Country Information Database


Hong Kong Country Information

Hong Kong
Flag of Hong Kong
Map of Hong Kong
Introduction Hong Kong
Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system would not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Geography Hong Kong
Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates:
22 15 N, 114 10 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 1,092 sq km
land: 1,042 sq km
water: 50 sq km
Area - comparative:
six times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 30 km
regional border: China 30 km
733 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
subtropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall
hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Tai Mo Shan 958 m
Natural resources:
outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar
Land use:
arable land: 5.05%
permanent crops: 1.01%
other: 93.94% (2001)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues:
air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)
Geography - note:
more than 200 islands
People Hong Kong
7,018,636 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 12.6% (male 463,300/female 422,945)
15-64 years: 74.4% (male 2,535,246/female 2,684,495)
65 years and over: 13% (male 425,500/female 487,150) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 41.7 years
male: 41.4 years
female: 42 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.532% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
7.37 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.93 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.11 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.77 years
male: 79.07 years
female: 84.69 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 95%, Filipino 1.6%, Indonesian 1.3%, other 2.1% (2006 census)
eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Chinese (Cantonese) 89.2% (official), other Chinese dialects 6.4%, English 3.2% (official), other 1.2% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 93.5%
male: 96.9%
female: 89.6% (2002)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 13 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
3.9% of GDP (2006)
Government Hong Kong
Country name:
conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Hong Kong
local long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu
local short form: Xianggang
abbreviation: HK
Dependency status:
special administrative region of China
Government type:
limited democracy
Administrative divisions:
none (special administrative region of China)
none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday:
National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 1 July 1997 is celebrated as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Basic Law, approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"
Legal system:
based on English common law
direct election - 18 years of age for a number of non-executive positions; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election - limited to about 220,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, central government bodies, and municipal organizations
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Donald TSANG (since 24 June 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of 15 official members and 16 non-official members
elections: chief executive elected for five-year term by 800-member electoral committee; last held on 25 March 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: Donald TSANG elected chief executive receiving 84.1% of the vote of the election committee; Alan LEONG received 15.9%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 7 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by parties - pro-Beijing 37; pro-democracy 23
Judicial branch:
Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders:
Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee]; Citizens Party [Alex CHAN Kai-chung]; Civic Party [KUAN Hsin-chi]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [TAM Yiu Cheng]; Democratic Party [Albert HO]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing]; League of Social Democrats [Raymond WONG]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Democratic Party, Frontier Party, League of Social Democrats; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party, The Alliance (a group of five generally pro-government and pro-business Legco members from functional constituencies); there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Confederation of Trade Unions or CTU (pro-democracy) [LAU Chin-shek, president; LEE Cheuk-yan, general secretary]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions or FTU (pro-China) [CHENG Yiu-tong, executive councilor]; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]; Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC (pro-democracy); The Alliance [Bernard CHARNWUT, exco member]
International organization participation:
ADB, APEC, BIS, ICC, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITUC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WCO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (special administrative region of China); Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington and two other cities carries out normal liaison and communication with the US Government and other US entities
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Consul General Joseph A. DONOVAN, Jr.
consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521-0006
telephone: [852] 2523-9011
FAX: [852] 2845-1598
Flag description:
red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center
Economy Hong Kong
Economy - overview:
Hong Kong has a free market economy highly dependent on international trade. In 2006, the total value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of reexports, was equivalent to 400% of GDP. The territory has become increasingly integrated with mainland China over the past few years through trade, tourism, and financial links. The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for 46% of Hong Kong's total trade by value in 2006. As a result of China's easing of travel restrictions, the number of mainland tourists to the territory has surged from 4.5 million in 2001 to 13.6 million in 2006, when they outnumbered visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad. Bolstered by several successful initial public offerings in early 2007, by September 2007 mainland companies accounted for one-third of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and more than half of the Exchange's market capitalization. During the past decade, as Hong Kong's manufacturing industry moved to the mainland, its service industry has grown rapidly and now accounts for 91% of the territory's GDP. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2007, despite the economy suffering two recessions during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98 and the global downturn in 2001-02. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$293.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$206.7 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$42,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 8.1%
services: 91.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
3.64 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 6.5%, construction 2.1%, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 43.3%, financing, insurance, and real estate 20.7%, transport and communications 7.8%, community and social services 19.5%
note: above data exclude public sector (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
53.3 (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $36.9 billion
expenditures: $29.4 billion (FY07-08 est.)
Public debt:
12.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fresh vegetables; poultry, pork; fish
textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
Industrial production growth rate:
-0.8% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
38.6 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
40.3 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports:
4.5 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports:
10.9 billion kWh (2006)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption:
292,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
22,420 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports:
314,700 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.944 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.944 billion cu m (2006)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$28.04 billion (2007 est.)
$345.9 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
Exports - partners:
China 48.7%, US 13.7%, Japan 4.5% (2007)
$365.6 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
Imports - partners:
China 46.3%, Japan 10%, Taiwan 7.1%, Singapore 6.8%, US 4.9%, South Korea 4.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$6.95 million (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$152.7 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$588 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.185 trillion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.027 trillion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$2.97 trillion (2007 est.)
Currency (code):
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Hong Kong dollars per US dollar - 7.802 (2007), 7.7678 (2006), 7.7773 (2005), 7.788 (2004), 7.7868 (2003)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Hong Kong
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.875 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
10.55 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
international: country code - 852; multiple international submarine cables provide connections to Asia, US, Australia, the Middle East, and Western Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2004)
4.45 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
55 (2 TV networks, each broadcasting on 2 channels) (2007)
1.84 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
812,137 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
3.961 million (2007)
Transportation Hong Kong
2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
5 (2007)
total: 2,009 km
paved: 2,009 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,074 ships (1000 GRT or over) 37,295,109 GRT/61,581,647 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 512, cargo 140, carrier 3, chemical tanker 61, combination ore/oil 2, container 192, liquefied gas 21, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 110, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 9, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 659 (Belgium 2, Canada 42, China 322, Denmark 21, Germany 5, Greece 27, Indonesia 7, Japan 85, Norway 40, Philippines 9, Portugal 1, Russia 1, Singapore 11, South Korea 5, Syria 1, Taiwan 11, UAE 2, UK 38, US 29)
registered in other countries: 339 (Bahamas 5, Belize 4, Bermuda 4, Cambodia 14, China 10, Cyprus 2, Georgia 2, Honduras 1, India 1, Kiribati 3, Liberia 45, Malaysia 14, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 5, Mongolia 2, Nigeria 2, Norway 6, Panama 142, Philippines 1, Seychelles 1, Singapore 44, St Vincent and the Grenadines 7, Tuvalu 10, UK 2, Vietnam 1, unknown 8) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Hong Kong
Military Hong Kong
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes elements of the PLA Ground Forces, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under administrative control of the adjacent Guangzhou Military Region (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,772,820
females age 16-49: 1,941,448 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,438,165
females age 16-49: 1,561,252 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 42,173
female: 38,753 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues Hong Kong
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
despite strenuous law enforcement efforts, faces difficult challenges in controlling transit of heroin and methamphetamine to regional and world markets; modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering; rising indigenous use of synthetic drugs, especially among young people

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Wed, 06 Dec 2023 23:37:26 +0000