Older and poorer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am


Hong Kong's population has aged dramatically over the past decade, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

The median age has risen from 36.1 years in 2001 to 41.7. Fewer children are born and older people live longer than before. Experts predict the territory's median age will be 47.6 years by 2039.

In the past decade, Hong Kong's population has grown from 6.71 million to 7.07 million people.

There are only 876 men for every 1,000 women - compared to 960 men versus 1,000 women in 2001.

Among people who are in the 'prime marriageable age range' of 20 to 49 years old, 47 per cent of men and 38.9 per cent of women are not married. That means more people than ever live alone, either as unmarried or divorcees.

The number of single-person households swelled from 320,000 in 2001 to 400,000 last year.

Lily Fong Ou-yang, the department's commissioner, says attitudes about family are changing.

Extended family members no longer stay together and elderly people often live on their own.

There is also a widening income gap. In the past decade, consumer prices rose 12.5 per cent, but the median family income increased only by 9.6 per cent.

The number of low-income families - those with a monthly income of HK$2,000 to HK$4,000 - grew by 1 per cent in 10 years.

Yet the number of high-income families - who earn HK$30,000 to HK$40,000 a month - also increased by 11 per cent.