Population Census

The Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistics. Statistical projects of DSEC cover a wide range of areas, including transport and communications, services sector, whole and retail trade, prices, external merchandise trade, construction, industrial production, energy, population, employment, education, health, environment, crimes, and gross domestic product. Among them, the population census, conducted once every ten years, is one of the largest statistical projects.

Macao population refers to individuals who usually live in Macao, comprising usual population and mobile population, which is determined based on their duration of stay in Macao (for more details, refer to Statistical Literacy: How do we define “Usual Population” and “Mobile Population”?). Population census covers all units for residential, commercial or other purposes in Macao, and individuals living or staying in these units at the census moment are enumerated. Therefore, if you are a Macao resident studying abroad for years and were not in Macao at the census moment, you are not counted as Macao population. Macao residents are not equivalent to Macao population. Otherwise, a population census is not needed and we may just need to count the number of identity cards issued by the Identification Services.
The first population census of Macao was conducted in 1867 when the resident population was about 80,000. Until now, Macao has had 14 rounds of population census. In the 1991 Census, mobile population was included into the census coverage in order to obtain the “de facto” population of Macao. With the social and economic development of Macao, living and housing conditions have improved. Hence, starting from the 2001 Census, information on basic housing facilities such as availability of toilet and electricity supply is no longer collected, while data on matters of public concern such education, economic characteristics, etc. are collected.
Results of population census are crucial to the development of Macao. Census data reflect changes in the structure and socio-economic characteristics of the population in recent years, and serve as essential reference for the Government of Macao SAR in policy formulation, particularly in education, housing, transport, health, social services, etc. Moreover, the data are vital for the private sector and academic in business planning and research studies.
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