Hong Kong
Where East meets West
Hong Kong religion, demographics

Demographics & Religion

A city that grows mainly thanks to immigration...

Hong Kong is one of the world's most populous territories.  Its population density stands on 6,375 people per square kilometer, but in reality it is much higher, as only 25% of the territory's landmass is developed...


The density has its impact, first and foremost, on housing conditions, and most of the residents live in small apartments, located within gigantic residential blocks. 

Price per square meter is among the highest in the world and at least half of the city's residents have to live in public housing projects that were built by the government in order to provide available housing at an affordable cost.


A unique housing trend started to develop in the last few years, whereby many citizens moved to the city of Shenzhen, on the Chinese side of the border. Living in Shenzhen do cut the housing expenses drastically but creates a serious discomfort for those people who have to cross the border twice a day, on their way to work and back home.


Hong Kong's population counts more than seven million people. Chinese form the largest ethnic group, comprising more than 95% of the population.  Most of Hong Kong's Chinese community is of Cantonese origin or from neighboring ethnic groups such as Hakka and Teochew, although a large number of migrants from other parts of China arrived at the territory in the last few years, especially after the handover.

Other ethnic groups that can be found in the territory include, mainly, communities of immigrants from Southeast Asian countries, with a strong presence of Philippines, Indonesians, Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese.             


The Philippines and the Indonesian communities include many single women who came to the territory to work as house-maids and nannies, while most of the Indians and Pakistani are either workers or traders, many of whom were born in Hong Kong and speak fluent Cantonese. 


Europeans too have a notable presence in Hong Kong. Especially British origin who were born in Hong Kong, alongside an increasing number of expatriates from America, Australia Britain and Canada.


Fertility rate in Hong Kong is among the lowest in the world and stands on 0.95 children per woman... less than half of the 2.1 children per woman, required to sustain the current population. Despite of the low birth rate, the territory's population continues to increase, mainly due to the massive migration from mainland China that stands on an average of forty five thousand newcomers a year.


Did you know ?

While Hong Kongers have one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, the city's population keeps on growing... mainly thanks to migration from mainland China and Southeast Asia... 


Religious freedom is one of the fundamental rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents. It is enshrined under the Hong Kong's basic law and, indeed, each and every one of the religions, practiced in Hong Kong, is treated with respect and tolerance.


The majority of Hong Kong's population (that is 85-90%) practices a folk version of Buddhism, or Taoism.  It is important to remember that despite of the city's modern lifestyle, Chinese superstitions still play an integral part of the culture. Concepts like Fung shui are taken quite seriously and expensive construction projects often include the hiring of consultants, who are believed to make or break a business.


There is a sizable Christian community of around 500,000, forming about 7% of the total population; it is roughly equally divided between Catholics and Protestants.


Apart from the major religions, there are also a significant number of followers of other religions, including an estimated 3,000 Jews and a number of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Bahá'ís.


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