My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘China’

China counts 4 times as many people at 1/12 the cost…

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Here’s an article about China’s 2010 Census, which will cost $1.18 billion.

China’s headcount using satellite images to find everyone

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Will actions similar to those in China one day be the norm in the US?

by Xinhua writer Guo Likun

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — From counting toothbrushes on building sites to using remote sensing satellite maps, China’s officials, scholars and census takers are racking their brains to make this year’s national census of the world’s most populous country as accurate as possible.

About 6.5 million census takers will go door-to-door in the first 10 days of the census, which begins on Nov. 1.

Experts say increasing internal migration, greater awareness of privacy, urbanization and children born in violation of the country’s “one child” policy make the census a challenging task.

DESTINATION OR SOURCE?

One of the trickiest questions is how to track China’s large mobile population, which is estimated at 210 million compared with only 100 million a decade ago.

About 75 percent of the mobile population is aged 18 to 40, and about 157 million have moved from rural areas to cities for better job prospects, says Zhang Yi, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Almost half of the labor force in Chinese cities comes from the country’s vast rural areas, says Zhang.

In addition, 30 percent of urban residents are away from their permanent residence, Zhang said.

Duan Chengrong, director of the Research Center for Population and Development under the People’s University of China, says previous censuses mainly focused on the cities, or the destinations of internal migration, to count mobile population.

“But only surveying the destinations of flow increases the chance of leaving some migrant workers uncounted,” Duan said. “So the government has decided to incorporate both the destinations and sources in the upcoming census to get more accurate data.

“Since residents are familiar with each other in small communities like villages, they know who went out and how many of their fellow villagers have gone to cities to work,” said Duan, who is also a member of the nine-member census consultant group under the State Council.

“Generally speaking, we are trying to get an accurate head count from the sources, or the rural areas, and at the same time have an idea of their structure in the cities, such as where have they gone and what do they do in cities,” he said.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, China has conducted national population censuses in 1953, 1964, 1982, 1990 and 2000.

The last census a decade ago counted 1.29533 billion people.

by Xinhua writer Guo Likun

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — From counting toothbrushes on building sites to using remote sensing satellite maps, China’s officials, scholars and census takers are racking their brains to make this year’s national census of the world’s most populous country as accurate as possible.

About 6.5 million census takers will go door-to-door in the first 10 days of the census, which begins on Nov. 1.

Experts say increasing internal migration, greater awareness of privacy, urbanization and children born in violation of the country’s “one child” policy make the census a challenging task.

DESTINATION OR SOURCE?

One of the trickiest questions is how to track China’s large mobile population, which is estimated at 210 million compared with only 100 million a decade ago.

About 75 percent of the mobile population is aged 18 to 40, and about 157 million have moved from rural areas to cities for better job prospects, says Zhang Yi, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Almost half of the labor force in Chinese cities comes from the country’s vast rural areas, says Zhang.

In addition, 30 percent of urban residents are away from their permanent residence, Zhang said.

Duan Chengrong, director of the Research Center for Population and Development under the People’s University of China, says previous censuses mainly focused on the cities, or the destinations of internal migration, to count mobile population.

“But only surveying the destinations of flow increases the chance of leaving some migrant workers uncounted,” Duan said. “So the government has decided to incorporate both the destinations and sources in the upcoming census to get more accurate data.

“Since residents are familiar with each other in small communities like villages, they know who went out and how many of their fellow villagers have gone to cities to work,” said Duan, who is also a member of the nine-member census consultant group under the State Council.

“Generally speaking, we are trying to get an accurate head count from the sources, or the rural areas, and at the same time have an idea of their structure in the cities, such as where have they gone and what do they do in cities,” he said.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, China has conducted national population censuses in 1953, 1964, 1982, 1990 and 2000.

