in both paper and electronic forms, will be destroyed on or before June 22, 2022.

  • 8.2When will the completed questionnaires, in both paper and electronic forms, of the 2021 Population Census be destroyed?

    • All completed questionnaires, in both paper and electronic forms, will be destroyed on or before June 22, 2022.

  • 9.1Why do we need a census and a by-census?

    • Since 1961, it has been an established practice in Hong Kong to conduct a population census every 10 years and a population by-census in the middle of the intercensal period.

      The aim of conducting population censuses/by-censuses is to obtain up-to-date benchmark information on the socio-economic characteristics of the population for studying the direction and trend of population changes. The sizable scale of population censuses/by-censuses, as compared to other general sample household surveys, can provide statistics of high precision even for population sub-groups and small geographical areas. The data are key inputs for making projections concerning population, household and labour force. Such information is vital to the Government for planning and policy formulation. It is also important to the private sector for business and research purposes.

  • 9.2How are the census/by-census data used for planning? Can the private sector use the census/by-census results? Please give some examples.

    • The census/by-census will meet the needs of policy bureaux and government departments for up-to-date population data. In particular, it will provide:

      1. benchmark data for studying the direction and trend of population changes, which are key inputs for preparing projections of population, household, labour force and employment;
      2. population data on small areas for population distribution projections, which form the basis for government development programmes at regional and district levels; and
      3. comprehensive data on small population sub-groups, such as persons of different races and single parent families, for the government to plan welfare policies and service programmes.

      Census/by-census data are useful to the private sector for appraising market conditions and planning investment. For example, they are important for estimating customer demand which depend, among other factors, on the size, composition and geographical distribution of the population. Census/by-census data are also widely used by researchers in conducting social and economic researches.

  • 9.3When does the 2021 Population Census be conducted?

    • The 2021 Population Census data collection is conducting from 23 June to 4 August 2021. Besides, a pilot survey was conducted from 23 June to 4 August 2020.

  • 9.4How will the 2021 Population Census data be collected?

    • A multi-modal data collection approach will be used. The 2021 Population Census will be conducted in two phases:

      During the first phase starting on 23 June, households may choose to complete the online questionnaire or call the Census Service Centre hotline at 18 2021 for conducting a telephone interview. For those households selected for simple enumeration, you may also complete and mail back the questionnaires to the Census and Statistics Department.

      During the second phase starting on 18 July, if we do not receive your completed questionnaire, our census officers will visit your household to assist you in providing the required information. Our census officers will carry a Census Officer Certificate of Identity for your checking.

      A pilot survey was conducted from June to August 2020. The pilot survey also adopted the aforesaid multi-modal data collection approach.

      [Service hours of the Census Service Centre: 23 June - 16 August 2021 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.]