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Population and housing cencus collects information on foreigners residing in Vietnam
Khanh Khanh 14:08, 2024/04/07
The mid-term population and housing census will be conducted from April 1 to April 30.

Vietnam has conducted the population and housing census, which will for the first time collect information on foreigners living in Vietnam, Cao Van Hoach, Deputy Director of the Statistical Data Collection and Information Technology Application Department told the Tinnhanhchungkhoan newspaper about this issue.

The Ministry of Public Security is running a project on the development of the application of population database, e-identification and e-authentication for national digital transformation. So why is it necessary to conduct the mid-term population and housing census?

 A poster for the mid-term population and housing census 2024. Photos: VNA

Population censuses in general, and  the mid-term population and housing census    in particular, aim to collect information about people in the actual socio-economic life of a geographical area, a country, based on criteria used worldwide. These criteria are not entirely uniform with the regulations of the national population database.

Specifically, to determine a person to be counted in the population of a given administrative area, the population survey is based on the concept of "actual permanent population", which refers to people who have had stable residence in the area for six months or longer, or less than six months but intend to have stable residence in the area, regardless of whether they have the necessary residence documents such as household registration, temporary residence registration.

Meanwhile, citizens must go through the procedures of household registration, temporary residence registration in order to be registered in the population database of a particular locality in the national population database. If citizens do not follow the prescribed processes, they are not included in the population of the place of their actual residence.

For example, there are currently millions of people registered as permanent residents of mountainous provinces in the North, Central, and Mekong Delta regions, but who live and work in Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi. The National Population Database records them in their place of permanent registration, but the Population Survey records them as the population of the place where they work and live.

This results in differences between the population data managed on the IDs and the actual population data in a locality, causing difficulties in managing and allocating the actual resources in the locality.

Therefore, if information on population and housing is not collected, there will be no basis for evaluating the progress of the Socio-Economic Development Plan for the period 2021-2025 or for preparing the Socio-Economic Development Plan for the period 2026-2030.

Moreover, there will also be no data to monitor to monitor how well Vietnam is implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which Vietnam has committed.

The current survey includes collecting residential information that people prefer not to share, especially regarding real estate. Is it a challenge?

In addition to collecting information on the population, this midterm census will collect data on household housing and other important statistical indicators for assessing the quality of life of the population, such as the proportion of children under five who are not registered at birth, the educational attainment of the population, and the characteristics of household housing. These indicators are not currently be obtained from the national population database.

Few people are willing to share information about their assets, especially high-value assets such as real estate and land. Therefore, census takers visit each household to inquire about the information provided and record all responses using Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) developed on smart mobile devices. When collecting information on housing, surveyors must visually inspect the house, plot or apartment and record the results on the survey form to minimize discrepancies between the household's declaration and actual assets.

Why are foreigners subject to information collection, as they usually stay in Vietnam for a limited period of time?

 Surveyors collect information from households.

Although statistics on foreign residents in Vietnam are collected by various government departments, management bodies and statistical reports, at present these data are fragmented, inconsistent and cannot be effectively used for management.

The information collected on this group serves as a basis for compiling statistical indicators that provide reliable data to assess the size, socio-economic characteristics and demographic features of foreigners residing in Vietnam.

This allows for the development of appropriate policies to facilitate the living and working conditions of foreigners and contribute to the socio-economic development. Foreigners are an important resource for the economic and social development of any country.

In addition, the inclusion of foreigners in the target population of the survey ensures compliance with international statistical standards and recommendations for population statistics, while at the same time supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.

For the first time, Vietnam is conducting a census of foreigners living and working in the country. Do you think this is a complex and challenging issue?

Collecting information on foreigners is challenging because of their diverse backgrounds and the fact that most do not speak Vietnamese. For foreigners who are fluent in Vietnamese, face-to-face interviews are conducted. However, if they do not speak Vietnamese, information is obtained from Vietnamese living in the same household.

The foreigner survey includes ten questions on gender, age, nationality, place of birth, mobility status, housing situation, and more. We combine direct (through interpretation) and indirect (through survey forms) methods of collecting information from foreigners. The survey forms are translated into six languages, including English, French, Russian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, and sent to foreign households where none of the family members can speak Vietnamese.

Foreigners who wish to live and work in Vietnam on a long-term basis should abide by the laws of their host country. I believe that they will cooperate with the census takers and provide honest and complete information as required by the survey.

Thank you!

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