Hong Kong’s population no longer has the longest life expectancy in the world, according to new data released by the territory’s Census and Statistics Department earlier this week for the year 2022. Hong Kong’s women are now expected to live to 86.8 years on average, and their male counterparts for 80.7 years. The data shows that Japanese women now are expected to live to 87.1 years, and men for 81.1 years. The government has not yet released figures for 2023.

The report states that data for 2022 “should be interpreted with care, as the figures are affected by exceptionally high mortality rates in 2022 during the COVID-19 epidemic”. During the fifth wave of the pandemic in Hong Kong in late 2021 and early 2022, 9,291 deaths were recorded with Covid-19, in a city with a population of about 7.4 million people by the end of 2021 — the highest Covid death rate in the world at the time.

hong kong life expectancy figures from 1972-2022
Hong Kong’s life expectancy figures from 1972-2022 (© Centre for Health Protection)

While Japanese women are now expected to live longer than their counterparts in Hong Kong, men in Sweden (81.3 years), Japan (81.1 years), and Norway (80.9 years) have longer life expectancies than males in the SAR. Singapore’s provisional figures show that the city state’s life expectancy for women is 85.2 years, and 80.7 years for men.

Hong Kong has dominated global longevity rankings since the early 2000s. However, there are factors apart from Covid-19 that have contributed to the city’s recent decreased life expectancy rates. A recent survey by Cigna Healthcare found that 87% of Hongkongers surveyed experience stress, while 96% reported at least one burnout symptom — leading to the lowest average vitality score in the Asia-Pacific region.

See also
More Than 100,000 Hong Kong Residents Returned To City In 2022-2023, HK Population Will Cross 8 Million In 2046

Header image credits: Alwyn Chan via Flickr

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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