Country List | World Factbook Home
CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal 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 has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will 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)
Geography - note:
more than 200 islands
People Hong Kong
6,940,432 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.5% (male 488,607/female 445,593)
15-64 years: 73.7% (male 2,495,679/female 2,620,336)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 413,031/female 477,186) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 40.7 years
male: 40.4 years
female: 40.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.59% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
7.29 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
6.29 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.95 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.59 years
male: 78.9 years
female: 84.5 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
0.95 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 95%, other 5%
eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 93.5%
male: 96.9%
female: 89.6% (2002)
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; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election limited to about 200,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies
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 14 official members and 15 non-official members
elections: previous chief executive TUNG Chee-hwa was elected to second five-year term in March 2002 by 800-member election committee dominated by pro-Beijing forces, resignation accepted 12 March 2005; Donald TSANG acted as chief executive between 12 March 2005 and 25 May 2005; Henry TANG acted as chief executive between 25 May 2005 and 24 June 2005; TSANG was elected on 16 June 2005 to fill final two years of TUNG's term (next election to be held in March 2007)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; in 2004 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 September 2004 (next to be held in September 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - pro-democracy group 62%; seats by party - (pro-Beijing 34) DAB 12, Liberal Party 10, independents 11, FTU 1; (pro-democracy 25) independents 11, Democratic Party 9, CTU 2, ADPL 1, Frontier Party 1, NWSC 1; non-voting LEGCO president 1
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 [MA Lik]; Democratic Party [Albert HO]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Democratic Party, Frontier Party; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party
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 CHAN, exco member]
International organization participation:
APEC, AsDB, 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)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Consul General James B. CUNNINGHAM
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. The territory has become more closely linked to mainland China over the past few years. Even before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration on 1 July 1997, it had extensive trade and investment ties with China. Hong Kong's service industry over the past decade has grown rapidly as its manufacturing industry has moved to the mainland. Hong Kong also has stepped up its efforts to gain approval to offer more mainland financial services in a bid to remain competitive with China's growing financial centers. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Gross imports and exports (i.e., including reexports to and from third countries) each exceed GDP in dollar value. Per capita GDP exceeds that of the four big economies of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2006, but Hong Kong suffered two recessions in the past eight years because of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998 and the global downturn in 2001-2002. Although the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 also battered Hong Kong's economy, a solid rise in exports, a boom in tourism from the mainland because of China's easing of travel restrictions, and a return of consumer confidence resulted in the resumption of strong growth from late 2003 through 2006. Moreover, several large initial public offerings of Chinese companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange since late 2005 have helped to boost Hong Kong's status as a financial hub and have contributed to the improved performance of the market in late 2006.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$253.1 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$187.1 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.9% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$36,500 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 9%
services: 90.9% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
3.63 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 7.5%, construction 7.5%, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 43.9%, financing, insurance, and real estate 2.9%, transport and communications 7.1%, community and social services 43.9%
note: above data exclude public sector (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.9% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
52.25 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
21.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $35.16 billion
expenditures: $33.02 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.9 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:
1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fresh vegetables; poultry, pork; fish
textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
38.45 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
44.55 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
4.497 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
10.39 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
285,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day
Oil - imports:
25,000 bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.2 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.524 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance:
$20.9 billion (2006 est.)
$611.6 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
Exports - partners:
China 45%, US 16.1%, Japan 5.3% (2005)
$329.8 billion (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
Imports - partners:
China 45%, Japan 11%, Taiwan 7.2%, Singapore 5.8%, US 5.1%, South Korea 4.4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$132 billion (November 2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$472.9 billion (30 June 2006 est.)
Currency (code):
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Hong Kong dollars per US dollar - 7.77367 (2006), 7.7773 (2005), 7.788 (2004), 7.7868 (2003), 7.7989 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Hong Kong
Telephones - main lines in use:
3,794,600 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
8.693 million (2005)
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; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China; access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2004)
4.45 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
55 low power stations
note: two TV networks, each one broadcasting on two channels (2006)
1.84 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
800,834 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
4,878,713 (2005)
Transportation Hong Kong
3 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
3 (2006)
total: 1,955 km
paved: 1,955 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 924 ships (1000 GRT or over) 30,838,025 GRT/51,957,682 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 495, cargo 121, chemical tanker 44, container 133, liquefied gas 22, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 76, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 7, vehicle carrier 8
foreign-owned: 562 (Australia 1, Belgium 3, Canada 28, China 274, Denmark 6, Germany 6, Greece 27, Indonesia 4, Japan 67, South Korea 6, Norway 26, Philippines 16, Portugal 1, Singapore 24, Syria 1, Taiwan 6, UAE 2, UK 43, US 21)
registered in other countries: 417 (Bahamas 8, Belize 8, Bermuda 10, Cambodia 15, China 7, Cyprus 1, France 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 2, Greece 1, Honduras 2, India 1, Liberia 37, Malaysia 14, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 7, Norway 55, Panama 169, Philippines 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Singapore 50, Taiwan 3, Tuvalu 8, unknown 7) (2006)
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
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,743,972
females age 18-49: 1,904,967 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,403,088
females age 18-49: 1,527,278 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 40,343
females age 18-49: 38,234 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Hong Kong garrison is funded by China; figures are NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues Hong Kong
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
makes strenuous law enforcement efforts, but 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 18 January, 2007