East & Southeast Asia :: Hong Kong
(special administrative region of China)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Hong Kong
Location 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 the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system would not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong would 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
22 15 N, 114 10 E
total: 1,104 sq km
country comparison to the world: 183
land: 1,054 sq km
water: 50 sq km
six times the size of Washington, DC
total: 30 km
regional border: China 30 km
733 km
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
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Tai Mo Shan 958 m
outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar
arable land: 5.05%
permanent crops: 1.01%
other: 93.94% (2001)
20 sq km (1998 est.)
occasional typhoons
air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)
more than 200 islands
People ::Hong Kong
7,055,071 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
0-14 years: 12.2% (male 450,833/female 411,997)
15-64 years: 74.6% (male 2,551,256/female 2,713,532)
65 years and over: 13.1% (male 434,090/female 493,363) (2009 est.)
total: 42.3 years
male: 41.9 years
female: 42.6 years (2009 est.)
0.504% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
7.42 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 223
6.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
4.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 2.92 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 220
male: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 81.86 years
country comparison to the world: 6
male: 79.16 years
female: 84.79 years (2009 est.)
1.02 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
0.1% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
2,600 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
Chinese 95%, Filipino 1.6%, Indonesian 1.3%, other 2.1% (2006 census)
eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Chinese (Cantonese) 89.2% (official), other Chinese dialects 6.4%, English 3.2% (official), other 1.2% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 93.5%
male: 96.9%
female: 89.6% (2002)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 13 years (2006)
3.9% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 112
Government ::Hong Kong
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
special administrative region of China
limited democracy
none (special administrative region of China)
none (special administrative region of China)
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"
based on English common law
direct election - 18 years of age for half the legislature and a majority of seats in 18 district councils; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election - limited to about 220,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, central government bodies, and municipal organizations
chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Donald TSANG Yam-kuen (since 24 June 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council or ExCo consists of 15 official members and 14 non-official members
elections: chief executive elected for five-year term by 800-member electoral committee; last held on 25 March 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: Donald TSANG elected chief executive receiving 84.1% of the vote of the election committee; Alan LEONG Kah-kit received 15.9%
unicameral Legislative Council or LegCo (60 seats; 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 7 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - pro-democracy 57%; pro-Beijing 40%, independent 3%; seats by parties - (pro-Beijing 35) DAB 13, Liberal Party 7, FTU 1, others 14; (pro-democracy 23) Democratic Party 8, Civic Party 5, CTU 3, League of Social Democrats 3, ADPL 2, The Frontier 1, NWSC 1; others 11; independents and non-voting LegCo president 2
Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee]; Civic Party [KUAN Hsin-chi]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [TAM Yiu Cheng]; Democratic Party [Albert HO Chun-yan]; League of Social Democrats [Raymond WONG Yuk-man]; Liberal Party [Miriam LAU Kin-yee]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Civic Party; Democratic Party, League of Social Democrats; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party, The Professional Forum (an informal group of three generally pro-government and pro-business LegCo members from functional constituencies and one independent elected from a geographic constituency); there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies
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 [LEUNG Yiu-chung, LegCo member] (pro-democracy); Civic Act-up [Cyd HO Sau-lan, LegCo member] (pro-democracy)
ADB, APEC, BIS, ICC, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITUC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WMO, WTO
none (special administrative region of China); Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, New York, and San Francisco carries out normal liaison and communication with the US Government and other US entities
chief of mission: Acting Consul General Christopher J. MARUT
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
red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center
Economy ::Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a free market economy highly dependent on international trade and finance, which has left it heavily exposed to the global economic slowdown that began in 2008. The total value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of reexports, was equivalent to 404% of GDP in 2007. The territory has become increasingly integrated with mainland China over the past few years through trade, tourism, and financial links. The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 49% of Hong Kong's exports trade by value in 2008. As a result of China's easing of travel restrictions, the number of mainland tourists to the territory has surged from 4.5 million in 2001 to 16.9 million in 2008, when they outnumbered visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad. More than one-third of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are now mainland Chinese companies. They account for 60% of the Exchange's market capitalization. During the past decade, as Hong Kong's manufacturing industry moved to the mainland, its service industry has grown rapidly and now accounts for more than 90% of the territory's GDP. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2007, but the global financial crisis caused a sharp slowdown in the second half of 2008, pushing the territory into recession. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983.
$306.6 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$299.4 billion (2007 est.)
$281.4 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$215.6 billion (2008 est.)
2.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
6.4% (2007 est.)
7% (2006 est.)
$43,700 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$42,900 (2007 est.)
$40,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 0%
industry: 7.4%
services: 92.7% (2008 est.)
3.66 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
manufacturing 6.1%, construction 1.9%, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 42.9%, financing, insurance, and real estate 21.4%, transport and communications 7.9%, community and social services 19.7%
note: above data exclude public sector (2008 est.)
4.1% (December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
4% (2007 est.)
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
53.3 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 17
19.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
revenues: $39.04 billion
expenditures: $39.76 billion (2008 est.)
13.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
2.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
4.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
2% (2007 est.)
0.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
5.75% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
$63.03 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 25
$51.25 billion (31 December 2007)
$352.4 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 9
$578.1 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 29
$259.7 billion (31 December 2007)
$1.32 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 15
$1.163 trillion (31 December 2007)
$895.2 billion (31 December 2006 est.)
fresh vegetables; poultry, pork; fish
textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
-1.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
38.4 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
44.6 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
3.553 billion kWh (2008 est.)
11 billion kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
366,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
19,480 bbl/day (2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
334,900 bbl/day (2008)
country comparison to the world: 33
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
3.36 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
3.36 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
$30.52 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
$25.53 billion (2007 est.)
$365.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$345.9 billion (2007 est.)
electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
China 48.5%, US 12.8%, Japan 4.3% (2008)
$388.4 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
$365.6 billion (2007 est.)
raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
China 46.6%, Japan 9.8%, Singapore 6.4%, US 5% (2008)
$182.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
$152.7 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$659.9 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 16
$711.1 billion (31 December 2007)
$1.241 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$1.178 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
$1.071 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
$1.011 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
Hong Kong dollars (HKD) per US dollar - 7.751 (2008), 7.802 (2007), 7.7678 (2006), 7.7773 (2005), 7.788 (2004)
Communications ::Hong Kong
4.108 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 38
11.374 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 54
general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
international: country code - 852; multiple international submarine cables provide connections to Asia, US, Australia, the Middle East, and Western Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China
AM 6, FM 10, shortwave 0 (2008)
2 (2 TV networks, each broadcasting on 2 channels) (2008)
.hk
813,980 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 44
4.124 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
Transportation ::Hong Kong
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 199
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)
9 (2009)
total: 2,040 km
country comparison to the world: 172
paved: 2,040 km (2008)
total: 1,114
country comparison to the world: 8
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 525, cargo 142, carrier 3, chemical tanker 68, combination ore/oil 2, container 205, liquefied gas 22, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 114, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 9, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 703 (Belgium 3, Canada 44, China 324, Denmark 24, France 1, Germany 6, Greece 22, Indonesia 7, Iran 15, Japan 111, South Korea 3, Norway 40, Philippines 1, Portugal 1, Russia 2, Singapore 18, Syria 1, Taiwan 11, UAE 1, UK 39, US 29)
registered in other countries: 357 (Bahamas 30, Bermuda 4, Cambodia 8, China 12, Cyprus 2, Georgia 2, Honduras 1, India 1, Jamaica 1, Kiribati 4, Liberia 44, Malaysia 14, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 4, Mexico 1, Netherlands Antilles 2, Norway 20, Panama 130, Philippines 1, Portugal 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Seychelles 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 47, Tuvalu 7, UK 2, Vietnam 1, unknown 8) (2008)
Hong Kong
Military ::Hong Kong
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 (2009)
males age 16-49: 1,772,820
females age 16-49: 1,941,448 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 1,421,406
females age 16-49: 1,543,443 (2009 est.)
male: 42,330
female: 38,797 (2009 est.)
NA
defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues ::Hong Kong
none
despite strenuous law enforcement efforts, 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