August 16, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s population recorded an increase of 2.1 percent in the middle of this year as normal travel resumed between the city and the Chinese mainland and other parts of the world.
According to the Census and Statistics Department, the provisional estimate of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s population was 7,498,100 in mid-2023, compared to 7,346,100 in mid-2022, an increase of 152,000.
The population increase was mainly attributed to a net inflow of 174,000 Hong Kong residents minus the natural decrease (deaths surpassing births) of 22,000 people.
The Census and Statistics Department also projected that the city’s resident population will reach 8.19 million in mid-2046, or 780,000 higher than the mid-2021 population of 7.41 million
The revised figure of Hong Kong’s population was 7,472,600 at the end of last year.
The city’s population saw declines in 2021 and 2022. But with the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 pandemic control measures since the second half of last year, normal travel between Hong Kong and the mainland and other parts of the globe progressively resumed.
“Many Hong Kong residents who stayed abroad during the pandemic have returned to Hong Kong, while some mainland and overseas persons have also been admitted to Hong Kong through various schemes. A large net inflow of Hong Kong residents was hence recorded in the first half of 2023,” an HKSAR government spokesman said on Tuesday.
The C&SD also projected that the city’s resident population will reach 8.19 million in mid-2046, or 780,000 higher than the mid-2021 population of 7.41 million.
In recent years, Hong Kong has launched a number of programs to attract global talent and import labor, which “will provide an important impetus to facilitate population growth in the next two decades or so”, according to an HKSAR government statement.
From 2022 to 2046, the net inflow of population would comprise 890,000 One-way Permit holders, 510,000 Hong Kong non-permanent residents admitted through various programs and 240,000 foreign domestic helpers, it added.
Based on the updated results of labor force projections, the total labor force will generally increase from 3.54 million in 2021 to a peak of 3.66 million in 2038, before decreasing gradually to 3.58 million in 2046.
The overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease from 57.2 percent in 2021 to 51.6 percent in 2046 mainly due to the increasing proportion of elderly persons in the total population.
Population ageing is expected to continue while the city’s fertility rate is expected to remain low. With post-war baby boomers entering old age and the rising life expectancy at birth for both sexes, the number of elderly persons aged 65 and over is projected to nearly double over the 25-year period.
Excluding foreign domestic helpers, the number of elderly persons will increase from 1.45 million in 2021 to 2.74 million in 2046. Their proportion of the population is projected to increase from 20.5 percent to 36.0 percent, meaning more than one in every three Hong Kong people will be an elderly person.
Based on the updated domestic household projections, the number of households will increase gradually from 2.67 million in 2021 to 3.08 million in 2046. The average household size is projected to decrease continuously, from 2.7 persons per household in 2021 to 2.6 persons in 2046.