Singapore Census…aka, would you also like the measurements of my spleen?

Not among our close friends, but I have read blogs where people said, in all seriousness, that they found the American Census to be very invasive.  If I recall, the US Census asked how many people lived at the house full time, what ethnicity they defined themselves as, and if they spent any of their other time at jail or some such. It took 5 minutes to fill out and mail.

If you are the kind of person who finds the US census invasive, NEVER move to Singapore.

I had the nice Census man show up on my door a few weeks back.  Just as I was about to have lunch, for the record.  I thought, okay, census…this will take maybe 5 minutes.

It took 25.

They asked the names of everyone in the house.  Our birthdates.  Our FIN (foreign identification number) numbers.  What countries our passports were issued from.  What countries we were born in.  Our religious affiliations.  Highest level of education.  What our degrees are in.  What Ravi did for work and for who.  If I was planning to work.  When I said no, I was asked to justify why not.  How many hours a day our helper worked.

I was waiting for the blood sample request, but it never came.

Perspective….it’s a wonderful thing.

And yes, my lunch was warm (it had been cold) by the time it was all done.

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5 Responses to Singapore Census…aka, would you also like the measurements of my spleen?

  1. Ange says:

    As someone who worked for the census (and therefore don’t find the US census invasive, mostly), I’m shocked with how much information they want – was it required to give, or could you refuse to answer certain questions? Here you can refuse to give any information except the population count of your household. The other stuff they ask about are names, relationship to primary homeowner/ renter, age and date of birth, gender, Hispanic origin, race, and whether this is your only residence (that’s where the jail question came in, btw – jail, nursing home, and college are some of the options they give you) They also want to know if you rent, own with a mortgage, or own free and clear, and your phone number. So, not nothing, but much less than Singapore. But being an enumerator there must be fascinating.

  2. Daphne says:

    I’m just curious, did he provide any identification?

    I’ve no recollection of anything similar like this done by me before…
    Perhaps, I’m just lucky to miss them, being either at work or classes most of the time. I’d probably lose patience and ask for their list to fill it up myself. Haha!

  3. Pingback: Singapore Census Data out for 2010 « Expat Bostonians

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