Demographics of Hong Kong

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Hong Kong, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of some 6,300 people per square kilometre.[1] At the same time, Hong Kong has one of the world’s lowest birth rates—1.11 per woman of child-bearing age as of 2012, far below the replacement rate of 2.1. It is estimated that 26.8% of the population will be aged 65 or more in 2033, up from 12.1% in 2005.

Ethnically, Hong Kong mainly consists of ethnic Chinese, making up approximately 92.6% of the population.[2] Of these, many originate from various regions in Guangdong. There are also a number of descendants of immigrants from elsewhere in Mainland China and around the world after the end of World War II.

Terminology[edit]

Main article: Hong Kong people

People from Hong Kong generally refer to themselves, in Cantonese, as Hèung Góng Yàhn (Chinese: 香港人; Cantonese Yale: Hèung Góng Yàhn; literally: "Hong Kong people"); however, the term is not restricted to those of Chinese descent, owing to Hong Kong's roughly 150-year colonial history that saw the civil servants and traders of British, Indian, Russian and other ethnic groups stationed in Hong Kong.

In English, the term 'Hong Kongers' (or sometimes 'Hongkongers') is also used to refer to Hong Kong people, while the term 'Hongkongese' is sometimes used as an adjective to describe people or things related to Hong Kong.[3][4]

Population density[edit]

Population graph of Hong Kong

The following census data is available for Hong Kong between the years 1841-2011. In 2011, Hong Kong had a population of just over 7 million, with a density of approximately 6,300 people per square kilometer. This makes Hong Kong the fourth most densely populated region in the world, after Macau, Monaco, and Singapore.[1]

Population of Hong Kong by year[edit]

Year Count Source Notes
1841 7,450 (census 1841?)[5] Commodore James Bremer, commander-in-chief of the British forces in China, took formal possession of Hong Kong on 26 January 1841. The population figure is for Hong Kong Island only. The breakdown was: "In the Villages and hamlets: 4,360; In the Bazaar: 800; In the Boats: 2,000; Labourers from Kowloong: 300".[5]
1848 24,000 [6] Hong Kong Island only
1851 33,000 Hong Kong Island only
1853 39,017 census 1853[7] Hong Kong Island only
1855 72,000 [6] Hong Kong Island only
1862 123,511 [5] Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only.
Population breakdown: "European and American: 1,604; Chinese, etc: 121,907"[5]
Kowloon Peninsula had a population of 800 in 1860, when it became part of Hong Kong.[5]
1863 124,850 [5] Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only
Population breakdown: "European and American: 2,644; Chinese, etc: 123,207"[5]
1864 121,498 [5] Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only
Population breakdown: "European and American: 1,963; Chinese, etc: 119,535"[5]
1865 125,504 [5] Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only
Population breakdown: "European and American: 2,034."[5]
1866 115,098 [5] Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only
Population breakdown: "European and American: 2,113."[5]
1881 160,402 Britannica 1911 Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only
1891 221,441 Britannica 1911 Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula only.
Population breakdown: "8,500 whites and 213,000 coloured people, nearly all Chinese. [...] nearly half of the resident white population [were] Portuguese, one-third British, and the rest German, American, French, Spanish, Italian, and of a dozen other nations."[6]
1901 283,978 Britannica 1911
census 1901[8]
The New Territories were the last territorial addition to Hong Kong in 1898.
1906 326,961
1916 530,000 [9]
1921 625,166 [10]
1925 725,000 [9]
1931 849,800 census 1931
1941 1,600,000 [9] Battle of Hong Kong (8–25 December 1941) and beginning of Japanese occupation
1945 500,000 [11] End of Japanese occupation on 15 August 1945
1945 600,000 [12]
1945 750,000 [13]
1950 2,200,000 [12]
1950 2,360,000 [11]
1960 3,000,000 [14]
1968 3,927,000
1970 3,995,400 [15]
1981 5,109,812 [15] End of touch base policy, which triggered an increase in the number of illegal immigrants from China, especially from Guangdong.
1986 5,495,488 [15]
1991 5,674,114 [15]
1996 6,412,937 [15]
2001 6,708,389 [15]
2006 6,864,346 [15]
2011 7,071,576 [15]

Ethnicity[edit]

