Census And Statistics Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.
Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 316 CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To provide for the taking of a census of population and the collection, compilation and publication of statistical
information concerning Hong Kong and for matters connected therewith; and to repeal the Census Ordinance.


[26 May 1978]


(Originally 38 of 1978)

Part: I PRELIMINARY 30/06/1997




Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Census and Statistics Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 30/06/1997


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"census officer" (統計員) means-

(a) the Commissioner;
(b) any person employed or whose services are used under section 5;

"census of population" (人口普查) means a census of population taken under section 9;
"Commissioner" (處長) means the Commissioner for Census and Statistics appointed under section 3;
"functions" (職能) includes powers and duties;
"occupier" (佔用人), in relation to any premises, includes any person in charge or command thereof and, where such

person is a corporation, any director, secretary, manager or other person concerned in the management of the
corporation or actually in charge of the premises on behalf of the corporation;

"premises" (處所) includes-
(a) any land;
(b) any building or other structure, whether permanent or temporary;
(c) any part of any premises which is used as a dwelling or place of business or other activity separately

from any other part;
(d) any vessel, train, aircraft or vehicle;

"sampling" (抽樣) means a statistical procedure by which information relating to a whole field of inquiry is derived
by applying statistical techniques to information obtained in respect of a proportion of the total number of
persons concerned in the relevant field of inquiry;

"schedule" (統計表格) means any form or other document issued by the Commissioner for collecting statistical
information in any statistical inquiry;

"specified person" (指明的人), in relation to any statistical inquiry, means a person of a class or description of
persons specified for the purpose of such inquiry in an order under section 9(2)(a)(iii) or section 11(2)(a)(iii) or
in a notice under section 11A(2)(a)(ii); (Amended 1 of 1990 s. 2)

"statistical inquiry" (統計查詢) means-
(a) a census of population;
(b) a survey carried out under this Ordinance; (Replaced 1 of 1990 s. 2)

"statistical survey" (統計調查) means a survey carried out under Part III; (Added 1 of 1990 s. 2)
"undertaking" (經營) means any undertaking whether by way of trade or business or otherwise;
"voluntary statistical survey" (自願性質的統計調查) means a survey carried out under Part IIIA; (Added 1 of 1990

s. 2)



Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 2

(Amended 1 of 1990 s. 2)

Section: 3 Commissioner for Census and Statistics 31 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 31 of 1999 s. 3


(1) There shall be a Commissioner for Census and Statistics who shall be appointed by the Chief Executive.
(Amended 31 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Any person holding or acting in the public office of Commissioner for Census and Statistics immediately
before the commencement of this Ordinance shall continue to hold or to act in such office, as the case may be, as if
appointed under this section.

Section: 4 Functions of Commissioner 30/06/1997


Subject to this Ordinance, the functions of the Commissioner are-
(a) to make such arrangements and to do all such things as are necessary for the taking of any census of

population or the carrying out of any survey;
(b) to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial,

industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people,
and for those purposes to design and use such schedules as he thinks fit and to lay down the instructions and
procedures necessary for the proper distribution, completion and return thereof.

Section: 5 Temporary employment of persons as census officers 30/06/1997


(1) The Commissioner may employ temporarily, whether for payment or otherwise, such number of persons to
be census officers as may appear to him to be necessary for the purpose of carrying out any statistical inquiry.

(2) The Commissioner may, with the approval of the Secretary for the Civil Service, use the services of any
public officer for the purposes of any statistical inquiry.

(3) The duties of a person employed under subsection (1) or whose services are used under subsection (2) shall
be such as the Commissioner may determine.

Section: 6 Declaration of secrecy 30/06/1997


Every census officer shall, before entering upon his duties, complete a declaration either in Form 1 or Form 2 in
the Schedule.

Section: 7 Identification of census officers 30/06/1997


(1) The Commissioner shall issue to every census officer who is engaged in a statistical inquiry a certificate
specifying the nature of the inquiry and stating that the person named therein is authorized to act as a census officer
for the purpose of that inquiry; and a census officer shall produce such certificate for inspection by any person who
may question his authority to exercise any function conferred on a census officer by this Ordinance.

