중앙데일리

Online census an opportunity

Oct 27,2010
It takes approximately 10 minutes to answer all the questions in this year’s census survey on the Internet.

For the first time, since the introduction of the census in 1925, the government is allowing locals to take the survey online ahead of door-to-door interviews scheduled to begin across the nation on Nov. 1. Using an access code provided to every home, residents can take the survey quickly and easily at www.census.go.kr.

The decision to move the census online is a wise one, as it can save manpower and time. It can also help the government save money and free up resources, as it is quite costly and time consuming to canvass the whole nation by foot.

Many countries around the globe are starting to allow their residents to take the census survey over the Internet, in part to ease the burden on the growing number of working couples and also to ensure more privacy in the process.

The Korean government has set a lofty goal, hoping to get 30 percent of respondents to take the survey online. If it hits that target, the government expects to save an estimated 16 billion won ($14.3 million) - which is a good reason in and of itself to give up just 10 minutes of your time this week if you have access to an Internet connection. Heavy use of the online option could also help further reinforce Korea’s reputation for high Internet use and connectivity.

The census, conducted every five years, builds demographic profiles by region and households. It is often used to set policies on everything from welfare and education to employment and housing. The government can learn, for instance, what regions need more elementary schools or community centers for senior citizens.

The more people take part, the broader data the government can compile to map out appropriate policies.

This is why countries campaign to encourage active participation in the census. Taking the survey is as important as voting. Answering the questionnaire with your children is also beneficial, providing a solid way to explain the purpose and highlight the importance of the census to the next generation. Students who answer the Internet survey with their parents can even gain school credit for two hours of volunteer work.

This year, many countries - including the United States, China and Japan - are planning to conduct a census or have already. This is a prime chance for Korea to stand out from the crowd by leading the way in online participation.



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