Ethnic groups in Hong Kong (2011 )[16]
Ethnic groups
Chinese
  
80.2%
Indonesian
  
8.8%
Filipino
  
8.4%
Other
  
3%

According to the 2011 census, 92.6% of the Hong Kong population is ethnic Chinese and 7.4% are other ethnic groups, including a large number of Filipino and Indonesian foreign domestic helpers, making up approximately 4% of the population.[2][17][18] The national census does not subdivide people of European descent, nor does it categorise Chinese ethnic subgroups. However, the majority of Hong Kongers of Chinese descent trace their ancestry to various parts of Southern China: the Guangzhou area, followed by Siyi (a region of four counties neighboring Guangzhou), Chaoshan (a region of North Guangdong home to Teochew speakers), Fujian and Shanghai.[19] Some Cantonese people also originate from Hakka-speaking villages in the New Territories.[20] Most Teochew-speaking migrants immigrated to Hong Kong from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, while migrants from Fujian province (previously Southern Min speakers, and increasingly more Central Min and Northern Min speakers) have constituted a large-growing number of migrants since 1978.[21] Many Taishanese and Cantonese also migrated after 1949. Currently, the major ethnic groups include the Punti (本地/圍頭), Hakka (客家), Cantonese (廣府, including Toishanese (台山/四邑)), Hoklo (福佬/鶴佬/學佬/閩南),[22] and Tanka (蜑家/水上, lit. boat dwellers).[23] Punti and Tanka are Hong Kong indigenous people, while Cantonese people (including Toishanese) are not Hong Kong indigenous people. For Hakka and Hoklo, they have both indigenous and non-indigenous people in Hong Kong.

Population of Hong Kong according to ethnic group[edit]

Ethnic
group
2001 Census 2006 By-census 2011 Census
Number  % Number  % Number  %
Chinese 6,364,439 94.9 6,522,148 95.0 6,320,393 92.6
Filipino 142,556 2.1 112,453 1.6 133,018 1.9
Indonesian 50,494 0.8 87,840 1.3 133,377 1.9
White 46,585 0.7 36,384 0.5 55,236 0.8
Others 20,835 0.3 20,264 0.3 30,336 0.4
Indian 18,543 0.3 20,444 0.3 28,616 0.4
Thai 14,342 0.2 11,900 0.2 11,213 0.2
Japanese 14,180 0.2 13,189 0.2 12,580 0.2
Other Asian 12,835 0.2 12,663 0.2 12,247 0.2
Nepalese 12,564 0.2 15,950 0.2 16,518 0.2
Pakistani 11,017 0.2 11,111 0.2 18,042 0.3
Total 6,708,389 6,864,346 7,071,576

The following lists ethnic groups with significant presence in Hong Kong in alphabetical order by category:

By migration

Expatriates[edit]

As of 2016 (June) there were 201,063 Filipinos, 165,085 Indonesians, 23,423 Americans, 14,647 Malaysians, 10,549 Britons, 10,116 Australians, 7,766 Portuguese, 7,431 Singaporeans, and 5,854 Japanese in Hong Kong.[24]

The number of Filipinos, from June 2015 to June 2016, increased from the previous figure of 193,354; the Philippines contributes the largest number of domestic employees to Hong Kong. The population of Britons, from 2015 to 2016, declined from 11,806 by 10.64%, the highest decrease by percentage. During the same period the number of Americans declined from 25,437 by about 8%, and the number of Australians declined from 10,700 by about 5%. From June 2015 to June 2016 the numbers of Indonesians, Malaysians, Portuguese, Singaporeans, and Japanese had declined from their previous numbers of 168,152; 14,746; 7,863; 7,678; and 6,119; respectively. The numbers of Canadians had also declined in that period.[24]

Age groups[edit]

United Nations data[edit]

According to United Nations estimates from 1 July 2013, Hong Kong's population is distributed in the following age ranges, with the largest age group represented being 50–54 years:[25]

Population by age group[edit]

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 3 330 700 3 856 800 7 187 500 100
0-4 134 500 125 700 260 200 3,62
5-9 128 000 120 200 248 200 3,45
10-14 149 100 139 600 288 700 4,02
15-19 208 000 196 300 404 300 5,63
20-24 226 400 230 700 457 100 6,36
25-29 221 800 295 800 517 600 7,20
30-34 231 900 343 200 575 100 8,00
35-39 229 500 331 000 560 500 7,80
40-44 239 800 338 700 578 500 8,05
45-49 271 000 337 900 608 900 8,47
50-54 313 500 341 100 654 600 9,11
55-59 281 300 287 900 569 200 7,92
60-64 220 000 223 100 443 100 6,16
65-69 148 800 146 400 295 200 4,11
70-74 109 600 103 700 213 300 2,97
75-79 100 600 109 900 210 500 2,93
80-84 69 500 88 400 157 900 2,20
85+ 47 400 97 200 144 600 2,01

