Hong Kong/People

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Hong Kong's population has increased steadily over the past decade, reaching about 6.8 million by 1999. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of some 6,300 people per square kilometer. Despite the population density, Hong Kong was reported to be one of the greenist cities in Asia. The majority of people live on flats in high-rise buildings. The rest of the open spaces are often covered with parks, woods and shrubs. The vertical placement of the population explains why densely populated and greenist city are not oximoron.

Cantonese, the Chinese dialect used in Hong Kong government matters, is spoken by most of the population. English, also an official language, is widely understood; it is spoken by more than one-third of the population. Every major religion is practiced in Hong Kong; ancestor worship is predominant due to the strong Confucian influence.

All children are required by law to be in full-time education between the ages of 6 and 15. Preschool education for most children begins at age 3. Primary school begins normally at the age of 6 and lasts for 6 years. At about age 12, children progress to a 3-year course (Form 1 to Form 3) of junior secondary education. Most stay on for a 2-year (Form 4 and 5) senior secondary course, while others join full-time vocational training. More than 90% of children complete upper secondary education or equivalent vocational education. Those who finished Form 5 education would take a government examination to receive the Certificate of Education. Students who want to pursue post-secondary education need to proceed to Form 6 and Form 7. They enter univerities only after they passed a matriculation examination.

Population: 7,116,302 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 676,756; female 602,434)
15-64 years: 71% (male 2,520,473; female 2,563,355)
65 years and over: 11% (male 342,942; female 410,342) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.35% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 11.29 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.93 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.54 years
male: 76.85 years
female: 82.41 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, other 5%

Religions: eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Languages: Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 92.2%
male: 96%
female: 88.2% (1996 est.)