Driven by massive immigration, Hong Kong is experiencing a record decline in population. – 08/12/2022 at 14:11

The city has the lowest birth rate in Asia. But at the same time, many residents never left the former British colony.

(AFP/JADE GAO)

(AFP/JADE GAO)

About 113,200 residents have left Hong Kong, which has seen a record drop in population over the past year. As Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy activities weighs on Hong Kongers, the city is now facing one of the world’s toughest coronavirus health measures.

According to mid-year population estimates, Hong Kong has a population of 7,291,600 or

A decrease of 1.6% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Figures released Thursday show a net exodus of 113,200 residents between mid-2021 and mid-2022.

This is due to restrictions imposed at borders to combat the pandemic, which has “disrupted the flow of people,” a spokesman for the government at the financial center said. According to government statistics, the territory’s population began to decline in 2020 and shows no signs of stopping.

Disconnect from the world for 2 years

Formerly Asia’s transportation and logistics hub, Hong Kong has been cut off from the world for more than two years due to its strict health policy, in line with China’s “zero-Covid” strategy. At the height of the epidemic this year,

Resident departures by air often exceed 2,000 per day

Visits dropped to a trickle.

The population decline is part of a broader trend of exodus of Hong Kongers in response to Beijing’s displeasure following 2019’s pro-democracy protests.

The government continues to reduce these departures

, suggesting that many will one day return or be replaced by residents from mainland China. Officials attribute the population decline in part to the city’s low birth rate, which combines an aging population with one of the lowest fertility rates in Asia.

Last year, Hong Kong reported 26,500 more deaths than births, up from 11,900 the year before.

Immigration from mainland China was once a major population driver in Hong Kong, but recent numbers have been low due to border closures.

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