Population by wider age groups[edit]

Age group Male Female Total Percent
0-14 411 600 385 500 797 100 11,09
15-64 2 443 200 2 925 700 5 368 900 74,70
65+ 475 900 545 600 1 021 500 14,21

Hong Kong government data[edit]

The Hong Kong government provides the following estimates for mid-2013:[26]

 0-14 years: 11.0% (male 408,000; female 382,600)
15-24 years: 11.7% (male 424,500; female 417,900)
25-34 years: 15.2% (male 454,900; female 639,700)
35-44 years: 15.9% (male 471,500; female 671,800)
45-54 years: 17.7% (male 587,900; female 681,700)
55-64 years: 14.2% (male 503,700; female 512,600)
65 and over: 14.3% (male 479,500; female 547,700)

Median age: 45.0 (2013 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

According to the The World Factbook in 2013, the Hong Kong population was divided into the following male/female ratios:

Male/female ratio by age group[edit]

At birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.94 male(s)/female

Education level[edit]

According to The World Factbook estimates in 2002, 93.5% of the population over the age of 15 had attended schooling, including 96.9% of males and 89.6% of females.

Health and mortality[edit]

The following table shows birth rates and mortality rates in Hong Kong between 1950-2015.[27][28][29]

At the end of the 20th century, Hong Kong had one of the lowest birth rates in the world. However, the number of births doubled in the decade between 2001-2011, largely due to an increase in the number of children born in Hong Kong to women with residence in Mainland China. In 2001 there were 7,810 births to Mainland women (16%) out of a total of 48,219 births. This increased to 37,253 births to Mainland women (45%) out of a total of 82,095 births.[30]

Birth and mortality rates[edit]

Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) TFR
1950 1 974 60 600 18 465 42 135 30.7 9.4 21.3
1951 2 044 68 500 20 580 47 920 34.0 10.2 23.8
1952 2 141 71 976 19 459 52 517 33.9 9.2 24.7
1953 2 253 75 544 18 300 57 244 33.7 8.2 25.5
1954 2 371 83 317 19 283 64 034 35.2 8.2 27.1
1955 2 490 90 511 19 080 71 431 36.3 7.7 28.7
1956 2 607 96 746 19 295 77 451 37.0 7.4 29.6
1957 2 721 97 834 19 365 78 469 35.8 7.1 28.7
1958 2 834 106 624 20 554 86 070 37.4 7.2 30.2
1959 2 951 104 579 20 250 84 329 35.2 6.8 28.4
1960 3 075 110 667 19 146 91 521 36.1 6.2 29.9
1961 3 207 108 726 18 738 89 988 34.3 5.9 28.4
1962 3 344 119 166 20 933 98 233 36.1 6.3 29.7
1963 3 477 118 413 20 340 98 073 34.6 5.9 28.7
1964 3 596 111 436 18 657 92 779 31.8 5.3 26.5
1965 3 692 106 362 18 160 88 202 29.6 5.0 24.5
1966 3 763 96 436 19 261 77 175 26.6 5.3 21.3
1967 3 812 94 368 20 234 74 134 25.3 5.4 19.9
1968 3 850 83 641 19 444 64 197 22.0 5.1 16.9
1969 3 889 82 482 19 256 63 226 21.3 5.0 16.4
1970 3 942 79 132 19 996 59 136 20.0 5.1 14.9
1971 4 009 79 789 20 374 59 415 19.7 5.0 14.7
1972 4 088 80 344 21 397 58 947 19.5 5.2 14.3
1973 4 180 82 252 21 251 61 001 19.5 5.0 14.5
1974 4 283 83 589 21 879 61 710 19.3 5.1 14.3
1975 4 396 79 759 21 591 58 168 18.1 4.9 13.2
1976 4 519 78 511 22 628 55 883 17.7 5.1 12.6
1977 4 652 80 022 23 331 56 691 17.5 5.1 12.4
1978 4 788 80 957 23 816 57 141 17.3 5.1 12.2
1979 4 919 81 975 25 110 56 865 16.6 5.1 11.5
1980 5 039 85 290 24 995 60 295 16.8 4.9 11.9
1981 5 145 86 751 24 822 61 929 16.7 4.8 11.9 1,933
1982 5 239 86 120 25 384 60 736 16.4 4.8 11.5 1,860
1983 5 322 83 293 26 512 56 781 15.6 5.0 10.6 1,722
1984 5 394 77 297 25 510 51 787 14.3 4.7 9.6 1,559
1985 5 456 76 126 25 248 50 878 14.0 4.6 9.3 1,491
1986 5 508 71 620 25 902 45 718 13.0 4.7 8.3 1,367
1987 5 551 69 958 26 916 43 042 12.6 4.8 7.8 1,311
1988 5 592 75 412 27 659 47 753 13.5 4.9 8.5 1,400
1989 5 641 69 621 28 745 40 876 12.3 5.1 7.2 1,296
1990 5 704 67 731 29 136 38 595 11.9 5.1 6.8 1,272
1991 5 786 68 281 28 429 39 852 11.8 4.9 6.9 1,281
1992 5 884 70 949 30 550 40 399 12.1 5.2 6.9 1,347
1993 5 992 70 451 30 571 39 880 11.8 5.1 6.7 1,342
1994 6 101 71 646 29 905 41 741 11.7 4.9 6.8 1,355
1995 6 206 68 637 31 468 37 169 11.1 5.1 6.0 1,295
1996 6 304 63 291 32 176 31 115 10.0 5.1 4.9 1,191
1997 6 492 59 250 31 738 27 512 9.1 4.9 4.2 1,127
1998 6 550 52 977 32 847 20 130 8.1 5.0 3.1 1,016
1999 6 611 51 281 33 255 18 026 7.8 5.0 2.7 0,981
2000 6 675 54 134 33 758 20 376 8.1 5.1 3.1 1,032
2001 6 721 48 219 33 378 14 841 7.2 5.0 2.2 0,931
2002 6 728 48 209 34 267 13 942 7.2 5.1 2.1 0,941
2003 6 745 46 965 36 971 9 994 7.0 5.5 1.5 0,901
2004 6 781 49 796 36 918 12 878 7.3 5.4 1.9 0,922
2005 6 818 57 098 38 830 18 268 8.4 5.7 2.7 0,959
2006 6 871 65 626 37 457 28 169 9.6 5.5 4.1 0,984
2007 6 921 70 875 39 476 31 399 10.2 5.7 4.5 1,028
2008 6 951 78 822 41 796 37 026 11.3 6.0 5.3 1,064
2009 6 980 82 095 41 175 40 920 11.8 5.9 5.9 1,055
2010 7 024 88 600 42 200 46 400 12.6 6.0 6.6 1,127
2011 7 072 95 500 41 400 54 100 13.5 5.9 7.6 1,204
2012 7 155 91 600 43 900 47 700 12.8 6.1 6.7 1,285
2013 7 187 57 100 43 400 13 700 7.9 6.0 1.9 1,124
2014 7 242 62 300 45 100 17 200 8.6 6.2 2.4 1,234
2015 7 306 59 900 46 000 13 900 8.2 6.3 1.9

According to The World Factbook in 2013, the infant mortality rate in Hong Kong was 2.89 deaths/1,000 live births.

Life expectancy[edit]

According to The World Factbook in 2013, the average life expectancy for the total population was 82.2 years; 79.47 years for males and 85.14 years for females.

Marriage and fertility[edit]

According to the The World Factbook in 2006, the average marriage age in Hong Kong was 30 years for males and 27 years for females, and the population was subdivided into the following categories:

Marital status[edit]

Married: 57.8% (3,423,995)
Never married: 32% (1,920,522)
Divorced: 3.2% (189,563)
Separated: 0.6% (34,722)

Fertility rate[edit]

The World Factbook in 2013 reported that the fertility rate in Hong Kong was 1.11 children born/woman.

Religion[edit]

Main article: Religion in Hong Kong
People honouring gods in a dajiao celebration, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival.
Religions of Hong Kong (2006 )[16]
Religions percent
Eclectic mixture of local religions
  
90%
Christian
  
10%

People in Hong Kong follow a diverse range of religions, although most people of Chinese descent follow Taoist, Confucian, or Buddhist faiths; specifically Chinese Buddhism. Another group present are those that follow non-organised Chinese folk religions, which may state that they do not follow a religion.Traditional religions including Chinese Buddhism were discouraged under British rule, which officially represented Christianity.[12] The handover of sovereignty from Britain to China has led to a resurgence of Buddhist and Chinese religions.[12]

Estimated number of adherents in Hong Kong by religion[31]
Region 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Buddhists > 1 million > 1 million > 1 million > 1 million ≈ 1 million ≈ 1 million
Taoists ≈ 1 million ≈ 1 million ≈ 1 million ≈ 1 million > 1 million > 1 million
Protestant 320,000 320,000 480,000 480,000 480,000 ≈ 500,000
Catholics 350,000 350,000 353,000 363,000 363,000 368,000
Muslims 220,000 220,000 220,000 220,000 270,000 300,000
Hindu 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000
Sikhs 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population - Overview | Census and Statistics Department". www.censtatd.gov.hk. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  2. ^ a b 2011 Population Census – Summary Results (PDF) (Report). Census and Statistics Department. February 2012. p. 37. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Poon Angela and Jenny Wong, Struggling for Democracy Under China: The Implications of a Politicised 'Hongkongese' Identity http://www.civic-exchange.org/publications/Intern/2004-JennyandAngela.pdf
  4. ^ Sidney Cheung, Hong Kong Handover http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol5no1/sidney2.html
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m William Frederick Mayers; Charles King (1867). The treaty ports of China and Japan: A complete guide to the open ports of those countries, together with Peking, Yedo, Hongkong and Macao. Forming a guide book & vade mecum for travellers, merchants, and residents in general. Trübner and Co. pp. vi; 17. 
  6. ^ a b c Sanderson, Edgar (1897–1898). The British Empire in the nineteenth century: its progress and expansion at home and abroad. IV. London: Blackie and Son. p. 337. LCCN 02002538. OCLC 11625716. 
  7. ^ Census of Hongkong, 31 December 1853
  8. ^ The Hongkong Government Gazette, 28 September 1901
  9. ^ a b c Stanford, David. [2006] (2006). Roses in December. Lulu press. ISBN 1-84753-966-1
  10. ^ Sweeting, Anthony. [1990] (1990). Education in Hong Kong, pre-1841 to 1941. HK University Press. ISBN 962-209-258-6
  11. ^ a b R.G. Horsnall, "The MacIntosh Cathedrals", in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, Vol. 35, 1995, pp. 171-176
  12. ^ a b c d Chan, Shun-hing. Leung, Beatrice. [2003] (2003). Changing Church and State Relations in Hong Kong, 1950-2000. Hong Kong: HK university press. Page 24. ISBN 962-209-612-3
  13. ^ Rees, Laurence. Iriye, Akira. [2002] (2002). Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of WWII. Da Capo Preess. ISBN 0-306-81178-2
  14. ^ Manion, Melanie. [2004](2004). Corruption by Design: Building Clean Government in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Harvard University press. ISBN 0-674-01486-3
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Table 001: Population by Sex. Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department website.
  16. ^ a b "East & Southeast Asia :: HONG KONG". CIA The World Factbook. 
  17. ^ http://www.census2011.gov.hk/pdf/EM.pdf#Page=28
  18. ^ "Immigration Autonomy". Immigration Department Annual Report 2009-2010. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Ng Sek Hong (2010). Labour Law in Hong Kong. Kluwer Law International. p. 19. ISBN 978-90-411-3307-6. 
  20. ^ Melvin Ember; Carol R. Ember; Ian Skoggard, eds. (2005). Encyclopedia of diasporas: immigrant and refugee cultures around the world. Diaspora communities. 2. Springer. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9. 
  21. ^ Hu-DeHart, Evelyn (2006). Voluntary organizations in the Chinese Diaspora. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 122–125. ISBN 978-962-209-776-6. 
  22. ^ Kelly, Margaret. Fodor's China. Fodor's Travel Publications, 2011. ISBN 0307480534, 9780307480538. p. 392.
  23. ^ Ng Lun, Ngai-ha. In: Ring, Trudy, Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda (editors). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania (Volume 5 of International Dictionary of Historic Places, Trudy Ring, ISBN 1884964052, 9781884964053). Taylor & Francis, 1996. ISBN 1884964044, 9781884964046. p. 358.
  24. ^ a b Blundy, Rachel (2016-08-12). "Is the expat community changing in Hong Kong?". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-08-15.  - Print title: "The changing face of Hong Kong’s expat community"
  25. ^ "United Nations Statistics Division - Demographic and Social Statistics". unstats.un.org. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  26. ^ HK Census. "HK Census." Statistical Table of population. Retrieved on 2007-03-16.
  27. ^ B.R. Mitchell. International historical statistics 1750-2005: Africa, Asia and Oceania
  28. ^ "United Nations Statistics Division - Demographic and Social Statistics". unstats.un.org. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  29. ^ Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR [1]
  30. ^ The fertility trend in Hong Kong 1981-2009
  31. ^ http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/2013/en/pdf/E21.pdf

External links[edit]