(2) A certificate purporting to be issued under subsection (1) by the Commissioner shall be admissible in
evidence in any civil or criminal proceedings and shall, until the contrary is proved, be sufficient evidence of the facts
stated therein.

(3) In addition to the issue of a certificate under subsection (1), the Commissioner may issue to census officers
such insignia, arm bands or other tokens as he may consider necessary for the purpose of identification.

Section: 8 Power of Chief Executive to give directions 31 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 31 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive may give to the Commissioner or any other public officer such directions as he thinks



Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 3

fit with respect to the exercise or performance of his functions under this Ordinance, and such directions may be given
generally or in respect of any particular case.

(2) A person to whom a direction is given by the Chief Executive under subsection (1) shall, in the exercise or
performance of his functions under this Ordinance, comply with that direction.

(Amended 31 of 1999 s. 3)

Part: II CENSUS OF POPULATION 30/06/1997




Section: 9 Power to direct census of population to be taken 31 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 31 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive in Council may, by order in the Gazette, direct that a census of population be taken for
Hong Kong or any part thereof. (Amended 31 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Any order made under subsection (1) in respect of a census of population-
(a) shall specify-

(i) the purpose for which the census is required;
(ii) the persons, premises, establishments or other matters, in respect of which particulars for the

purpose of the census are to be obtained;
(iii) the class or description of persons who are required to give information for the purpose of the

census;
(iv) the date or dates on which or the period in respect of which the census is to be taken;
(v) the date by which all completed schedules collected or received by census officers for the census

and all copies thereof shall be destroyed; and
(b) may authorize the use of sampling methods for the collection of information relevant to the census.


Section: 10 Enumeration of armed forces and travellers 23 of 1998; 2 of

2012
01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 23 of 1998 s. 2; 2 of 2012 s. 3


The Commissioner may, in such manner as he thinks fit, obtain such particulars as may be required for the
purposes of any census of population regarding-

(a) any naval, military or air force personnel for the time being in Hong Kong whether engaged in the
Chinese People’s Liberation Army or in the armed forces of any foreign state; and (Amended 23 of
1998 s. 2; 2 of 2012 s. 3)

(b) any persons who, at the time of the taking of the census, are travelling or are on board any vessel or for
any reason are not residing in any premises of which account is to be taken in the census.


Part: III STATISTICAL SURVEYS 30/06/1997




Section: 11 Power to direct statistical surveys L.N. 106 of 2002 01/07/2002


(1) The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury may, by order in the Gazette, direct that a statistical
survey be carried out in relation to any matter specified in section 4(b) other than a census of population. (Amended
87 of 1993 s. 2; L.N. 106 of 2002)

(2) An order made under subsection (1)-
(a) shall specify-

(i) the purposes for which the survey is required;
(ii) the persons in respect of whom or matters in respect of which information is to be given for such



Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 4

purposes;
(iii) the class or description of persons who are required to give information for such purposes;
(iv) the date by which all completed schedules collected or received by census officers for the survey

and all copies thereof shall be destroyed; and
(b) may-

(i) specify the date or dates on which or the period in respect of which the survey is to be carried
out;

(ii) require any specified person to furnish to the Commissioner, in such form and manner and within
such time as may be specified in the order, such estimates or returns as may be so specified
relating to the matters which are the subject of the survey;

(iii) authorize the use of sampling methods for the collection of the statistical information relevant to
the survey.


Part: IIIA VOLUNTARY STATISTICAL SURVEYS 30/06/1997


(Part IIIA added 1 of 1990 s. 3)

Section: 11A Notification of voluntary statistical survey 30/06/1997


(1) The Commissioner may, by notice in the Gazette, declare his intention to carry out a voluntary statistical
survey under this Part to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the
commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) shall give a descriptive title to the survey and-
(a) shall so far as is practicable having regard to the purposes of the survey, specify-

(i) the nature of the survey;
(ii) the class or description of persons from whom information is sought;
(iii) the date by which all completed schedules collected or received by census officers for the survey

and all copies thereof shall be destroyed; and
(b) may-

(i) specify the date or dates on which or the period in respect of which the survey is to be carried
out;

(ii) permit the use of sampling methods for the collection of the statistical information relevant to the
survey.

