HONG KONG, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong will face rapid population ageing and shrinking labor force in the coming 50 years, according to latest population projections issued Friday by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government.
Under the population projections released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the Hong Kong Resident Population is projected to increase from 7.34 million in mid-2016 to a peak of 8.22 million in mid-2043, and then decline to 7.72 million by mid-2066.
Marion Chan, deputy commissioner of the C&SD, attributed the population decline to that "births and net movement are insufficient to offset deaths."
Although Hong Kong enjoys a very low mortality rate compared with other economies and the expectation of life at birth is expected to further increase, the number of deaths is projected to increase from about 46,700 per year in mid-2016 to about 98,000 per year in mid-2066.
The increase in the number of deaths is mainly attributable to the growing proportion of older persons in the population despite a longer life expectancy.
"The latest projection results suggest that population ageing will continue, and is expected to be most rapid in the coming 20 years," said Chan, adding that "the society should get prepared for this demographic challenge."
The C&SD also updated the labor force projections with the availability of the latest population projections, suggesting that the total labor force is expected to rise from 3.62 million in 2016 to reach a plateau in 2019 to 2022 at around 3.67 million and then gradually decrease to 3.13 million in 2066.
"Population projections provide a common basis for the government in planning public services and facilities," Chan said, adding that the C&SD has provided the updated population projections to related government departments for reference.