BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday started a once-in-a-decade population count, with six million census takers going door-to-door in the next 10 days to document demographic changes in the world's most populous country.
Census takers are expected to visit every household and not leave one person uncounted, Feng Nailin, chief of the Population Department with China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
Most people surveyed will be asked to fill out an 18-item questionnaire. Only 10 percent of those surveyed will be asked to fill out a 45-item questionnaire. Questions to be answered range from residency, children to employment.
Foreigners in China will be surveyed for the first time in the census. But those on short-term business or sight-seeing trips will not be covered.
The census will collect data on foreigner's name, age, gender, nationality, educational attainment, purpose and duration of stay. Questionnaires for foreigners are simpler than those for Chinese and are written in Chinese and English.
Statistics of this census will be calculated in December and the main results will be released by the end of April 2011.
Top government officials with the State Council, the Cabinet, said earlier that the census is an important way to know the country better and it will provide a basis for policy making.
China has begun conducting a national population census every 10 years since 1990. The previous five censuses only covered Chinese nationals on the mainland.
In the last census conducted in 2000, China's population stood at 1.295 billion.