(Added 1 of 1990 s. 3)

Section: 11B Sections 13 to 17 disapplied 30/06/1997


Expanded Cross Reference:

13, 14, 15, 16, 17



Sections 13 to 17 shall not apply to a survey carried out under this Part.

(Added 1 of 1990 s. 3)

Part: IV DELIVERY AND COMPLETION OF SCHEDULES 30/06/1997




Section: 12 Delivery of schedules 30/06/1997


(1) For the purpose of carrying out a statistical inquiry, the Commissioner may direct any census officer to
deliver, in accordance with such direction, to any specified person one or more schedules for completion by such
person.

(2) For the purpose of taking a census of population, the Commissioner may direct any census officer to deliver
or cause to be delivered to the person in charge of any of the following premises-



Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 5

(a) any public or private institution of any kind whatsoever in which inmates reside, whether for payment
or otherwise, including any penal, corrective or remand establishment; or

(b) any hotel, boarding house, lodging-house, club or other residential establishment,
a schedule to be completed by that person in respect of the persons who, at the time of taking the census, are in or
upon such premises.

(3) Delivery under subsection (1) of a schedule to a specified person may be effected-
(a) personally by a census officer;
(b) by being sent by post to the last known postal address of such specified person;
(c) by being left by a census officer at his last known residential address or at any undertaking of such

specified person, or in the case of a corporation, at its registered office or principal place of business.
(4) For the purpose of providing information for specified persons generally in relation to a statistical inquiry,

including the instructions and procedures laid down under section 4 for the completion of schedules, the
Commissioner may give such publicity to the inquiry by means of advertisements or otherwise as he may deem fit.

Section: 13 Completion and return of schedules 30/06/1997


(1) Any person (not being a person to whom subsection (2) applies) to whom a schedule relating to a statistical
inquiry is delivered under section 12 shall complete it or cause it to be completed to the best of his knowledge and
belief by providing the information specified, in the manner and within the time indicated, in such schedule and shall
thereafter return it in the manner and within the time specified therein.

(2) If any person to whom a schedule is delivered under section 12 is unable either himself to complete it in the
manner or within the time indicated therein, or to cause some other person so to complete it, he shall return the
schedule in the manner and within the time specified therein and shall declare, either verbally or in writing, his
inability to complete the schedule and the reasons for such inability.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1) or (2), any census officer charged with the delivery of
any schedule for completion by any person for the purpose of any statistical inquiry may either at the request of such
person or of his own motion, obtain verbally from such person the particulars required for completion of the schedule
and complete the schedule in the manner required.

(4) Where any specified person is-
(a) resident outside Hong Kong;
(b) a corporation incorporated outside Hong Kong;
(c) unable to complete a schedule by reason of sickness, absence or other sufficient cause,

the delivery of a schedule to the premises of any such specified person shall, for the purposes of this section, be a
sufficient requirement to any manager or agent of the specified person, who is in possession of or has access to the
information required therefor, to complete the schedule and to return it in the manner directed therein.

(5) Where reasonable grounds exist for believing that any specified person has withheld or incorrectly given
any information in his possession which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is required for the purpose of the
completion by such specified person of any schedule, and the Commissioner so directs, a census officer may, at any
reasonable time and on production of the certificate issued to him under section 7 for examination by any person
requiring evidence of his identity, enter any premises occupied by such specified person and may therein-

(a) deliver or collect any schedule or make any inquiries necessary for the completion or checking thereof;
(b) inspect, extract information from or make copies of any document for the purpose of completing any

schedule;
(c) check any information obtained or obtain any further information required in respect of any statistical

inquiry;
and may, in the light of any information so obtained, complete any schedule or add to or delete from any schedule any
name or particular or otherwise correct any material particular therein:

Provided that the powers conferred by this subsection shall not be exercisable in relation to any statistical
inquiry except-

(i) where a date is or dates are specified in the order relating to that statistical inquiry under section
9(2)(a)(iv) or, as the case may be, section 11(2)(b)(i), within 2 months after that date or the later of
those dates; or

(ii) where a period is so specified, within that period and the period of 12 months next thereafter.
(6) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.





Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 6

Section: 14 Questions by census officers to be answered 30/06/1997


(1) Every person, whether or not he is a specified person, in possession of information required to be given for
the completion of a schedule shall, to the best of his knowledge and belief, answer any question put to him by a census
officer which is necessary for the completion of the schedule.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

Part: V GENERAL 30/06/1997




Section: 15 Duty of occupiers to grant access to premises 30/06/1997


(1) The occupier of any premises shall permit any census officer seeking access to the premises in accordance
with section 13 to enter the premises for the purpose of the exercise of any of his functions under that section.

(2) The occupier of any premises shall, upon the request of a census officer, permit such officer to paint or
mark on or affix to such premises any letters, marks, numbers or other means of identification which appear to the
Commissioner to be necessary for the purpose of carrying out a statistical inquiry.

(3) Any person who-
(a) refuses or fails to comply with any request made to him by a census officer under subsection (1) or (2);

or
(b) before the expiration of a period of 2 months from the date on which any letter, mark, number or other

means of identification is painted or marked or affixed by a census officer under subsection (2),
removes or obliterates or alters such letter, mark, number or other means of identification without the
permission of a census officer,

commits an offence.

Section: 16 False entries in schedules or returns 30/06/1997


Any person who enters or causes to be entered in any schedule or return required to be completed or made by
him under this Ordinance any particular which he knows to be false or which he does not believe to be true commits
an offence.

Section: 17 Obstructing census officers 30/06/1997


Any person who obstructs any census officer acting in the course of his duty under this Ordinance commits an
offence.

Section: 18 Impersonation of census officers, etc. 30/06/1997


Any person who-
(a) with the intention of obtaining any information from any person, impersonates a census officer; or
(b) without lawful excuse, has in his possession any document purporting to be a certificate issued under

section 7(1) or any insignia, arm band or other token issued under section 7(3) or any insignia, arm
band or token so nearly resembling any such insignia, arm band or other token as to be likely to
deceive,

commits an offence.

Section: 19 Offences by census officers 30/06/1997


Any census officer and any person engaged in the preparation of any schedule, return, abstract, report or other
document in connexion with any statistical inquiry who-

(a) without reasonable cause, refuses or neglects to comply with any lawful instruction issued to him by
the Commissioner;

(b) in the pretended performance of his duties under this Ordinance, obtains or seeks to obtain any



Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 7

information which he is not authorized to obtain; or
(c) knowingly makes any false return or alters any particular contained in any such schedule, return,

abstract, report or other document with intent to falsify the same,
commits an offence.

Section: 20 Custody of documents 30/06/1997


Any person having the custody, whether on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person, of-
(a) any schedule completed or return made under this Ordinance; or
(b) any abstract, report or other document containing particulars (other than particulars to which section

22(2) applies) obtained in the course of any statistical inquiry which enable identification of any
individual or undertaking,

who fails to keep such schedule, return, abstract, report or other document at all times in a manner reasonably
calculated to prevent any unauthorized person having access thereto commits an offence.

Section: 21 Offence to publish information knowingly received in

contravention of Ordinance
30/06/1997



Any person who publishes or communicates any information which to his knowledge has been disclosed in
contravention of this Ordinance to any other person commits an offence.

Section: 22 Restriction on publication and disclosure 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), any person who publishes or shows to any person otherwise than in the
performance of any function under this Ordinance-

(a) any schedule or other document or part thereof completed or any return or part thereof made for any of
the purposes of this Ordinance;

(b) any answer given to any question put for any of the purposes of this Ordinance; or
(c) any particulars obtained in the course of any statistical inquiry which enable identification of an

individual or undertaking,
commits an offence.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), it shall not be an offence to publish or show to any person any particulars
referred to in subsection (1)(c) which-

(a) enable identification of an undertaking by reason only of the fact that they relate to that undertaking as
being within a particular classification but do not enable identification of the capital employed or
profits arising in such undertaking;

(b) disclose in any directory of undertakings or otherwise any or any combination of the following
particulars, namely, the name, the address, the type of business or the number of employees of any
undertaking.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be taken to prohibit-
(a) the publication by the Commissioner of any statistical information in the form of abstracts, printed

publications, press releases or otherwise as he may deem fit:
Provided that in compiling any report, summary or communication to the public of information

obtained under this Ordinance, the Commissioner shall so arrange it as to prevent any particulars
published therein (other than particulars to which subsection (2) applies) from being identified as
particulars relating to any particular individual or undertaking except with the previous consent in
writing of the individual or, as the case may be, of the person carrying on the undertaking;

(b) the production of such evidence as may be necessary for the purpose of any proceedings instituted for
an offence against this Ordinance.

