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Mid-year population for 2022
     According to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today (August 11), the provisional estimate of the Hong Kong population was 7 291 600 at mid-2022, representing a decrease of 121 500 or 1.6% from 7 413 100 at mid-2021.
     The population decrease between mid-2021 and mid-2022 comprised a natural decrease (i.e. deaths surpassing births) and a net outflow of Hong Kong residents (i.e. inflow less than outflow). A natural decrease of 26 500 was recorded during the period, with 35 100 births and 61 600 deaths. Over the same period, a net outflow of 95 000 persons was recorded, with an inflow of 18 300 One-way Permit holders and a net outflow of 113 200 other Hong Kong residents. 
     Among the total population at mid-2022, 7 181 900 were Usual Residents and 109 700 were Mobile Residents. The revised figure for the year-end population for 2021 was 7 401 500. The number of Usual Residents was revised to 7 289 600 and the number of Mobile Residents to 111 900. The rate of change in population from end-2020 to end-2021 remained at -0.3%.
     Table 1 presents estimated total population as at mid-2022, while Table 2 presents population figures from mid-2010 to mid-2022. 
      A government spokesperson highlighted that natural decrease (deaths surpassing births) has widened between mid-2021 and mid-2022. Over the past five years, the number of births declined continually from 59 500 between mid-2016 and mid-2017 to 35 100 between mid-2021 and mid-2022. Hong Kong's fertility rate is persistently among the lowest in Asian economies. The plunge in births in the recent two years might also be attributable to the outbreak of COVID-19 since early 2020. On the other hand, the number of deaths edged up gradually from 45 400 to 61 600 over the past five years in tandem with the ageing trend of the population.
     "Amidst the continued impact of COVID-19, stringent border control and quarantine measures have been in place in Hong Kong, the Mainland and other places around the world, resulting in severe interruption of cross-boundary travel. It is observed that the inflow of people into Hong Kong, including One-way Permit holders and foreign domestic helpers, has remained at a low level. Among others, the flight boarding restrictions imposed on arrivals from certain places from time to time between mid-2021 and mid-2022 due to the then prevailing COVID-19 situation had interrupted population inflow. Although the number of One-way Permit holders who arrived in Hong Kong between mid-2021 and mid-2022 (18 300) rebounded somewhat as compared to that in the preceding year (13 900), it was still visibly lower than the pre-pandemic level (44 400 between mid-2018 and mid-2019). Meanwhile, Hong Kong residents who had left Hong Kong before the pandemic may have chosen to reside in other places temporarily or were unable to return to Hong Kong. All these might have contributed to the net outflow of Hong Kong residents during the period," the spokesperson said.
     "It is believed that the pandemic and the related quarantine requirements would have impacted talent inflow, especially those on short-term employment visas/entry permits. This problem could be resolved when the quarantine and social distancing measures relaxed. In terms of pooling of talents, the Government will continue to attract talents from home and abroad to settle in Hong Kong and to promote the flow of talents within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area."
      The spokesperson added, "Net movement includes the movement of Hong Kong residents into and out of Hong Kong for various purposes such as work, study and migration, but the breakdown of figures is not available. Hong Kong residents travelling abroad are not required to declare to the Government their purpose of travel. Therefore, the Government does not have direct statistics on emigration of Hong Kong residents. Being an international city, Hong Kong's population has always been mobile. During the past 10 years, net outflows of Hong Kong residents other than One-way Permit holders were recorded for most of the years."
Further information
     "Usual Residents" refer to two categories of people: (1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least three months during the six months before or for at least three months during the six months after the reference time-point, regardless of whether they are in Hong Kong or not at the reference time-point; and (2) Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents who are in Hong Kong at the reference time-point.
     For those Hong Kong Permanent Residents who are not "Usual Residents", they are classified as "Mobile Residents" if they have stayed in Hong Kong for at least one month but less than three months during the six months before or for at least one month but less than three months during the six months after the reference time-point, regardless of whether they are in Hong Kong or not at the reference time-point.
     Under the current practice, the latest population estimate is released on a provisional basis in each round. The revised estimate will be released six months later. In other words, while the provisional population estimate for mid-2022 is released today, the corresponding revised estimate will be released in February 2023.
Ends/Thursday, August 11, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:30
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