Hong Kong Population 2017
At the end of 2012, Hong Kong’s population figure stood at 7,173,900. Today it is estimated to be 7.33 million, which makes it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong has a population density of 6,300 people per square kilometer. It also possesses one of the lowest birth rates in the world at 1.11 children per woman, with 1,032 babies born to every 1,000 fertile women in 2009.
Hong Kong Demographics
93.6% of Hong Kong's population consists of ethnic Chinese. Most are Taishanese, Chiu Chow, other Cantonese people, and Hakka. Most Han people in Hong Kong are from the Taishan and Guangzhou regions. Of the non-ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong, many are South Asians -- including Indians, Nepalese, and Pakistanis -- as well as Vietnamese refugees. There are also many Canadians, Britons, Americans, Koreans, and Japanese working in the city.
Foreign domestic helpers make up 4% of Hong Kong’s population. The estimated 250,000 foreign domestic workers mostly come from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Most people in Hong Kong have no religious affiliation, claiming to be atheist or agnostic. Just 43% of the population practices some religion, although it's estimated that up to 80% of Hong Kong residents have no religion. The main religions include Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Christians account for 11% of the population, most of whom are Protestant.
Hong Kong had the longest life expectancy in the world for women, which was recorded as 86.70 years in 2011. Meanwhile, the life expectancy for men was recorded at 80 years. There are several reasons for these statistics, such as residents of Hong Kong generally having an upbeat personality as well as the affordable and accessible health services provider there. In addition, financial stability is a major factor for long life expectancies there as this allows a person to remain calm instead of stressing out, which can take years of a person’s life. Most residents of Hong Kong follow a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise.
Hong Kong Population History
When the British forces formally took over Hong Kong in 1841, the population was 7,541. A century later, the figure officially stood at 1,600,000. This figure fell to 500,000 in 1945, following the Battle of Hong Kong. However, ever since then, the population has steadily increased culminating in its current figure.
Large numbers of Chinese immigrated to Hong Kong in the 1850s due to the Taiping Rebellion. Several natural disasters such as floods, typhoons and famine led to many people moving to Hong Kong to escape the disasters. Despite 60,000 Chinese leaving Hong Kong in 1914 due to a fear of attack on their colony, the population increased to 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 to 1.6 million in 1941.
Hong Kong’s population in 1950 was 2.2 million. By 2001, it increased to 6.7 million, which means the population increased more than 3 times in size. However, the rate of the growth of population has been in decline over the years. This means that over the past fifty years, Hong Kong has transitioned from a high growth phase to a low growth phase.
Hong Kong's Low Fertility Rate
Over the past three decades, the fertility rate has greatly decreased. In fact, in 2001, it was 927 children per 1,000 women, which was a great drop from the replacement level of 2,100 children per 1000 women. This decline has been attributed to women pursuing higher studies, late marriages, higher proportion of people who never marry and an increasing participation by women in the labor force.
The government has been taking steps toward encouraging people to have bigger families. To this effect, there have been calls for increasing the government’s system of providing free education to children up to the age of 9, to the age of 15, in order to reduce the financial burden on the parents. In addition, calls for subsidizing medical and nursery services are being made to encourage more parents to have children in order to boost the population.
Hong Kong currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. It is estimated that by 2033, 26.8% of the population will be above 65 years, which is an increase of 12.1% from 2005. With greater emphasis laid on earning more money and pursuing higher education, more and more people are opting to not have a child, which has resulted in the rate of population growth steadily decreasing over the years.
Due to the low birthrate, the population increase will not be significant over the years. Therefore, to boost population the government is taking various steps, one of which is to convince people from the Mainland to migrate to Hong Kong. In order for these immigrants to be productive and contribute to society, the government is starting programs based on helping them settle and adjust to life in Hong Kong.