Development of Busan Service Population Statistics
Busan Metropolitan City

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The growing local population along with an increase in the amount of tourists coming to the city has resulted in a disparity between the de jure population and the actual population, to whom government services are provided, bringing about the need for a new set of demographic data to calculate de facto population figures. The city government realized that it was difficult to provide appropriate public services that could satisfy the needs of citizens with the current organizational structure, personnel and budget allocation that had been based solely on resident population data. To more accurately analyze the needs for public policies and their effectiveness, there has also been a growing demand for demographic data about the smaller geographic areas in the city. Recently, many public requests for floating population data in these areas, especially for the purposes of feasibility studies for new business start-ups, have been made to the city government. The analysis of population changes by hour arising from the movement of people on a daily basis can also serve as a useful tool when determining space usage and other urban planning policies. All kinds of populations, however, only count a usual resident population, not de facto population figures which include both resident population and visitor population. Moreover, enumeration intervals are too long and their coverage is too wide to stay relevant and effective.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The objective of developing the Busan Service Population Statistics is to produce and disseminate de facto population data, as well as population statistical data by hour and small area in Busan to help the city government to better identify the demands placed on public services and make the data available to any citizen who is looking into the possibility of starting a new business. In a nutshell, the sum of the population in the small-areas at a specific point in time will make up the total city population at that time. In the process of developing this new methodology of population census, a task force headed by the Assistant Mayor for Policy Planning was set up in the Busan City Government from a very early stage consisting of experts in public policy, statistics and population to reflect the best possible expertise and ensure its utmost utilization. The newly developed model was then given form by the statistics division in the city government through their work formulating practical methodologies including data collection, data enumeration and model improvement. The unit of this demographic enumeration is all individuals staying in Busan at a specific point of time. The data is collected from all small-areas (50 m × 50 m) within Busan’s administrative boundary every hour from midnight to 23:00. Among the achievements from this new population statistics initiative include the establishment of the population statistics concept, the development of new methodology, the trial population census conducted for the year of 2013 as well as the upgrade and improvement of the methods used. To take it to a higher level, a new system is now under development to automatically produce and disseminate Busan’s service population data from December 2014.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This is the first time in the world that a method has been developed to enumerate hourly service population data using big data from mobile devices. This innovative technique enabled the city government to produce continuous de facto population data quickly and efficiently, which was impossible with traditional census methods. Now, the City of Busan is pioneering an automated enumeration system designed to process preliminary big data and collect demographic data from approximately 105,000 small areas (50 m × 50 m) across the city in order to automatically generate Busan’s hourly service population data.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The development phase of Busan Service Population Statistics began with the formulation of its master plan in November 2012. Based on this master plan, a task force team was set up in the city government and held two rounds of meetings between January and February 2013 to set a future direction for the project where the city concluded that it would use mobile big data to calculate the de facto population. From March to July 2013, some preliminary data was collected to try out the first round of trial enumeration. The outcomes from this development process were presented at a discussion session during the 27th IUSSP International Population Conference held in Busan in August 2013. After some modifications, the second round of trial enumeration was carried out from September 2013 to March 2014, followed by the final briefing session on the outcomes of this innovative population census method. The Busan City Government has been making multi-faceted efforts since March 2014 when it set out its vision to develop a new automated system for producing and disseminating the city’s service population statistical data to more effectively deliver public services. Between July and December 2014, it plans to finalize its development efforts for an internal web system only accessible to public servants, which will automatically compile the city’s service population statistics and display the latest data on a map. The city government will go on to develop a public web service system through which all users can search any statistical data regarding the city and get update information shown on a map.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was first envisioned by the current Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs and then Assistant Mayor for Policy Planning, Mr. Jung Gyung-jin, of Busan Metropolitan City. In implementing the initiative, the newly formed task force was responsible for putting it into practice by developing concrete methodologies for the newly envisioned population statistics. The task force team in charge of the development consisted of three public servants from the city, one researcher, two demography professors, two officials from Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) and one statistics professor, while the newly devised methodologies were carried out by a team of two officials and three statisticians in the city government. SK Telecom, the leading Korean telecommunication service provider, has been involved in this initiative to provide big data collected from mobile devices.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The cost of developing the methodology for the Busan Service Population was KRW 14.3 million (USD 13,180), which was fully financed by the city government and of which KRW 1.8 million was used for operating the Task Force team, KRW 2.6 million for organizing the outcome briefing session and KRW 9.9 million for purchasing data used for the trial enumeration. Thanks to this innovative methodology, KRW 65.7 million was saved out of an original budget proposal of KRW 80 million. The budget allocated for developing the internal administrative system for the city government is KRW 150 million, of which KRW 100 million is used for system development and the rest for the purchase of yearly data. Financial support for the system development cost was covered by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration of Korea. In addition, the estimated cost in developing a public web service system is KRW 400 million where KRW 280 million has been set aside for system development and KRW 120 million is allocated for purchasing necessary hardware and software. Future costs incurred during the process of system development and annual maintenance will be funded by Busan City Government.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The biggest success from this initiative is that it is the world’s first statistical method of producing de facto population data by hour and small-area (50 m x 50 m) unit using the latest ICT technology and mobile big data. Through the trial enumeration of the Busan Service Population in 2013, the city government was able to track the changes in various demographic data, including daily high population, daily low population, daily average population, daily population variation, as well as daytime and nighttime population. The four factors that contributed to the success of this initiative are (1) building a consensus on the need for an innovative statistical methodology to replace less relevant and ineffective traditional demographic statistics; (2) reflecting the opinions and advice from human resources in various sectors in decision making; (3) close collaboration with private companies including mobile big data providers; and (4) the continued interest in and unwavering efforts by senior and working-level officials in envisioning and planning the initiative.