[Country map of Hong Kong]

Hong Kong

(dependent territory of the UK)


Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 1,040 sq km
land area: 990 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: total 30 km, China 30 km

Coastline: 733 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall

Terrain: hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north

Natural resources: outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar

Land use:
arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 1%
forest and woodland: 12%
other: 79%

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1989)

current issues: air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
natural hazards: occasional typhoons
international agreements: NA

Note: more than 200 islands


Population: 5,542,869 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (female 499,460; male 549,734)
15-64 years: 70% (female 1,866,540; male 2,016,684)
65 years and over: 11% (female 331,391; male 279,060) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.12% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 12.02 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.02 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -7.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.18 years
male: 76.78 years
female: 83.78 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.39 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic divisions: Chinese 95%, other 5%

Religions: eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Languages: Chinese (Cantonese), English

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1971)
total population: 77%
male: 90%
female: 64%

Labor force: 2.8 million (1990)
by occupation: manufacturing 28.5%, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 27.9%, services 17.7%, financing, insurance, and real estate 9.2%, transport and communications 4.5%, construction 2.5%, other 9.7% (1989)


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Hong Kong

Abbreviation: HK

Digraph: HK

Type: dependent territory of the UK scheduled to revert to China in 1997

Capital: Victoria

Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK; the UK signed an agreement with China on 19 December 1984 to return Hong Kong to China on 1 July 1997; in the joint declaration, China promises to respect Hong Kong's existing social and economic systems and lifestyle)

National holiday: Liberation Day, 29 August (1945)

Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice; new Basic Law approved in March 1990 in preparation for 1997

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: direct election 21 years of age; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election limited to about 100,000 professionals of electoral college and functional constituencies

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor Chris PATTEN (since 9 July 1992); Chief Secretary Anson CHAN Fang On-Sang (since 29 November 1993)
cabinet: Executive Council; appointed by the governor

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Council: indirect elections last held 12 September 1991 and direct elections were held for the first time 15 September 1991 (next to be held 17 September 1995 when the number of directly-elected seats increases to 50); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (60 total; 21 indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 18 directly elected, 18 appointed by governor, 3 ex officio members); indirect elections - number of seats by functional constituency NA; direct elections - UDHK 12, Meeting Point 3, ADPL 1, other 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party, Martin LEE, chairman; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, TSANG Yuk-shing, chairman; Hong Kong Democratic Foundation, Dr. Patrick SHIU Kin-ying, chairman
note: in April 1994, the United Democrats of Hong Kong (UDHK) and Meeting Point merged to form the Democratic Party; the merger became effective in October 1994

Other political or pressure groups: Liberal Party, Allen LEE, chairman; Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL), Frederick FUNG Kin Kee, chairman; Liberal Democratic Federation, HU Fa-kuang, chairman; Federation of Trade Unions (pro-China), LEE Chark-tim, president; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Confederation of Trade Unions (pro-democracy), LAU Chin-shek, chairman; Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, CHEUNG Man-kwong, president; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, Szeto WAH, chairman

Member of: APEC, AsDB, CCC, ESCAP (associate), GATT, ICFTU, IMO (associate), INTERPOL (subbureau), IOC, ISO (correspondent), WCL, WMO

Diplomatic representation in US: none (dependent territory of the UK)

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Consul General Richard W. MUELLER
consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
mailing address: PSC 464, Box 30, Hong Kong, or FPO AP 96522-0002
telephone: [852] 523-9011
FAX: [852] 845-4845

Flag: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with the Hong Kong coat of arms on a white disk centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms contains a shield (bearing two junks below a crown) held by a lion (representing the UK) and a dragon (representing China) with another lion above the shield and a banner bearing the words HONG KONG below the shield


Overview: Hong Kong has a bustling free market economy with few tariffs or nontariff barriers. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Manufacturing accounts for about 17% of GDP. Goods and services exports account for about 50% of GDP. Real GDP growth averaged a remarkable 8% in 1987-88, slowed to 3.0% in 1989-90, and picked up to 4.2% in 1991, 5.0% in 1992, 5.2% in 1993, and 5.5% in 1994. Unemployment, which has been declining since the mid-1980s, is now about 2%. A shortage of labor continues to put upward pressure on prices and the cost of living. Prospects for 1995-96 remain bright so long as major trading partners continue to be reasonably prosperous and so long as investors feel China will support free market practices after the takeover in 1997.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $136.1 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $24,530 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.5% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 1.9% (1994 est.)

revenues: $19.2 billion
expenditures: $19.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY93/94)

Exports: $168.7 billion (including re-exports of $121.0 billion )(f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: clothing, textiles, yarn and fabric, footwear, electrical appliances, watches and clocks, toys
partners: China 32%, US 23%, Germany 5%, Japan 5%, UK 3% (1993 est.)

Imports: $160 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, transport equipment, raw materials, semimanufactures, petroleum; a large share is re-exported
partners: China 36%, Japan 19%, Taiwan 9%, US 7% (1993 est.)

External debt: none (1993)

Industrial production: growth rate 2% (1993 est.)

capacity: 8,930,000 kW
production: 33 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 4,628 kWh (1993)

Industries: textiles, clothing, tourism, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks

Agriculture: minor role in the economy; local farmers produce 26% fresh vegetables, 27% live poultry; 8% of land area suitable for farming

Illicit drugs: a hub for Southeast Asian heroin trade; transshipment and major financial and money-laundering center; increasing indigenous amphetamine and cocaine abuse

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $152 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $923 million

Currency: 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Hong Kong dollars (HK$) per US$ - 7.800 (1994), 7.800 (1993), 7.741 (1992), 7.771 (1991), 7.790 (1990); note - linked to the US dollar at the rate of about 7.8 HK$ per 1 US$ since 1985

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


total: 35 km
standard gauge: 35 km 1.435-m gauge

total: 1,100 km
paved: 794 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, earth 306 km

Ports: Hong Kong

Merchant marine:
total: 217 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,657,749 GRT/13,181,496 DWT
ships by type: bulk 116, cargo 29, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 2, combination ore/oil 6, container 28, liquefied gas tanker 5, oil tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 7, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 3
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes 15 countries among which are UK with 53 ships, China 15, Bermuda 7, Japan 6, Belgium 3, Germany 3, Greece 3, Canada 2, Netherlands 2, Singapore 2

total: 3
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 2


Telephone system: 3,000,000 telephones; modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
local: NA
intercity: microwave transmission links and extensive optical fiber transmission network
international: 3 INTELSAT (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) earth stations; coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China; links to 5 international submarine cables providing access to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe

broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 6, shortwave 0
radios: 2.5 million

broadcast stations: 4 (British Broadcasting Corporation repeater 1; British Forces Broadcasting Service repeater 1)
televisions: 1.312 million (1,224,000 color TV sets)

Defense Forces

Branches: Headquarters of British Forces, Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, Royal Hong Kong Police Force

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,634,559; males fit for military service 1,245,905; males reach military age (18) annually 40,996 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $207 million, 0.2% of GDP (FY92/93); this represents 65% of the total cost of defending the colony, the remainder being paid by the UK

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK