About Hong Kong

Updated: 2011-08-15 22:06


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Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Following British rule from 1842 to 1997, China assumed sovereignty under the 'one country, two systems' principle. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's constitutional document, the Basic Law, ensures that the current political situation will remain in effect for 50 years. The rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong are based on the impartial rule of law and an independent judiciary.

Head of Government: Chief Executive

Cabinet: Executive Council

Legislature: Legislative Council, 60 seats

Highest Court: Court of Final Appeal


Hong Kong's economy is characterised by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. It is the world's 10th largest trading economy, with the Chinese mainland as its most significant trading partner. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to the mainland and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Currency: Hong Kong dollar

GDP: HK$1,743.5 billion (2010)

GDP per capita: HK$246,677 (2010)

Real GDP growth: +5.8% (2010)

Labour force: 3.70 million (2010)

Public Holidays

Hong Kong provides two types of public holidays: statutory and general holidays. Statutory holidays are mandated under the Employment Ordinance and must be provided to all employees. General holidays include every Sunday, all statutory holidays and an additional 5 holidays.

Working week: Monday to Saturday

Statutory holidays: 12

General holidays: 17 (including the 12 statutory holidays)


At the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong covers Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, including 262 outlying islands. Between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula lies Victoria Harbour, one of the world's most renowned deep-water harbours.

Total area: 1 104 square kilometres

Land developed: less than 25%

Country parks and nature reserves: 40%


Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius in winter and exceeding 31 degrees Celsius in summer. It is warm, sunny and dry in autumn, cool and dry in winter, and hot, humid and rainy from spring to summer.

Average annual rainfall: 2 371.7 mm

Wettest month: September

Driest month: January

Winter: January-March

Summer: July-September


Hong Kong's population was approximately 7.00 million in 2010. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population, with foreign nationals comprising 8%.

Population density: 6 540 people per square kilometre

Crude birth rate: 12.5 per 1000

Percentage of population Chinese descent: 92%

Other significant national groups

Indonesia (156 319 total)

Philippines (144 463 total)

Thailand (28 067 total).


Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used in the Government and by the legal, professional and business sectors. Trilingual professionals who speak English, Cantonese and Putonghua play a vital role in the numerous enterprises trading in Hong Kong or doing business with the mainland and Taiwan.

Cantonese speakers: 89.2% of population

Putonghua speakers: 0.9% of population

Other Chinese dialect speakers: 5.5% of population

English speakers: 3.2% of population

Other language speakers: 1.2% of population