The population of Hong Kong increased 0.4% to 7.5 million in 2023, according to the government, boosted by a net inflow of returning residents and those on residential schemes.

This marks the second year of population growth for Hong Kong since the pandemic.

The rise of 30,500 people from 7.47 million in 2022 stems from efforts by the Chinese Special Administrative Region to boost its economy and global appeal following the stringent Covid restrictions, Reuters news agency reports.

Hong Kong’s reputation and economy have also been impacted by the 2019 anti-government protests, followed by Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in 2020

According to the government, the growth in population was the second year since “normalcy resumed.”

“Many Hong Kong residents who stayed abroad during the epidemic have returned to Hong Kong throughout 2023. In the second half of 2023, there was still considerable inflow of Hong Kong permanent residents,” the government added.

In addition, the growth was accredited to the “successive admission of mainland and overseas persons through various schemes into Hong Kong”, the government continued.

There was a net inflow of 51,700 Hong Kong residents during the period, 79% of whom were in possession of a “one-way permit,” allowing them to reside in the city.

Furthermore, over the same period, a natural decline of 21,200 was recorded, with 33,200 births and 54,400 deaths, the Reuters report goes on to add.

The population rise in Hong Kong follows on from China’s population declining for the second straight year in 2023, due to a record low birth rate and wave of Covid fatalities.

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