Skip to main content
Flag of Hong Kong

Hong Kong country facts

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region East and Southeast Asia N/A 7,112,688 inhabitants 1,104 sq km 6,442.65 inhabitants/sq km Hong Kong dollars (HKD) special administrative region of China population evolution



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 the People's Republic 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 subsequent 50 years.



Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Geographic coordinates

22 15 N, 114 10 E

Area (sq km)

total: 1,104 sq km
land: 1,054 sq km
water: 50 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

total: 33 km
regional border: China 33 km

Coastline (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 (m)

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% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

NA; note - included in the total for China

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

composed of more than 200 islands

People and Society


noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong

Ethnic groups (%)

Chinese 93.1%, Indonesian 1.9%, Filipino 1.9%, other 3% (2011 est.)

Languages (%)

Cantonese (official) 89.5%, English (official) 3.5%, Putonghua (Mandarin) 1.4%, other Chinese dialects 4%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)

Religions (%)

eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%


7,112,688 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 12.1% (male 456,638/female 402,462)
15-24 years: 11.5% (male 417,300/female 398,270)
25-54 years: 46.9% (male 1,430,036/female 1,905,585)
55-64 years: 14.8% (male 517,045/female 537,290)
65 years and over: 14.4% (male 493,399/female 554,663) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Hong Kong

Median age (years)

total: 43.2 years
male: 42.8 years
female: 43.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

0.41% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

9.38 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

6.93 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

1.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 100% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.04% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.75 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 2.73 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 82.78 years
male: 80.18 years
female: 85.71 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.17 children born/woman (2014 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.)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

3.5% of GDP (2012)

Literacy (%)

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) (years)

total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 9.3%
male: 10.9%
female: 7.8% (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Hong Kong
official long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu
official 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


several previous (governance documents while under British authority); latest drafted April 1988 to February 1989, approved March 1990, promulgated 4 April 1990 (Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China serves as the constitution); note - since 1990, China's National People's Congress has interpreted specific articles of the Basic Law (2013)

Legal system

mixed legal system of common law based on the English model and Chinese customary law (in matters of family and land tenure)


18 years of age in direct elections for half the legislature and a majority of seats in 18 district councils; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; note - in indirect elections, suffrage is limited to about 220,000 members of functional constituencies for the other half of the legislature and a 1,200-member election committee for the chief executive drawn from broad sectoral groupings, central government bodies, municipal organizations, and elected Hong Kong officials

Executive branch

chief of state: President of China XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013)
head of government: Chief Executive LEUNG Chun-ying [C.Y. LEUNG] (since 1 July 2012)
cabinet: Executive Council or ExCo consists of 15 official members and 14 non-official members
elections: chief executive elected for five-year term by a 1,200-member election committee; LEUNG Chun-ying [C.Y.LEUNG] was elected chief executiveon 25 March 2012 and took office on 1 July 2012; (next to be held in March 2017)
note: the Legislative Council voted in June 2010 to expand the electoral committee to 1,200 seats for the 2012 selection
election results: LEUNG Chun-ying was elected with 689 votes; Henry TANG with 285 votes, and Albert HO with 76 of the 1,132 votes cast; 82 ballots were deemed invalid; most were blank

Legislative branch

unicameral Legislative Council or LegCo (70 seats; 35 members indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 35 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
note: the LegCo voted in June 2010 to expand to 70 seats for the 2012 election; the measure was approved by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in August 2010
elections: last held on 9 September 2012 (next to be held in September 2016)
election results: percent of vote by block - pro-democracy 56%; pro-Beijing 41%, independent 3%; seats by parties - (pro-Beijing 43) DAB 13, BPA 7, FTU 6, Liberal Party 5, NPP 2, others 10; (pro-democracy 27) Democratic Party 6, Civic Party 6, Labor Party 4, People Power 3, Professional Commons 2, League of Social Democrats 1, ADPL 1, PTU 1, Neo Democrats 1, NWSC 1; independent 2

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Final Appeal (consists of the chief justice, 3 permanent judges and 20 non-permanent judges); note - a sitting bench consists of the chief justice and 3 permanent and 1 non-permanent judges
judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the Hong Kong Chief Executive upon the recommendation of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission, an independent body consisting of the Secretary for Justice and other judges, judicial and legal professionals; permanent judges appointed until normal retirement at age 65, but can be extended; non-permanent judges appointed for renewable 3-year terms without age limit
subordinate courts: High Court (consists of the Court of Appeal and Court of First Instance); District Courts (includes Family and Land Courts); magistrates' courts; specialized tribunals

Political parties and leaders

parties: Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Bruce LIU Sing-lee]
Business and Professional Alliance or BPA [Andrew LEUNG]
Civic Party [EU Audrey]
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [TAM Yiu-chung]
Democratic Party [Emily LAU]
Labor Party [LEE Cheuk-yan]
League of Social Democrats or LSD [LEUNG Kwok-hung]
Liberal Party [James TIEN]
Neo Democrats [joint leaders]
New People's Party [Regina IP Lau Su-yee]
People Power [Erica YUEN Mi-ming]
others: Confederation of Trade Unions or CTU
Federation of Trade Unions or FTU
Neighborhood and Workers Service Center or NWSC
Professional Commons (think tank) [Charles Peter MOK]
Professional Teachers Union or PTU
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Civic Party, Democratic Party, Labor Party, LSD, People Power, Professional Commons; pro-Beijing - DAB, FTU, Liberal Party, New People's Party, BPA; 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) [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 [LEE Cheuk-yan, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [FUNG Wai-wah, president]; Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC [LEUNG Yiu-chung, LegCo member] (pro-democracy); Civic Act-up [Cyd HO Sau-lan, LegCo member] (pro-democracy)

International organization participation

ADB, APEC, BIS, FATF, ICC (national committees), IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITUC (NGOs), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (Special Administrative Region of China); Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) carries out normal liaison and communication with the US Government and other US entities
commissioner: Clement C.M. LEUNG
office: 1520 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] 202 331-8947
FAX: [1] 202 331-8958
HKETO offices: New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Consul General Clifford A. HART Jr. (since 30 July 2013); note - also accredited to Macau
consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
mailing address: Unit 8000, Box 1, DPO 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; each petal contains a small, red, five-pointed star in its middle; the red color is the same as that on the Chinese flag and represents the motherland; the fragrant Bauhinia - developed in Hong Kong the late 19th century - has come to symbolize the region; the five stars echo those on the flag of China

National symbol(s)

orchid tree flower

National anthem

note: as a Special Administrative Region of China, "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" is the official anthem (see China)


Economy - overview

Hong Kong has a free market economy, highly dependent on international trade and finance - the value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of re-exports, is about four times GDP. Hong Kong has no tariffs on imported goods, and it levies excise duties on only four commodities, whether imported or produced locally: hard alcohol, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, and methyl alcohol. There are no quotas or dumping laws. Hong Kong's open economy left it exposed to the global economic slowdown that began in 2008. Although increasing integration with China, through trade, tourism, and financial links, helped it to make an initial recovery more quickly than many observers anticipated, its continued reliance on foreign trade and investment leaves it vulnerable to renewed global financial market volatility or a slowdown in the global economy. The Hong Kong government is promoting the Special Administrative Region (SAR) as the site for Chinese renminbi (RMB) internationalization. Hong Kong residents are allowed to establish RMB-denominated savings accounts; RMB-denominated corporate and Chinese government bonds have been issued in Hong Kong; and RMB trade settlement is allowed. The territory far exceeded the RMB conversion quota set by Beijing for trade settlements in 2010 due to the growth of earnings from exports to the mainland. RMB deposits grew to roughly 12% of total system deposits in Hong Kong by the end of 2013. The government is pursuing efforts to introduce additional use of RMB in Hong Kong financial markets and is seeking to expand the RMB quota. The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for about half of Hong Kong's total trade by value. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. 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 34.9 million in 2012, outnumbering visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad. In 2012 mainland Chinese companies constituted about 46.6% of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and accounted for about 57.4% 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. Credit expansion and tight housing supply conditions have caused Hong Kong property prices to rise rapidly; consumer prices increased by more than 4% in 2013. Lower and middle income segments of the population are increasingly unable to afford adequate housing. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983. In 2013, Hong Kong and China signed new agreements under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, adopted in 2003 to forge closer ties between Hong Kong and the mainland. The new measures, effective from January 2014, cover services and trade facilitation, and will improve access to the mainland's service sector for Hong Kong-based companies.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$381.3 billion (2013 est.)
$370.6 billion (2012 est.)
$365.1 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$272.1 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

2.9% (2013 est.)
1.5% (2012 est.)
4.8% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$52,700 (2013 est.)
$51,600 (2012 est.)
$51,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 0%
industry: 6.9%
services: 93% (2013 est.)