Protectionism 101: Congressman probes why 2010 Census swag is made outside the US

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Though I’ve written about waste for some time on this site, only in recent weeks has my attention turned to 2010 Census swag, particularly because I learned that it has been wasted in large quantities. Now,  Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch, a Democrats, want to investigate why so many 2010 Census promotional materials weren’t made in the US of A. Here’s the scoop from the Boston Herald:

An outraged Massachusetts lawmaker is calling for a congressional probe of the federal government’s purchase of foreign-made census propaganda with taxpayer cash, the Herald has learned.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-S. Boston) is requesting an investigation into the spending by the U.S. Census Bureau on the heels of a Herald report revealing that census swag including hats, T-shirts, toys and other trinkets were made in China and Honduras.

“It is deeply troubling that with 10 percent unemployment the U.S. Census Department, whose central responsibility is to locate Americans, could not locate an American company to provide its hats and T-shirts,” Lynch said. “This does not inspire confidence. We have contacted the Subcommittee on the Census and have asked them to investigate.”

The Herald reported yesterday that boxes of census promotional materials distrubuted in Boston were made overseas.

Census officials said that $42 million was spent on 67 million promotional items as part of a $1 billion ad blitz. A Census spokeswoman said the bureau bought the items from 2,300 American companies. She conceded that some of the companies may have bought materials from overseas companies.

Census officials said assembly, embroidery, stitching, silk screening and other craft work was done in America and that all payments were made to U.S. companies.

The flap has infuriated labor union officials, who blasted the federal government for not doing more to ensure that products paid for with American tax dollars were made in the United States.

The census promotional goods were part of a massive effort to encourage citizens to fill out their 2010 census forms. Much of the promotional material was shipped to local government buildings for distribution to volunteers and part-time workers.

As of last Monday, more than 72 percent of Americans had participated in the census by mail, matching the rate from the last census in 2000.

Denver Colorado sees THOUSANDS of dollars worth of 2010 Census swag unused — including canvas bags

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

My suspicions about waste and leftover swag enabling scammers to do their jobs more easily is proven true yet again. Thanks to Colorado NBC affiliate 9News.com, and specifically investigative reporter Jace Larson for the following. Let’s hope that he follows up on this like he said he will at the bottom of the article:

DENVER – The U.S. Census Bureau spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on promotional items used to convince more people to mail back their census forms, but a 9Wants to Know investigation found thousands of the items were dropped off, unused, at a local high school.

The leftover items, such as backpacks, cloth grocery bags, hats, pins, magnets and business card holders, were dropped off at Lakewood High School last month.

“We probably had, between the backpack style [bags] and the shopping bag style [bags], over 1,000 dropped off,” Lakewood High School Principal Ron Castagna told 9Wants to Know.

He estimates more than 1,000 posters printed in different languages were also dropped off at the school.

An unknown Census worker walked into the school in mid-April and asked the principal if she could leave the items. She did not ask the school to distribute them.

“[She] said, ‘We have extra stuff. We’re wrapping up the Census and we just want to distribute the materials,’” Castagna said.

It did not sit well with him.

“Wait a minute, times are tough and I’m sitting in a position where we’ve got a school district that’s done everything the right way and yet we’re still going to face budget cuts,” he said.

Among the many boxes of posters the Census worker left at the school, were more than 300 promotional posters printed in Farsi. Farsi is the language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan.

9Wants to Know reviewed the U.S. Census Bureau’s numbers from 2000 and found 360 people spoke Farsi in all of Jefferson County at that time.

Castagna says he hopes to let students use the backs of the posters in art classes.

“How much money was spent on items like this that could have been spent someplace else?” Castagna asked.

9Wants to Know broke down Census spending. The U.S. Census Bureau spent $4,899,348 on promotion for 10 states in the Denver region.

U.S. Census Bureau spokeswoman Lauren Shaw says nationally local offices used an average of 98.7 percent of the promotional items ordered. Leftover items account for 1.3 percent of all materials ordered, according to Shaw.

Shaw also says she believed the materials dropped off at Lakewood High School represent unused materials for 10 states that are part of the Denver region, not just one county or one state.

Denver Region Census spokesman Doug Wayland says the spending was worth it.

“Visual items raise awareness about the Census,” Wayland said.

He says promotional materials actually save taxpayers money even if there are extra items left over. He points to national figures to prove his point.

Promotion and advertising nationwide cost $370 million this year. The U.S. Census Bureau says a 2000 advertising and promotional campaign helped boost mail-back participation by about 5 percent. If that happens again this year, the campaign could save taxpayers $425 million. That is because for each percentage increase in the mail-in participation rate, the Census Bureau says taxpayers save $85 million.

When residents mail back the census form, it costs the government 42 cents for postage. When people do not mail it back, a Census worker must go to the home and that costs $57 per house.

Wayland says proof that advertising and promotional campaigns work is in the numbers. The percentage of people who mailed in census forms had declined from 1970 to 1990. In 2000, the first year of an advertising and promotional campaign, the percentage of people who mailed in their census forms increased.

“We reversed three decades of people not sending back their questionnaires,” Wayland said. “Instead of those people not mailing back their questionnaires, they are motivated to mail it back based on those reinforced messages.”

“There’s a term I like to use called image transfer. You see national advertisements on posters and you see the message. Then when you see an item with the Census logo at home there is a transfer of the message that was on TV or on a billboard. Repetition reinforces the message that the Census is important,” Wayland said.

A member of a Colorado policy watchdog group says because the costs of going door-to-door, using promotional materials makes sense.

“They are covering the country in as many ways as possible, through schools, through promotional materials, advertisements on TV through door to door canvassers. They are really making sure every person is counted. That is really important,” Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute Fiscal Project Coordinator Kathy White said.

The Census Bureau says the census is vitally important to funding for local communities in addition to helping Congress decide how many representatives communities, counties and states will have in government bodies.

Nonprofit organizations use census numbers to estimate the number of potential volunteers in communities across the nation.

When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992, census information aided the rescue effort by providing estimates of the number of people in each block, the Census Bureau says on its website.

It also says that census numbers were used to support a request for a new community center in New England. Senior citizens successfully lobbied for a new center before county commissioners, according to the Census Bureau.

The U.S. Census has faced criticism before.

Many Americans were unhappy that the Census sent three letters to households reminding people to fill out the form.

Shaw says that is less expensive than sending a Census worker to homes that would not have otherwise filled out the form.

Also, a government audit alleged in February that the Census Bureau paid employees who never actually worked and paid others who overbilled for travel expenses.

Several 9NEWS viewers question why some of the promotional materials say “Made in China.”

Shaw told 9Wants to Know that the U.S. Census Bureau contracted with American businesses for the materials. She says American businesses chose to use items made overseas, but printed the logos on the bags in the United States. She says the majority of other items were made in the United States.

Global Politics At Work: UC Irvine Students Want To Be Counted As Taiwanese

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

A couple of UC Irvine students aren’t too pleased that there’s no place for them to identify their Taiwanese heritage on the 2010 Census form, so they wrote a song about it. This is a particularly sensitive issue given the long-standing geopolitical feud between mainland China and Taiwan…The girls in the video ultimately decide to choose “Asian” and “Other” and write in “Taiwanese” on their 2010 Census forms so they will be properly counted.

Chinese Census

Monday, May 11th, 2009

2010 won’t just be the year of America’s headcount, as China will be conducting its 6th national census on November 1, 2010. Will the Chinese face the same issues that America faces? How will technology be integrated into their counting procedures? What questions will be asked on Chinese census forms? Hopefully we’ll soon know more information, but for now, here’s the story:

BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) — China plans to conduct its sixth national population census in 2010, the State Council, or the Cabinet, announced on Wednesday.

The census, which begins on November 1, 2010, will survey population, age, nationality, levels of education, profession and population migration.

The census will also collect data on marriage, housing, and social security of Chinese citizens, said a notice posted on the central government’s official website (www.gov.cn).

Vice Premier Li Keqiang will head a steering committee with members from more than 20 government departments and the army, said the notice.

The last census in the world’s most populous country nine years ago found there were 1.29533 billion people in China.

“The population condition has undergone great changes since 2000. New findings from the 2010 census will provide accurate and scientific information for the government to map out plans for economic and social development,” said the notice.