OFFICIAL NAME: Hong Kong
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China
AREA: 1,067 Sq Km (412 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 6,103,800
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Hong Kong is located on the southeastern
coast of China. It is bound by the Guangdong province of
China to the north and the South China Sea to the south.
The territory consists of Hong Kong Island, Lan Tau Island,
Kowloon Peninsula and more than 200 other small islands.
Hong Kong Island has a sharply indented coastline consisting
of rugged ridges of granite that are intersected by water
which separates the mainland from the island. The hills
are covered in dense shrub and trees with the only significant
flatlands located in narrow valleys of the New Territories.
Land Use; forested 21%, pastures and agricultural-cultivated
6%, other 73% (1994).
CLIMATE: Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate characterized by
hot humid summers and cool dry winters. Unusual tropical changes in weather
are experienced due to monsoonal winds that blow from the north and northeast
during September to March, and from the southwest during April to August.
Average temperature ranges are from 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit)
in February to 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) in July or August.
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Chinese who account
for 97% of the population while 3% are other ethnic minorities, mainly
European. Only 57% of the population were born in Hong Kong.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 5,456 persons per sq km
(14,132 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 100.0% urban, 0.0% rural
(1991). Sex Distribution; 51.1% male, 48.9% female (1990). Life Expectancy
at Birth; 74.6 years male, 80.3 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 21%
under 15, 27% 15 to 29, 26% 30 to 44, 13% 45 to 59, 10% 60 to 74, 3% 75
and over (1990). Birth Rate; 11.8 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 5.0 per
1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 6.8 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate;
5.9 per 1,000 live births (1990).
RELIGIONS: The predominant religions are Buddhism and Taoism
with Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Confucianist minorities.
LANGUAGES: The languages are Mandarin and Cantonese with Cantonese
spoken by 82% of the population. English is also widely spoken and understood.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
18.4%, primary 35.6%, lower secondary 15.5%, upper secondary 18.4%, higher
12.1% (1986). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 3,668,000 or
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1990: The Chinese communist government
never formally recognized Britain's control of Hong Kong but it also did
not actively oppose British rule. Hong Kong also contributes to the Chinese
economy as the Chinese government also own many banks, department stores
and hotels in Hong Kong. In the late 1960's some of Hong Kong's Chinese
residents held violent demonstrations against British rule. In 1982 China
and Great Britain started discussions regarding Hong Kong's future which
resulted in an agreement in May 1985 for the transfer of Hong Kong from
British control to Chinese rule when Britain's lease of the New Territories
expires on July 1, 1997. Under the agreement, Hong Kong will become a Special
Administrative Region (SAR) of China. China will have a high degree of
control over Hong Kong's governmental affairs except for foreign policy
and defense. Hong Kong will also be allowed to keep its capitalistic economy
within the socialist system of China. Under the agreement these arrangements
are to remain in effect for 50 years after 1997. In Oct. 1989 friction
developed between Beijing and Britain regarding the construction of a new
major airport, which will be complete by 1997. Beijing demanded that it
required their approval while Hong Kong and British officials insisted
that it did not, however, after one month of negotiations a solution was
agreed and China gave its approval.
CURRENCY: The currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) divided
into 100 Cents while the Chinese Yuan (Y) divided into 10 Jiao and 100
Fen is also legal tender.
ECONOMY: Gross Domestic Product; USD $104,731,000,000 (1993).
Public Debt; N/A. Imports; HKD $1,250,709,000,000 (1994). Exports; HKD
$222,092,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $8,318,000,000 (1994). Balance
of Trade; HKD -$80,695,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population;
2,873,000 or 48.5% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 2.0% (1993).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA,
the UK, Germany, China and Japan.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Pigs, Poultry.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Aircraft Engineering, Clothing, Clocks and Watches,
Electronic Goods, Fishing, Finance and Banking, Iron and Steel Rolling,
Plastic Products, Ship Repair, Textiles, Toys.
MAIN EXPORTS: Clothing, Clocks and Watches, Electronic Goods, Light
Metal Products, Plastic Products, Textiles, Toys.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 34 km (21 mi) (1989), passenger-km
2,460,000,000 (1,529,000,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 72,000,000
(49,313,000 short ton-mi) (1989). Roads; length 1,484 km (922 mi) (1990).
Vehicles; cars 215,709 (1990), trucks and buses 131,980 (1990). Merchant
Marine; vessels 375 (1990), deadweight tonnage 11,176,039 (1990). Air Transport;
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 77 with a circulation
for 32 papers of 2,951,000. (1993). Radio; receivers 3,700,000 (1994).
Television; receivers 1,749,000 (1994). Telephones; units 3,111,000 (1994).
MILITARY: 1,900 (1994) total active duty personnel with 73.7%
army, 13.2% navy and 13.1% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 0.6% (1984) of the Gross National Product (GNP).