Population: 6.3 million of whom 95 per cent are of Chinese
descent (95.2 per cent speak Cantonese, 38.1 per cent speak English).
While 65 per cent of the people live on 10 per cent of the land,
areas of Kowloon have one of the world's highest levels of overcrowding:
195,000 people per square kilometres.
Workforce: 3.16 million in 1996. in 1995. Unemployment rate: 2.9 per cent; per capita gross domestic product: $23,000 Hong Kong has proportionately the largest number of millionaires in the world. It also has the greatest gap between rich and poor in all of Asia. Taxes on the wealthy are the lowest in the world.
Economy: Trade between China and Hong Kong has more than
doubled roughly every four years over the last 20 years; Hong
Kong is China's third-rank trading partner after Japan and the
US; it is China's biggest source of external investment, amounting
to 60 per cent of all inward capital investment.
Hong Kong is the world's eighth largest trading economy and the
second largest financial centre after Tokyo, with predictions
of being the best stock performer over 1997-8 (two-year 35 per
cent growth) By the beginning of 1996, 4,523 foreign companies
established offices in Hong Kong, 40 per cent of which arrived
over the last five years. 1,756 Chinese companies are registered
in Hong Kong. It handles half of China's exports and one third
of Hong Kong's re-exports go to China. It's container port is
one of the busiest in the world, and the Kai Tak airport is in
the top five for passenger and cargo volume
Social Security: Hong Kong has no Social Security system,
no Medicare health care. There is no welfare or unemployment insurance.
Poor workers literally work until they die. Hong Kong also lacks
the most basic laws protecting health and safety in working conditions,
in sanitation, in housing or in the environment.