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Facing a drastic population decline, the Hong Kong SAR government has announced plans to subsidize childbirth by offering $2,550 to families with children. Hong Kong, which currently has the lowest birth rate in the world at 0.8 children born per woman, is facing a population crisis similar to the ones in Japan and South Korea. Hong Kong has seen its birthrate decline steadily since 2014, with a severe decrease in the years between 2019 and 2022, when the birthrate went down by 40%.

Additionally, the number of women without children has increased to 43% in 2022 as compared to five years prior. The city and its government face additional related challenges to its economic sustainability as foreign companies have increasingly become wary and pulled out of the city either due to domestic political pressure or the concerns over Beijing’s influence. This trend corresponds to an 18% decrease in the number of kindergarten students and 11% decrease in primary school students in that same three year period as above.


This latest attempt by the Hong Kong SAR government to deal with the city’s aging population and declining birth rates are unlikely to succeed. The $2,550 incentive is a one-time transfer payment that is unable to address the root causes–rising housing costs, an increasingly competitive education system, and a repressive political environment–that are eroding residents’ confidence in the city and the SAR authorities. 

As migration outflows and declining birth rates cause the Hong Kong population to decline, the SAR government has been increasingly reliant on mainland expatriates to sustain the city’s economy and population demographics. In an indication of Hong Kong’s closer relationship with mainland China, this reliance on mainland expatriates mirrors the SAR authorities’ reliance on mainland capital to prop up Hong Kong’s economy.



As Hong Kong is seeing a devastating increase in political persecution, we will continue to pave the way to a free Hong Kong.

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