(4) The Commissioner shall not be required to disclose any information obtained in the course of or as a result
of any statistical inquiry to or for inspection by or for the use of any other authority for the purpose of or in connexion
with the investigation of crime or the assessment or levying of any tax.




Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 8

Section: 23 Penalties 30/06/1997


(1) Any person who commits an offence under section 13, 14, 15 or 19(a) is liable to a fine of $500.
(2) Any person who commits an offence under section 16, 17, 18, 19(b) or (c), 20, 21 or 22 is liable to a fine of

$5000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 24 Consent of Secretary for Justice required for prosecution

of offences
L.N. 362 of 1997 01/07/1997



No prosecution for an offence against this Ordinance shall be commenced without the written consent of the
Secretary for Justice.

(Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

Section: 25 Information obtained by statistical inquiry not admissible

in evidence
30/06/1997



No census officer nor any other person shall be required in any civil or criminal proceedings whatsoever to give
in evidence any information relating to particulars concerning any person, institution or undertaking obtained by him
in the course of and as a result of his connexion with any statistical inquiry or with the preparation of any schedule,
return, abstract, report or other document compiled in connexion with such inquiry; and no schedule completed or
return made under this Ordinance, nor any abstract, report or other document (other than an abstract, report or other
document published in accordance with section 22) which contains particulars relating to any individual, institution or
undertaking obtained in the course of and as a result of any statistical inquiry, shall be admissible in evidence in any
such proceedings: (Amended L.N. 386 of 1993)

Provided that nothing in this section shall be taken to prohibit the production of such evidence as may be
necessary for the purpose of any proceedings instituted for an offence against this Ordinance.

Section: 26 Regulations 31 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 31 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive in Council may by regulations provide for the better carrying out of the provisions of
this Ordinance. (Amended 31 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Regulations made under this section may provide that a contravention of any specified provision of such
regulations shall be an offence and may prescribe penalties therefor not exceeding a fine of $1000.

Section: 27 Amendment of Schedule 31 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 31 of 1999 s. 3


The Chief Executive may, by order in the Gazette, amend the Schedule.
(Amended 31 of 1999 s. 3)


Section: 28 Repeal and transitional 30/06/1997


(1) The Census Ordinance (Cap 316, 1964 R. Ed.) is repealed.
(2) This Ordinance shall apply in relation to information obtained in the course of a census taken under the

Census Ordinance (Cap 316, 1964 R. Ed.) as it applies in relation to information obtained in the course of a statistical
inquiry carried out under this Ordinance.

(3) Any census directed to be taken under the Census Ordinance (Cap 316, 1964 R. Ed.) which is not
completed prior to the commencement of this Ordinance may be continued and completed in all respects after the
commencement of this Ordinance as if it had been directed to be carried out by an order under section 11.




Cap 316 - CENSUS AND STATISTICS ORDINANCE 9

Schedule: SCHEDULE 30/06/1997


[sections 6 & 27]


DECLARATION TO BE COMPLETED BY CENSUS OFFICERS


FORM 1


I, ..............................................................................., do solemnly and sincerely declare that I will carry out my
duty as a census officer to the best of my ability and will faithfully record on any schedule completed by me on behalf
of any person all particulars reported to me by such person and will deliver such schedule to my superior officer and
will not otherwise disclose to any person, except a person authorized to receive it, any information of which I have
become aware in the course of my duty as a census officer.




(Signed) ............................................................


Date .................................................................


____________


FORM 2


本人(姓名) ..........................................................謹以至誠聲明:本人願竭盡所能,執行統計員職
務,將任何人提供之一切資料,在統計表內忠實紀錄填報,並將該統計表呈交上司。對於從統計員

職務上得悉之資料,本人絕對嚴守秘密,除獲授權接受該等資料之人員外,不向任何人洩露。







(簽署) ................................................................


日 期 ...............................................................
(Amended 1 of 1990 s. 4)

Related Laws