Published in Hong Kong News on 18.08.2023

HK News: Hong Kong population projections for 2022-2046 released

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) has announced the release of an updated set of population projections on August 15th.

These projections, compiled by the C&SD, cover the period from 2022 to 2046, with the mid-2021 population serving as the base. In addition to the baseline population projections, the C&SD has also included high and low population projections for reference. While the baseline projection scenario is based on assumptions regarding fertility, mortality, and movement that are considered the most likely to occur at the time of compilation, the two additional projection scenarios explore potential outcomes under more aggressive or conservative assumptions.

According to the data, under the baseline population projections, the Hong Kong Resident Population is expected to reach 8.19 million by mid-2046. However, the high and low population projections indicate potential figures of 8.96 million and 7.76 million, respectively.

The population movement of Hong Kong during mid-2021 to mid-2022 was adversely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Nevertheless, with the moderation of the epidemic situation and the gradual relaxation of anti-epidemic control measures, normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland and other parts of the world has been progressively resumed. Many Hong Kong residents who had stayed abroad during the epidemic have returned to Hong Kong, while some Mainland and overseas persons have also been admitted to Hong Kong through various schemes, resulting in a rebound in the population in 2023. Under the baseline population projections, the Hong Kong Resident Population is projected to generally maintain an upward trend over the entire projection period and the mid-2046 population would be 780 000 higher than the mid-2021 population of 7.41 million.

In particular, the number of deaths would significantly increase in tandem with the ageing trend of the population. Coupling with the decreasing number of births, there would be a natural decrease (i.e. deaths less births) of 750 000. On the other hand, there would be a net population inflow (i.e. inflow less outflow) of 1.52 million.

Population ageing is expected to continue. 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. The corresponding proportion of the population is projected to increase from 20.5 per cent to 36.0 per cent, meaning more than one in every three Hong Kong people will be an elderly.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's fertility rate is expected to remain low. The total fertility rate (i.e. the number of children born alive to 1 000 women during their lifetime) is projected to rebound slightly from 772 in 2021 to 938 in 2046.

In recent years, the Government has launched a number of talent attraction and labour importation schemes, which will provide an important impetus to facilitate population growth in the next two decades or so. Throughout the projection period, the net inflow of population would comprise 890 000 One-way Permit holders, 510 000 Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents admitted through various schemes and 240 000 foreign domestic helpers.

Full article at Info HK Gov