What is the Census 2020 about?

  1. What is Census of Population 2020?
  2. Why Census 2020?
  3. How is Census 2020 conducted?
  4. Who were selected for Census 2020?
  5. Who is required to take part in the Census 2020?
  6. What are the types of Census 2020 information that are collected?
  7. Why are the Census 2020 information collected?
  8. How reliable, accurate and comprehensive will the results of the Census 2020 be?
  9. How are households selected?
  10. Where are the latest Census data published?
  11. Who is responsible for the management of the Census 2020?

What do I need to know as a Census 2020 respondent?

  1. What if I am not at home or am overseas when I receive the notification letter to respond to Census 2020?         
  2. I tried calling the hotline but the line was busy. How do I proceed?
  3. Is the department able to obtain all my required information from government agencies?

How is my information protected?

  1. How does DOS keep the individual data collected from Census 2020 confidential?
  2. Is my information provided over the Internet secured?

What if I am not interested…

  1. Can I opt out of the survey?
  2. What actions can be taken if a person refuses to participate or cooperate?

 

1. What is Census of Population 2020?

Many countries conduct Population Censuses to provide basic statistical profile of their population. In Singapore, the Census of Population is conducted once in ten years. It is the single largest household survey undertaken in Singapore, collecting information on key characteristics of the population and households.

Singapore’s Census 2020 is the sixth census carried out since Independence and the fifteenth in the series of census-taking in Singapore.

 

2. Why Census 2020?

Census 2020 collects comprehensive snapshot of the population’s characteristics since Census 2010. The compiled data will be used by Government Ministries, Departments and public sector agencies as inputs for policy planning and formulation. It will also be used by researchers, academia and the general public.

 

3. How is Census 2020 conducted?

Basic population count and characteristics such as age, sex and ethnic group are compiled from administrative sources. For detailed information not available from administrative sources, the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) surveys a representative sample of households to collect the information.

Respondents can choose to submit their Census returns through Internet, telephone interviews or face-to-face interviews. Please note that the Census 2020 survey has ended. Detailed Census 2020 statistical releases are expected to be released progressively from first half of 2021. More updates on the statistical releases will be available at our website at www.singstat.gov.sg nearer the release date.

4. Who were selected for Census 2020?

A sample of some 150,000 households were selected for the survey. The sample design and selection process are based on an established sampling methodology to ensure an accurate representation of the population.

 

5. Who is required to take part in the Census 2020?

The register-based approach is adopted whereby basic characteristics of the population is obtained from administrative sources. These include basic demographic information such as age, sex, ethnicity. A sample of some 150,000 households is surveyed to provide detailed information. All persons residing in the selected addresses, including Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and non-residents comprising foreigners who are working, studying or living in Singapore, are required to take part. The transient population, such as tourists and short-term visitors, are excluded.

 

6. What are the types of Census 2020 information that are collected?

The types of information collected include socio-economic characteristics as well as some topics of current interest. Together, the Census 2020 information covers topics on demography, household composition and relationships, occupation, industry, education, transport, religion, difficulty in performing basic activities, characteristics of Singaporeans overseas etc.

For the detailed list of data items covered and how they will be used, please refer to Census 2020 Data Topics and Uses.

 

7. Why are the Census 2020 information collected?

The Census is conducted once in ten years and is the single largest national survey undertaken in Singapore. Information on key characteristics of the population and households are collected and used for planning and evaluation of programmes and services. This is in line with the UN’s recommendation and international best practices for countries to conduct the national censuses at least once in every 10 years, in or close to years ending with “0”, to allow for better international comparability of census data.

For the detailed list of data items covered and how they will be used, please refer to Census 2020 Data Topics and Uses.

 

8. How reliable, accurate and comprehensive will the results of the Census 2020 be?

With the wide coverage of the Census 2020, the information gathered are reliable and comprehensive. The accuracy of the information will depend on the responses provided by the respondents during the interview or via the Internet. The full co-operation of the respondents is therefore critical to the success of this national project.

 

9. How are households selected?

The sample for the Census of Population 2020 was selected from a sampling frame comprising all residential dwelling units in Singapore.

The sample was selected based on a stratified design. Dwelling units in the sampling frame were divided into different groups (or strata) using information such as broad dwelling type and geographical area. A random sample was then selected from each group and combined to form the required sample of some 150,000 dwelling units.

As this is a sample survey, while a particular household may be selected to participate in the Census of Population 2020, the neighbouring household(s) may not be selected.

 

10. Where is the latest Census data published?

Information collected in the Census 2020 will be published for use by government organisations, private businesses and members of the public.

Findings from the latest Census of Population 2010 and General Household Survey 2015 are available on the Department’s website.

 

11. Who is responsible for the management of the Census 2020?

The Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS), Ministry of Trade and Industry, is responsible for the management and operations of the Census 2020.

  

12. What if I am not at home or am overseas when I receive the notification letter to respond to Census 2020?

DOS obtains information of overseas Singaporeans from other members staying in the same address. Please note that the Census 2020 survey has ended. Detailed Census 2020 statistical releases are expected to be released progressively from first half of 2021. More updates on the statistical releases will be available at our website at www.singstat.gov.sg nearer the release date.

  

13. I tried calling the hotline but the line was busy. How do I proceed?

Please note that the Census 2020 survey has ended. Detailed Census 2020 statistical releases are expected to be released progressively from first half of 2021. More updates on the statistical releases will be available at our website at www.singstat.gov.sg nearer the release date. 

 

14. Is the department able to obtain all my required information from government agencies?

Our Department has used administrative data from government departments where available to update our statistical database and supplement data collected in our survey. These include basic demographic information such as age, sex, ethnicity. However, not all data required are available from other government agencies.

The information not available from other government agencies are collected from households during Census 2020, and we appreciate respondents’ understanding and co-operation in providing the information.

 

15. How does DOS keep the individual data collected from Census 2020 confidential?

All our Department’s officers handling the individual survey information are required to sign the undertakings under the Statistics Act (Chapter 317) as well as the Official Secrets Act (Chapter 213). They are fully aware of the provisions and the need to safeguard such information. The information collected will be used solely for statistical purposes.

The Census 2020 is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics Act (Chapter 317). Responses provided for the Census 2020 will be kept in confidence in accordance with the Statistics Act.

 

16. Is the information I provided over the Internet secured?

Data provided over the Internet are transferred via an encrypted and secured network so confidentiality is assured. Information can only be accessed with the login credentials of members of your household. As a best practice, you are advised not to share your login credentials.

We are committed to ensure that data provided are kept safe and confidential so our survey respondents have the confidence to continue to provide the requisite information for compilation of accurate official statistics.

 

17. Can I opt out of the survey?

Households covered in the Census 2020 are selected using established sampling method to ensure representativeness of the sample. Each household’s participation in the Census 2020 is crucial to ensure that representative data are collected. Census 2020 is conducted under the Statistics Act (Chapter 317) which requires all selected households to provide the necessary information for the survey. The Act also ensures that the confidentiality of your return is safeguarded. Our Department values and seeks your understanding and cooperation in participating in the Census 2020.

 

18. What actions can be taken if a person refuses to participate or cooperate?

The Census 2020 is a compulsory survey conducted under the Statistics Act (Chapter 317). Any person who refuses to answer, or knowingly provides false information, or hinders the performance of a Census 2020 officer, shall be guilty of an offence. The penalties stated in the Statistics Act (Chapter 317) include a fine not exceeding $1,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $100 for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.