The population of Hong Kong increased by 2.1% between 2022 and 2023, and now stands at 7,498,100, according to provisional figures released by the Census and Statistics Department.

Returning residents mostly accounted for this increase, with 174,000 Hongkongers re-entering the city between mid-2022 and mid-2023. In addition, 31,000 One-way Permit holders and 143,000 other Hong Kong residents travelled into Hong Kong.

“Many Hong Kong residents who 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. A large net inflow of Hong Kong residents was hence recorded in the first half of 2023,” stated the report.

This is a marked improvement from last year’s figures, when the government recorded a 1.6% decrease in the city’s population — the largest in decline in 22 years.

Passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport. They are all walking in the departures hall of the airport, and are either wearings backpacks or shoulder bags, carrying bags, or pushing trolleys with luggage.
Hong Kong residents returned to the city after the Covid-19 restrictions in the city were lifted (© Leung Cho Pan via Canva)

Hong Kong began to gradually ease its Covid-19 prevention measures in early 2022 by, most notably, scrapping the flight ban in July 2022, and ending its mandatory hotel quarantine requirement in September.

Other social-distancing restrictions were also dropped in phases, with the final measure — the mask-wearing mandate — ending in March 2023. In addition, the government dropped all compulsory pre-arrival Covid-19 testing requirements for incoming travellers in April this year.

In addition, the Census and Statistics Department forecasts that the city’s population will cross the 8-million mark in mid-2046, when it will be 8.19 million

While authorities maintain that the projected population will “generally maintain an upward trend” until 2046, it noted that there will be a “natural [population] decrease of 750,000 due to the city’s ageing population and low fertility rate.

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The report mentioned that the government’s recent talent attraction and labour importation schemes will “provide an important impetus to facilitate population growth in the next two decades or so”. 

Authorities estimate that the net inflow of population will include 890,000 One-way Permit holders, 510,000 Hong Kong Non-permanent residents, and 240,000 foreign domestic helpers over the next 23 years.

Header image credits: mbbirdy via Canva

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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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