Summary Results of the 2006 Population By-census Announced

       Hong Kong's resident population was 6,864,000 in mid-July 2006.  Of this total, 6,645,000 were Usual Residents and 219,000 were Mobile Residents.  These figures were presented in the summary results of the 2006 Population By-census released today (February 22).

       Announcing the summary results at a press conference today, the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Fung Hing-wang, said that the ageing trend in the population had continued during the past 10 years, with the median age rising from 34 in 1996 to 36 in 2001 and to 39 in 2006.  This could be attributed to the continuing low fertility rate and mortality improvement over the period.

       The sex ratio has fallen below parity.  From 1,000 males per 1,000 females in 1996, the sex ratio dropped to 911 in 2006.  The corresponding sex ratios after excluding foreign domestic helpers were 1,037 males per 1,000 females in 1996 and 961 males per 1,000 females in 2006. 

       As for marital status, the proportion of never-married people among the male population of age 15 and over decreased from 34.2% in 1996 to 33.9% in 2001, but increased again to 34.3% in 2006.  For the females, the proportion was 28.9% in 1996, rising to 30.1% in 2001 and further increasing to 30.7% in 2006.

       About 95% of the population were of Chinese ethnicity.  The largest non-Chinese ethnic groups in Hong Kong were Filipinos and Indonesians.

       Cantonese was the most commonly used language/dialect at home for about 91% of the population aged 5 and over.  Another 6% claimed that they could speak the dialect.  About 40% of the population claimed to speak Putonghua as the usual language or to be able to speak it.

       The educational level of the population has improved.  The proportion of the population aged 15 and over with secondary or higher education increased from 68% in 1996 to 75% in 2006.  In particular, the proportion of those with post-secondary education in degree courses or above also increased significantly from 10% to 15%.

       About 81% of the students studying full-time courses in schools or educational institutions in Hong Kong attended schools in the same area as their residence.  About 34% of students walked to school.

       Mr Fung also said that the labour force increased from 3.2 million in 1996 to 3.6 million in 2006, despite a drop in the overall labour force participation rate from 63% to 60% over the same period.  This was mainly due to the increase in population size and the changes in the age-sex structure of the population.

       In 2006, about 33% of the working population were managers, administrators, professionals and associate professionals, up from 29% in 1996.  In contrast, the proportion of working population engaged as craft and related workers dropped from 12% in 1996 to 8% in 2006.

       "Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels" and "Community, social and personal services" were the largest economic sectors, each employing around 27% of the working population. 

       The median monthly income from main employment of the working population was $10,000 in 2006, representing an increase of 5% over the past ten years.  In the same period, prices decreased by 2%, as measured by the Composite Consumer Price Index.

       Over the last decade, the number of domestic households increased by 20% from 1.86 million to 2.23 million.  As it increased at a faster rate than the population, the average household size decreased from 3.3 to 3.0.

       The median monthly income of domestic households was $17,250, representing a slight decrease of 1% over that of 10 years ago.

       Some 3.4 million people lived in private permanent housing, 2.1 million in public rental housing and 1.2 million in subsidised sale flats.  There were 1.17 million households who owned the quarters they lived in.  Among these households, 52% did not need to pay any mortgage payment and loan repayment.  Owner-occupiers living in private permanent housing with mortgage payment or loan repayment incurred a median monthly payment of $9,500, and the ratio of median mortgage payment and loan repayment to income was 29%.

       Domestic households renting whole private housing units paid a median monthly rent of $5,500.  Those living in public rental housing paid less, with a median monthly rent of $1,390.

       Mr Fung pointed out that there was substantial internal migration of the population during the last decade.  While 10 years ago, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories had respectively 21%, 32% and 47% of the population, the respective proportions were now 18%, 29% and 52%.

       "Many districts in the New Territories such as Islands, Sai Kung and Yuen Long recorded a marked population growth because of new towns development, whereas districts like Wan Chai, Southern and Kowloon City experienced population decrease," Mr Fung said.

       Among the District Council districts, Yuen Long had the largest proportion of young people aged below 15 in its population; while Wong Tai Sin had the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over.

       Mr Fung also said that among District Council districts, Kwun Tong had the largest number of domestic households at 194,000.  However, the most significant growth was found in Sai Kung, where the number of domestic households increased by nearly 125% from 57,000 in 1996 to 127,000 in 2006.

       He pointed out that the By-census results would be widely used for government planning and policy formulation, particularly in areas such as education, housing, transport, medical and social services.  Business people and the public would also find the data useful.

       "With the full co-operation of the public, the data collection operation of the By-census was very smooth.  This was a reflection of the community's awareness of the important role that quality statistics play in building Hong Kong's future," Mr Fung said.

       The report "Hong Kong 2006 Population By-census Summary Results" is now available. Users can download this publication free of charge at the "Statistical Bookstore, Hong Kong" ( of the Census and Statistics Department.

       Print version of the report "Hong Kong 2006 Population By-census Summary Results" is available for sale.  Purchase can be made in person at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department  (Address: 19/F Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel: 2582 3025) or through mail order by returning a completed order form which can be downloaded from the department's website (  Print version of this publication is also available for sale online at the Statistical Bookstore and the Government Bookstore of the Information Services Department (  Print versions if purchased online are offered a discount, at 85% of their original prices.

       Detailed results of the 2006 Population By-census will be released in stages in 2007 and 2008.

Ends/Thursday, February 22, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:48