As responses to the 2021 Population Census have only reached 58 per cent, the collection period has been extended until Saturday.
Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) Director Ieong Meng Chao, speaking on a TDM radio phone-in programme, said that due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the bureau decided to extend its collection period to 28 August, adding that since Monday census takers have been visiting local households.
He noted that last Saturday the response rate stood at 52 per cent, adding that in two days of census takers visiting residents’ homes the rate had already increased to 58 per cent. He said he believed that the response rate would “accelerate” in the next few days.
Ieong also said that it was more difficult to conduct the survey in low-rise buildings that do not have management offices as census takers are often unable to enter the building. He also underlined that census takers will leave a letter on the door or in the letter box of those households that they are unable to contact, so that residents can schedule a suitable time for an in-person survey.
Ieong said that the probability of prolonging the census period is low because the bureau only has a limited number of census takers.
Ieong said that this year’s census does not include Macao residents who live in the mainland. He noted that around 13,500 Macao residents live in the mainland but work or study in Macao, adding that those are not included in the survey.
Ieong told a caller to the programme that residents only need to fill in the census form for the flat where he or she spends the most time, indicating how many people are living there. He also said that those residents need to call the bureau to inform them whether the other properties are being lived in or are vacant, but they do not need to fill in the form again.
Ieong noted that in the past 30 years, the population of Macao increased from 300,000 to 680,000. He said the population increase was faster than in neighbouring regions. Ieong also said that until the end of 2020, Macao’s male and female ratio was 46.8:53.2, pointing out that there are more females in Macao because women tend to live longer than men and also because more female than male non-resident workers, known as blue-card holders, are in Macao.
Ieong said that according to the data, Macao has an ageing population, pointing out that the number of senior citizens (aged 65 or above) increased from 7.2 per cent in 2011 to 12.9 per cent in 2020. He said he believed that the number of senior citizens will reach 14 per cent within the next two to three years, reported The Macau Post Daily.
Ieong also said that in this year’s survey, the bureau added a question about senior citizens’ ability to take care of themselves, including who takes care of them, where they live, and whether there is a lift in their buildings. He said he hoped the data would be useful for the government’s policy planning for civil society and senior citizens’ services.