Fact of Hong Kong Population and Labor Market! Statistical Report of 2021
The Census and Statistics Department (CSD) of Hong Kong Government has issued the “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2021 Edition)”. This statistical report is being issued each year, and the statistics cover widely from population structure to education, labor, medical and diffusion rate of internet usage. As there is data of the year 2020 and also the previous years, it is an important index to know about the transition of Hong Kong’s society. Here we are going to introduce the impact brought by the series of activities from 2019 to Hong Kong’s population and labor market now based on this statistical report.
Impact to Hong Kong’s population structure
The series of activities, including the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in 2019~2020, the implementation of Hong Kong national security law, and the COVID-19 situation from 2020, brought a great impact to Hong Kong not only on the economic side, but also on the population and labor market.
On the population side, it can be found that Hong Kong has had its population increasing continuously for the past several decades, but got a decrease in the year 2020’s data. Despite the decrease of birth rate which can also be found in the past decades, the population drain such as emigrations would also probably be one of the reasons.
Based on the CSD’s statistical report, the population, including foreign domestic helpers, in Hong Kong in 2020 was 7,481,800 (female 4 065 500, male 3 416 300).
Compared to the same data 14 years ago (female 3 587 000, male 3 270 100), both female and male got an increase, while the increase rate of females is 3 times of male’s.
However, despite the rapid increase, the year 2020’s data got the only decrease, which was about 25,000 less, compared to the previous year’s population.
The Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted phone interviews about emigrations with 716 Hong Kong citizens from 16 to 25 September 2021. It shows that 42% are considering moving out from Hong Kong, while 12% among them are considering moving out to mainland China.
On the reasons of their consideration, 22% suggested “liberty and human rights”, 18% suggested “the spacious living space and environment overseas”. For the ones who are considering to move out from Hong Kong, 38.7% answered they had already started their preparation of emigrations, and the popular destinations are the United Kingdom (26.1%), Canada (14%), Australia (11%), and Taiwan (7.5%). The ones who are considering moving to mainland China expressed their reason as “unaffordable housing price, constrained living space, high cost of living and severe economic prospect”.
Impact to the labor market
On the labor market’s statistics, it shows there was a great increase over the past 30 years, while the data changed to a continuous decrease starting from 2018 (data collected in 2019).
In the past 30 years, the number of Hong Kong’s employees increased for 38.7% from 2,800,000 in 1991 to 3,890,000 in 2020. The number of female employees increased by 85.9% while male employees increased only by 10.5%. Female foreign domestic helpers would be one of the reasons, but the main reasons are popularization of higher education among local females, increased number of unmarried local females and age at marriage becoming late.
However, comparing 2020’s data to 2019’s, the number of male employees decreased by 103,100 while female employees also decreased by 85,300. It shows that there is a significant decrease of employees in these 2 years for both male and female.
Reasons of decrease on employees’ population
According to Hung Wong, the associate professor of department of social work, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, this phenomenon has various reasons behind. The 2 main reasons would be:
1．Decreasing number of graduates
2．Part of the employees moving out of the labor market
Especially for the moving out from labor market, there could be 3 more reasons which lead:
People of age 50~69 are actually still labor force in the labor market. However some of them may take their choice of early retirement instead, due to the scarcity of employment. They are so called as “discourage workers”, which is different from the government’s definition of unemployment.
People of age 30s choosing to leave their current work and move to other countries can often be heard.
3．Decline of labor market
There might be a possibility that the employers are not willing to hire young people, and the young people also are not willing to work as employees, due to various reasons.
To conclude, the data of population and labor market of Hong Kong shows that Hong Kong citizens’ hope for the future has been fluctuated by the series of activities since 2019. There is a significant trend of increasing numbers of Hong Kong citizens willing to move out of their home, Hong Kong.
Reference: Census and Statistics Department of HKSAR (2021). “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2021 Edition)”
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