Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Looming problem for Hong Kong - birth rate

Ask anyone in Hong Kong about the most pressing issue that's bothering them about the city. Here are the answers that you'll likely hear:
  • Property prices are ridiculously high
  • Non-democratic government
  • Inadequate education system
  • Worsening air pollution
Here, I'd like to point out another problem. Low birth rate. There are occasional mentions in the media about our aging population and how people are having less children, having children later in life, or perhaps not having any children at all. But I never came across any concrete figures and statistics. Apparently, it's pretty bad and even I was shocked by my own findings.

Hong Kong is ranked last (223) globally in Crude Birth Rate (CBR). CBR is the average annual number of births per 1,000 persons at midyear. Hong Kong's score is 7.42. In comparison, even China which has strict population controls in place, scored 14.00 (rank 151). See here for source and scores of other countries.

In Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Hong Kong is ranked second to last globally (222). TFR is the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. Hong Kong's score is 1.02. Only Macau is ranked lower with 0.91. See here for source and scores of other countries.

For those who thought that an aging population is not something you will face in your lifetime, think again. It's coming at us faster than you might believe.

1 comment:

  1. Well, they also predict that the biggest problem that the world will be faced with in the next twenty years isn't pollution, but over-population. So maybe more countries should have less.