If Causeway Bay seems unbearably crowded on those days when the throngs of pedestrians are so dense there isn't room on the pavements, imagine what life will be like 20 years from now. According to new government statistics, the population is predicted to grow from the present 6.29 million to 8.21 million. The authorities are already faced with a serious challenge coping with the influx of children from the mainland after the handover. More worryingly, immigration is also forecast to drive the statistics for the next two decades. Hong Kong's birthrate is among the lowest in the world, with an average of 1.3 babies per couple. But with increased longevity producing more over 65s, plus the immigrant population, the territory is facing the spectre of becoming a 'standing room only' city. Can the territory house, employ, educate, feed and provide health care for a 25 per cent population increase? Even if that is possible, what of the effect on the ecology when every spare piece of land is built on and more effluent pours into the sea? To sustain quality of life, it will be necessary to control the number of immigrants otherwise society will not be able to cope. This trend is also expected to produce an imbalance of the sexes. Estimates put the number of excess men on the marriage market in 2016 at 72,000. At least that is cheering news for tomorrow's females.