Labor force

3.873 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

manufacturing: 3.8%
construction: 2.8%
wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels: 53.3%
financing, insurance, and real estate: 12.5%
transport and communications: 10.1%
community and social services: 17.1%
note: above data exclude public sector (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

3.1% (2013 est.)
3.3% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

19.6% (2012)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index

53.7 (2011)
53.3 (2007)


revenues: $59.33 billion
expenditures: $54.23 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

21.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

1.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

35.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
37.8% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

4.4% (2013 est.)
4.1% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

0.5% (31 December 2013)
0.5% (31 December 2012)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

5% (31 December 2013 est.)
5% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$193.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$176.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$1.289 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.148 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$827.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$714 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$3.082 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.814 trillion (31 December 2012)
$2.248 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

Agriculture - products

fresh vegetables and fruit; poultry, pork; fish


textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks

Industrial production growth rate (%)

0% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$5.614 billion (2013 est.)
$4.122 billion (2012 est.)


$456.4 billion (2013 est.)
$440.3 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material

Exports - partners (%)

China 57.7%, US 8.9%, Japan 4.2% (2012 est.)


$520.6 billion (2013 est.)
$501.6 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is reexported)

Imports - partners (%)

China 44.5%, Japan 8%, Taiwan 6.8%, South Korea 5.5%, US 4.9% (2012 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$311.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$317.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$1.159 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.024 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$1.502 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.237 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$1.392 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.155 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Hong Kong dollars (HKD) per US dollar -
7.772 (2013 est.)
7.756 (2012 est.)
7.77 (2010 est.)
7.75 (2009)
7.751 (2008)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March


Electricity - production (kWh)

39.97 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

44.21 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

1.65 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

11.47 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

10.67 million kW (2013 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

333,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

12,010 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

345,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

3.097 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

3.097 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

92.91 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

4.362 million (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

16.403 million (2012)

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 (2012)

Broadcast media

2 commercial terrestrial TV networks each with multiple stations; multi-channel satellite and cable TV systems available; 3 radio networks, one of which is government-funded, operate about 15 radio stations (2012)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

870,041 (2012)

Internet users

4.873 million (2009)



2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)


9 (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 2,090 km
paved: 2,090 km (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 1,644
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 785, cargo 198, carrier 10, chemical tanker 149, container 288, liquefied gas 31, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 156, roll on/roll off 5, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 976 (Bangladesh 1, Belgium 26, Bermuda 20, Canada 77, China 500, Cyprus 3, Denmark 42, France 4, Germany 10, Greece 27, Indonesia 10, Iran 3, Japan 79, Libya 1, Norway 48, Russia 1, Singapore 13, South Korea 3, Switzerland 5, Taiwan 25, UAE 1, UK 33, US 44)
registered in other countries: 341 (Bahamas 3, Bermuda 4, Cambodia 10, China 18, Curacao 1, Cyprus 2, Georgia 3, India 2, Kiribati 2, Liberia 48, Malaysia 8, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 3, NZ 1, Panama 144, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Seychelles 1, Sierra Leone 7, Singapore 46, Thailand 1, UK 12, unknown 16) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): 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 (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 1,704,090
females age 16-49: 1,873,175 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 1,387,213
females age 16-49: 1,505,875 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 39,579
female: 36,554 (2010 est.)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of China

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Hong Kong plans to reduce its 2,800-hectare Frontier Closed Area (FCA) to 400 hectares by 2015; the FCA was established in 1951 as a buffer zone between Hong Kong and mainland China to prevent illegal migration from and the smuggling of goods

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

Largest cities of Hong Kong

These are the 50 largest cities of Hong Kong ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population