CHEUNG, Paul |


Paul Cheung

Professor (Practice), NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Joint Ph.D. in Social Work (Social Planning) and Sociology (Demography), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Paul Cheung
Contact Details

DID: +65 6516 7500

Office Location

469B Bukit Timah Road
Level 2, Li Ka Shing Building
Singapore 259771


Professor Paul Cheung is Professor of Social Policy and Analytics at the National University of Singapore. He returned to Singapore in December 2012 after serving for 9 years as the Director of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (2004-2012).

At the UN, he facilitated the development of the global statistical system and coordinated the work of UNSD. He supervised a programme of work that included the development of international statistical standards, the dissemination of global statistical data, the provision of technical advice to member states in the development of national statistical systems, the coordination of international statistical activities, and the delivery of programme support to the UN System on all statistical matters.

Professor Cheung also had the responsibility of implementing UN mandates on geospatial information, cartography, and geographic names. In 2011, his initiative to establish an inter-governmental platform to address issues on Global Geospatial Information Management was endorsed by the UN. This global multilateral mechanism explores all issues on geospatial information and a series of high-level meetings have been held.

Prior to his appointment, Professor Cheung served as Chief Statistician of the Government of Singapore (1991-2004) and the Director of the Population Planning Unit (1987-1994). He has received many national and professional awards for his work around the world, including the Public Administration Gold Medal By the Singapore government, the Royal Order of Sahametrei (Grand Officer) by the Cambodian government, and the Doctor Honoris Causa by the National University of Mongolia.  He is well known in the Asia and the Pacific region for his pioneering research in the fields of manpower, population, social planning and official statistics, and has written widely in his areas of research.

Research Areas

  • Administrative and public sector reform
  • Demography and population
  • Singapore social policy


Recent presentations and publications

  • Keynote Lecture, “Making Cities Smarter through Information Integration: Policy and Methodological Considerations”, H-City Conference on Geographies of Health and Living in Cities, organised by the Department of Geography and Faculty of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University, 21 June 2016, Hong Kong.
  • Keynote Lecture, “Changing Global Demographics: Implications for Social Work in Health and Mental Health”, 8th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health, organised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers and the Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore, 19 June 2016, Singapore.
  • Invited Keynote Lecture, “Making Cities Smarter: Integrating Information for Better Policies”, organised by the China National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 29 March 2016, China.
  • “Advancing Global Statistical and Geospatial Information: Contributions of the United Nations and Singapore”. In Tommy Koh, Li Lin Chang, Joanna Koh (eds), Fifty Years of Singapore and the United Nations, pp.255-260, 2015. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
  • “Fertility Trends in Asia: Prospect and Implications of Very Low Fertility“. In Stella R. Quah (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Families in Asia (2015), pp. 138-149. New York: Routledge.
  • “Is Life Getting Better in Singapore?: Issues on Social Inequality”. In Faizal Bin Yahya (ed.), Inequality in Singapore, pp. 1-11, 2015. Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies.
  • “Reflections on Singapore’s Demographic Future”, Commentary, published by National University of Singapore Society, volume 23, 2014. Pp. 43-50.
  • “Income Growth and Distribution in Singapore: Issues and Challenges”, paper prepared for Institute of Policy Studies publication Singapore Perspectives 2012.
  • The Millennium Development Goals Report (2004-2010). Report prepared for the General Assembly of the United Nations. Published by the United Nations annually.
  • “The Evolution of National Statistical Systems: What Lessons Can We Learn?”  Statistics, No.2, 2008, pp 9-15. Published by Japan Statistical Association, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese translated from English).



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