In today’s climate of evidence-based policy development, governments around the world demand large amounts of information at short notice. Thus, it is important for national statistical agencies to look beyond traditional survey sources to produce official statistics. For the Population Census 2020, the Manpower Research and Statistics Department (MRSD) of Singapore, the authoritative source for official labour statistics, will be incorporating administrative data to supplement survey data.
There are several stages where administrative data can be incorporated as part of the statistical production process: (1) pre-population of data before the start of survey; (2) data validation after survey fieldwork is completed and (3) utilizing data analytics outside the data collection process. This not only reduces operational costs, but also respondent burden. By further tapping onto technology, the longer-term goals of better operational efficiency and data quality are achieved.
The paper discusses the challenges facing the conduct of the Census, the initiatives taken to tackle the challenges, and how administrative data can be a vital component in the production of official statistics.