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It is an established practice in Hong Kong to conduct a population census every ten years and a population by-census in the middle of the intercensal period. The next population census will be conducted in 2021. The aim is to obtain up-to-date benchmark information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population as well as its detailed geographical distribution. The information is useful for the planning of social services and facilities both at the territory-wide level and in your community.

Survey Design

About nine-tenths of the households will be subject to simple enumeration to provide basic demographic information of their household members, while the remaining one-tenth of the households will be subject to more detailed enquiry on a broad range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics of their household members.

Simple enumeration covers only some basic questions. On the other hand, more detailed enquiry includes not only those questions covered in the simple enumeration, but also additional ones related to the socio-economic characteristics of the population and the characteristics of households and quarters. Taking together the common information collected in both the simple enumeration and more detailed enquiry will give the complete enumeration results on the basic characteristics of the population. It will also form the basis for estimation of the detailed socio-economic characteristics collected through the more detailed enquiry.


The 2021 Population Census will be conducted from 23 June to 4 August 2021.

Data Collection Method

The 2021 Population Census adopt a multi-modal data collection approach which will be conducted in two phases.

First phase: starting on 23 June
All households will receive a Population Census notification letter before end June 2021. You may provide data through the following means:

  1. Complete online questionnaire
  2. Conduct telephone interview (census hotline at 18 2021)
  3. Mail back completed questionnaire (applicable to households receiving paper questionnaire)

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. To reduce face-to-face contact and maintain social distance, you are cordially invited to provide the required information by online or paper questionnaire or via telephone means.

Population Coverage

The 2021 Population Census will cover all persons within the definition of the Hong Kong Resident Population under the “resident population” approach.

The “resident population” approach has been adopted to compile the population estimates of Hong Kong since August 2000, so as to take account of the changing residency and mobility patterns of the Hong Kong population.


Since 1961, a population census has been conducted in Hong Kong every ten years and a by-census in the middle of the intercensal period.

Population censuses were conducted in 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 while population by-censuses in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016.

If you would like to have more information about the past population censuses / by-censuses, please visit the following websites: