Hong Kong experienced its biggest population decline in 12 months, according to the latest data.
Hong Kong’s reputation for calling itself the “City of Asia” has been hit by political unrest and stringent COVID-19 containment measures in recent years.
Since the outbreak of anti-government demonstrations three years ago, more and more citizens have fled the Chinese territory.
More than 113,000 residents left the city in the past year, the equivalent of a 1.6 percent decline in population – the most on record in the last 60 years.
The figure follows a decline in the previous year (0.3%), when 89,200 people left Hong Kong, and another 20,900 in 2020.
The city’s population fell from 7.41 million to 7.29 million, according to the latest figures released by the Hong Kong Department of Census and Statistics.
Earlier this year, some observers told VOA that the decline was due to political unrest and strict COVID-19 restrictions in the city. A Hong Kong government spokesman said the population decline was due to a lack of migrants.
Lucy Jordan, professor of social work at the University of Hong Kong, has lived in the city for 10 years. He told VOA earlier this week that the exodus was clearly accelerating when the spread of COVID-19 peaked last year.
“I call it the perfect storm, when the fifth wave of COVID hits in the winter of 2022. That’s when we saw the exodus happen massively and suddenly. However, if you live in
Here, you know that the exodus was steady and sustained before and after the peak of the pandemic. You just have to look at your social calendar to see farewell events,” he said. [rd/jm]