The number of births in Hong Kong hit a 13-year high last year, with 69,600 babies born to residents and non-residents.
The population was 6.96 million at the end of last year, up 0.8 per cent from a year ago, according to Census and Statistics Department figures released yesterday.
Last year's births figure was 6 per cent more than in 2006.
There were 71,646 births in 1994.
There were 38,900 deaths last year, while 22,900 more residents came back to the city than left.
'Births and the inflow of one-way permit holders were important constituents of the overall population increase [last year],' a government press release said.
The inflow of one-way permit holders stood at 33,900 last year, accounting for 63 per cent of the population increase.
The birth rate has been declining overall since 1981, when the number of births stood at 86,751.
The number of births was just 52,977 in 1998, an 18-year low, when the city was hit by the Asian financial crisis, and fell further in 1999 to 51,281. The number of births bottomed out in 2003 when the city was affected by the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, with only 46,965 babies born, the lowest in the past 27 years.
The population is measured by a definition that covers 'usual residents' and 'mobile residents' - permanent residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least one month but less than three months in a 12-month period. At the end of last year, there were 6.73 million 'usual residents' and 230,400 'mobile residents'.