Summary results of 2016 Population By-census announced (with photo/video)

     According to the results of the 2016 Population By-census, the Hong Kong population, as measured by the definition of Resident Population, was 7 336 585 at the end of June 2016. Of the total, 7 116 829 were Usual Residents and 219 756 were Mobile Residents.

     Announcing the summary results at a press conference today (February 27), the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Leslie Tang, said, "The 2016 Population By-census provides a comprehensive database on population statistics, which is essential to the development of Hong Kong. The data can facilitate research, discussion, planning and decision-making within the Government and in the community."

     According to the latest population statistics, the ageing trend in the population continued and the pace of ageing became faster in the recent years.

     "The recent acceleration of the ageing trend was mainly attributable to the post-war baby boomers entering old age. The proportion of elderly persons aged 65 and above in the total population rose from 12% in 2006 to 16% in 2016. The increase in this 10-year period was similar in magnitude to that in the preceding 20-year period (the proportion increased from 8% in 1986 to 12% in 2006)," Mr Tang said.

     The median age of the population increased from 39.6 in 2006 to 43.4 in 2016, reflecting the ageing trend. 

     Excluding foreign domestic helpers, the sex ratio (i.e. the number of males per 1 000 females) dropped from 961 in 2006 to 925 in 2016. There were variations in the sex ratio by age group. For the population aged under 25, the sex ratio in 2016 was above the level of 1 000, indicating more males than females. For those aged 25 and above, the sex ratio was below 1 000.

     As regards marital status, there has been an increase in the proportion of never-married population in the ages of 20 to 49 over the past 10 years. The following analysis focuses on those aged 30 to 49, excluding foreign domestic helpers. Amongst those aged 30 to 39, the proportion of males who were never married remained stable at 39% in both 2006 and 2016, whereas an increase was seen in their female counterparts, from 27% in 2006 to 30% in 2016. On the other hand, amongst those aged 40 to 49, the proportion of males who were never married increased notably, from 14% in 2006 to 18% in 2016, whereas their female counterparts saw a smaller increase, from 14% to 16%.

     About 92% of the population was of Chinese ethnicity. The two largest non-Chinese ethnic groups in Hong Kong were Filipino and Indonesian, representing 2.5% and 2.1% of the population respectively.

     Cantonese was the most commonly spoken language at home.  About 89% of the population aged 5 and over spoke Cantonese at home. Another 6% reported that they could speak Cantonese. About 4% of the population aged 5 and over spoke English at home in 2016, slightly higher than the 3% in 2006. Furthermore, another 49% claimed that they could speak English, higher than the 42% in 2006. The proportion of the population aged 5 and over who were able to speak Putonghua increased from 40% in 2006 to 49% in 2016.

     The educational level of the population has generally improved. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over with secondary or higher education increased from 75% in 2006 to 80% in 2016. In particular, the corresponding proportion of those who had attended education in degree courses rose from 15% in 2006 to 22% in 2016.

     The working population increased from 3.37 million persons in 2006 to 3.76 million persons in 2016. The median monthly income from main employment of the working population was $15,000 in 2016, representing an increase of 50% over the past 10 years.

     In 2016, about 38% of the working population were managers and administrators, professionals and associate professionals, up from 33% in 2006. The rise in the proportion of associate professionals was the most significant, with an increase from 16% in 2006 to 20% in 2016. In contrast, the proportion of working population engaged as craft and related workers dropped from 9% in 2006 to 6% in 2016.

     "Import/export, wholesale and retail trades" was the largest economic sector, employing about 19% of the working population. This was followed by "Public administration, education, human health and social work activities", which employed 15% of the working population.

     Over the last decade, the number of domestic households increased by 13%, from 2.23 million households to 2.51 million households. Along with the change in the composition of domestic households, the average household size dropped from 3.0 to 2.8, leading to faster growth of the number of domestic households than the population.

     There was a significant decline in the proportion of domestic households which comprised a couple with unmarried children, from 41% in 2006 to 37% in 2016. On the other hand, the proportion of one-person households rose from 17% in 2006 to 18% in 2016, attributable to population ageing and more people staying single. Moreover, owing to a relatively low birth rate, the proportion of two-person households which comprised a couple only increased from 14% in 2006 to 15% in 2016.

     The median monthly income of domestic households was $25,000, an increase of 45% over the last 10 years.

     A total of 3.9 million persons lived in private permanent housing, another 2.13 million persons in public rental housing and 1.16 million persons in subsidised home ownership housing. There were 1.22 million households which owned and occupied their quarters. Amongst these households, about two-thirds did not incur any mortgage payment or loan repayment. Owner-occupiers with mortgage payment or loan repayment incurred a median monthly payment of $9,500, with the median mortgage payment and loan repayment to income ratio at 18%. In particular, for those living in private permanent housing, the median monthly mortgage payment and loan repayment and its median ratio to income were $10,500 and 19% respectively.

     Domestic rental households recorded a median monthly rent of $2,180. The relatively low rent level was due to the fact that a majority of them lived in public rental housing units. Those living in private residential flats recorded a median monthly rent of $10,000, almost double the level 10 years ago. The median rent to income ratio of these households was 31%, higher than the 25% 10 years ago.

     The change in the distribution of the population continued. In 2016, the three most populated District Council districts were Sha Tin District, Kwun Tong District and Yuen Long District, whereas the least populated district was Islands District. Over the last decade, Yau Tsim Mong District and Kowloon City District experienced the largest population growth. Also, many districts in the New Territories like Yuen Long District, Islands District and Sai Kung District recorded marked population growth because of the development of new towns during the past decade. On the other hand, the population in Central and Western District and Tuen Mun District declined.

     Among the District Council districts, North District had the highest proportion of young people aged below 15 in its population, followed by Yuen Long District and Sham Shui Po District. On the other hand, Wong Tai Sin District had the highest proportion of people aged 65 and over in its population, followed by Kwun Tong District and Kwai Tsing District.

     Summary findings of the 2016 Population By-census are published in the report "2016 Population By-census Summary Results" and the leaflet "2016 Population By-census Key Statistics", which are available today and can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Census and Statistics Department ( as well as the thematic website of the 2016 Population By-census (

     The 2016 Population By-census was conducted last year from June 30 to August 2. About 10% of households in Hong Kong were randomly selected for participation. Mr Tang thanked all households for their kind support for the 2016 Population By-census.

     Detailed results of the 2016 Population By-census will be released later this year. Various kinds of data dissemination services, including a series of publications, online statistical tables, district profiles and an online platform for building statistical tables, will be launched successively to meet the needs of different data users.

Ends/Monday, February 27, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:30