Press Release

 Email this articleGovernment Homepage

Hong Kong Population Projections 2004-2033


The Hong Kong population is expected to reach 8.38 million in 30 years' time under an updated set of population projections, released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (June 30).

"Population projections provide a common basis for the Government in planning public services and facilities. They are constantly rolled forward and updated to take advantage of information on latest developments of the population," said Mr Frederick Ho, Commissioner for Census and Statistics.

In the updated set of projections, the Hong Kong Resident Population is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0.7%, from 6.80 million in mid-2003 to 8.38 million in mid-2033. Between mid-2004 and mid-2011, the annual growth rate of the population would accelerate somewhat, from 0.6% in mid-2004 to 0.9% in mid-2011. Yet with an increased number of deaths upon aging of the population, the annual growth rate is expected to slacken to 0.4% towards the end of the projection period.

Over the entire period from mid-2003 to mid-2033, the overall population is projected to increase by 1.58 million. There is a negative natural increase of 0.16 million (indicating 0.16 million more deaths than births) and a net in-movement (i.e. inflow less outflow) of 1.74 million.

Within the Hong Kong Resident Population, the number of Usual Residents is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0.6% from 6.62 million in mid-2003 to 8.02 million in mid-2033, and the number of Mobile Residents at a faster rate of 2.3% from 185 000 to 365 000. This is mainly related to the increasing trend of Hong Kong residents working and staying for more of their time in the Mainland, along with closer economic ties between the two places.

"The population is expected to remain on an aging trend. The proportion of the population aged 65 and over is projected to rise markedly, from 11.7% in 2003 to 27% in 2033, though the rise would be gradual up to around 2015 (when the proportion would reach 14.3%) and would be at a much faster pace thereafter. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population aged under 15 would decrease gradually from 16% in 2003 to 11% by the end of the projection period," Mr Ho pointed out.

The aging trend is also revealed by the increasing median age of the population, from 38 in 2003 to 49 in 2033.

The sex ratio (i.e. the number of males per 1 000 females) of the population is projected to fall noticeably, from 939 in 2003 to 698 in 2033. There will be variations in the sex ratio by age group. In particular, the sex ratio for the age group 25-44 is expected to be much affected by the presence of foreign domestic helpers comprising mostly younger females. Also relevant is the continued entry of One-way Permit Holders in the coming years, many being Hong Kong men's wives living in the Mainland. Making reference to data which exclude foreign domestic helpers, the sex ratio of the population is higher, but still will come down from 997 in 2003 to 749 in 2033. The movement of mainland wives into Hong Kong and the fact that females live longer than males are main reasons.

Significant characteristics of the population for selected years are shown in Table 1 (text version of Table 1) and the components of population growth are shown in Table 2 (text version of Table 2).

The "component method", which is commonly used internationally, is adopted for making the population projections. Under this method, the population of a base year is brought forward by age and sex under separate projections of fertility, mortality and movement, year after year until the end of the projection period.

"Statistical studies using modelling methods as far as possible are made on the past trends and recent developments pertaining to the socio-economic conditions in Hong Kong to generate the fertility, mortality and movement assumptions," said Mr Ho.

"Where government policies are involved, it is taken that existing policies will continue to apply. For example, the existing policy of a daily quota of 150 One-way Permit Holders entering Hong Kong from the mainland of China is taken to apply in the projection period," added Mr Ho.

A publication "Hong Kong Population Projections 2004-2033" on the detailed projection results, along with the projection methodology and assumptions, is now available for sale.

Another publication "Hong Kong Life Tables 1998-2033" describing the present and future mortality conditions of Hong Kong in the form of life tables is also available for sale as from today. Apart from presenting the life tables, the publication also describes the method of constructing a life table.

Hong Kong has experienced a continuous decline in mortality during the last two decades, with a corresponding increase in expectation of life. The expectation of life at birth for males increased from 72.3 years in 1983 to 78.6 years (provisional) in 2003; that for females, from 78.4 to 84.3 years (provisional).

Compared with other economies, Hong Kong enjoys a very low mortality. The expectation of life is projected to continue to increase in the next 30 years, yet the rate of increase during this period will be slower than that in the past. By 2033, the expectations of life at birth will be 82.5 years for males and 88 years for females.

The above two publications are now available for sale in both hardcopy and softcopy (in PDF format), "Hong Kong Population Projections 2004-2033" at HK$28 and HK$21 respectively and "Hong Kong Life Tables 1998-2033" at HK$28 and HK$21 respectively. They can be purchased online at the "Statistical Bookstore, Hong Kong" ( For purchase of hardcopy, this can be done through mail order by returning a completed order form which can be downloaded from the C&SD's website ( Purchase can also be made in person at the Publications Unit of the C&SD (Address: 19/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel: 2582 3025).

Enquiries on more detailed statistics can be directed to the Demographic Statistics Section, Census and Statistics Department at Tel.: 2716 8044.

Ends/Wednesday, June 30, 2004


( Floor / Cantonese/ English )

Email this article