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Experts in demography, statistics and other related areas were all involved in evaluating the implementation of the initiative. From the very early stage, a task force team was set up to develop a new statistical model and verify the outcomes from pilot trials. In addition to the task force, independent data specialists who were not included in the task force also provided useful advice and recommendations while monitoring the initiative, with their final evaluation of the entire statistical process as valid and appropriate. The city government designated SAMJUNG THE PARK, a popular local zoo, as the test bed, with a correlation coefficient of 60 percent, to check the accuracy of the newly developed demographic statistical method by comparing the service population measurement using CCTV data in the test bed and the Busan Service Population data produced by this new method. In addition, the City of Busan submitted its application to the Korean government to get this innovative statistical method approved as a national statistic. As a result, on October 1, 2014, this initiative was recognized as the first national statistics that uses ICT big data. To this end, the national government thoroughly evaluated every element of the implementation of this initiative, from the procedure to compile the service population to the outcomes from trial enumeration. After a rigorous verification process, the Busan Service Population obtained national recognition.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
At first, it was not easy to collect preliminary data from mobile service providers in Korea. None of the three major telecommunication companies wanted to provide their mobile big data saying it would compromise their trade secrets. After continuous efforts to persuade SK Telecom, the nation’s biggest telecommunication provider, through a series of negotiations, the city government was able to obtain preliminary mobile data to be used. The preliminary data, however, lacked credibility because it was also the first time that the telecommunication company had been involved in a population census process using mobile big data. There was no need, therefore, for the company to make the data more accurate and trustworthy. To address this problem, statistical data editing technology was developed to ensure the credibility of mobile data to be used for service population enumeration. Moreover, the city government does not have any system in place to analyze and compile collected big data, making it very time-consuming to process. As a way to overcome this obstacle, the City of Busan is now developing its own automated system which will automatically process and compile service population data.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
With this innovative demographic statistical method using ICTs, Busan has become one of the leading cities in the world in the area of population census. The idea of producing hourly de facto population data has never been conceived by any other organization. It is also the world’s first population census using big data to garner recognition as a national statistic. The foremost benefit from this new demographic method is that it costs much less but is much faster and more effective in compiling and disseminating more relevant service population data than a traditional population census. For example, the floating population survey in Seoul in 2010 targeting 10,000 points across the city took about four months with total cost of KRW 15.2 billion. In comparison, the census for the City of Busan during the previous nationwide census in 2010 was completed in 14 days at a cost of about KRW 10 billion. This innovation enabled the city government to deliver customized public services that can be practically used by citizens in analyzing business or investment opportunities. The City of Busan now can offer more scientific administrative services based on more detailed and relevant demographic data by making the best use of this new statistics method in analyzing public demands for policies and their effectiveness. Some of the best examples of using these population statistics in public service delivery are as follows: ○ Analysis of population influx and outflow: to analyze the ripple effect of population inflows from other regions on beaches in Busan ○ Analysis of passengers using Gimhae International Airport: to secure valid and logical ground for calling for the need to build a new larger airport in the city ○ Analysis of moving paths of foreign visitors: to develop tailor-made tour products and provide tourism and city information ○ Analysis of floating population by gender and age: to decide the optimal locations for public facilities such as senior-citizen centers or day-care centers. ○ Analysis of vulnerable female population at night: to give priorities to high risk areas in installing street lights and CCTVs for crime prevention.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
In terms of the sustainability of the initiative, it can remain financially sustainable with the automated system which will automatically enumerate and disseminate the Busan Service Population data. Its institutional sustainability can also be ensured as it was recognized as a national statistic by the Korean government. As this new statistical method has become more widely known across the city, the City of Busan has received an increasing number of requests for benchmarking opportunities from large-scale local governments with a noticeable gap between resident population and service population and from Statistics Korea. Many public organizations have faced difficulties in delivering adequate public services with the existing organizational structure, personnel and budget allocation that is based solely on resident population data and have recognized the need for this pioneering population statistical method. Mr. KIM Hyeong-seok, Director for Population Survey from Statistics Korea acknowledged Busan for its best practice in developing an innovative census statistical method at the UNSD, the Second United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Revising the Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses held in New York from 29 April to 2 May 2014. This statistical method can be replicated in any country, but it is expected to have a larger impact if it is applied in countries with huge populations and land masses like China and India.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
One of the lessons learned in implementing this initiative is that it was instrumental to obtain the preliminary data from telecommunication service providers. It is crucial, therefore, to involve all mobile service providers in the project from the early stage of development. In case the organization has to choose a specific telecommunication company, various conditions have to be considered to select a partner, including market share, service coverage, time frame during which data provision is possible and the method or cost for data provision. In terms of demographic data compilation by small geographic areas, manual enumeration is not possible. It is recommendable, therefore, to develop an automated enumeration system by including a plan to finance the system development from the planning stage. Another option is to simultaneously develop a new demographic statistical method and an automated system. This initiative made it possible to provide better public services that were traditionally impossible by applying ICTs into public administration. It can be replicated at any level and in any country in the world if the mobile telecommunication subscription rate is sufficiently high. In particular, areas or countries that have seen a distinctive disparity between their resident population and de facto population, due to the inflow of tourists or other reasons, will stand to benefit more significantly with this new method.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Busan Metropolitan City
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Gwi-Rae Kim
Title:   Official of Evaluation Division  
Telephone/ Fax:   82-51-888-1604
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   1001 Jungangdaero Yeonje-gu
Postal Code:   611-735
City:   Busan

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