macrohistory & world report

Administrative Region of Hong Kong

Map placing Hong Kong

Hong Kong, special administrative region of China

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Hong Kong has a free market economy, highly dependent on international trade and finance - the value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of re-exports, is about four times GDP. Hong Kong has no tariffs on imported goods, and it levies excise duties on only four commodities, whether imported or produced locally: hard alcohol, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, and methyl alcohol. There are no quotas or dumping laws. Hong Kong's open economy left it exposed to the global economic slowdown that began in 2008. Although increasing integration with China, through trade, tourism, and financial links, helped it to make an initial recovery more quickly than many observers anticipated, its continued reliance on foreign trade and investment leaves it vulnerable to renewed global financial market volatility or a slowdown in the global economy. The Hong Kong government is promoting the Special Administrative Region (SAR) as the site for Chinese renminbi (RMB) internationalization. Hong Kong residents are allowed to establish RMB-denominated savings accounts; RMB-denominated corporate and Chinese government bonds have been issued in Hong Kong; and RMB trade settlement is allowed... The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for about half of Hong Kong's total trade by value. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. As a result of China's easing of travel restrictions, the number of mainland tourists to the territory has surged from 4.5 million in 2001 to 34.9 million in 2012, outnumbering visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad... Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983. In 2013, Hong Kong and China signed new agreements under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, adopted in 2003 to forge closer ties between Hong Kong and the mainland. The new measures, effective from January 2014, cover services and trade facilitation, and will improve access to the mainland's service sector for Hong Kong-based companies."

GDP growth rate
2012: 1.8%
2011: 5%
2010: 7%
2009: -2.6%

Unemployment rate
2012: 3.4%
2011: 3.4%
2010 4.3%
2009: 5.3%


Hong Kong's life expectancy, infant mortality and corruption figures are better than those of the China mainland, reflecting a per capital wealth more than 5 times the mainland. (Corruption is more pervasive where there is less wealth and a greater scramble for it.)

Net migration rate
2011: More arriving than leaving; a new gain of 4.6 persons per 1,000 population.

Density for 2005: 6,317 persons per square kilometer – at the top of density in the world. Growth rate: 0.532 percent.


A region that extends from the Chinese mainland into the South China Sea, including a few islands, one of which is Hong Kong. Size equivalent to 33 by 33 kilometers, or 20 by 20 miles.


Chief of state: President of China and China's Paramount Leader. Head of government: chief executive, elected from within Hong Kong and approved by the chief of state.

Hong Kong is a "special" region of China. Basic Law, approved March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's charter. Chief of state is the President of China.

Unicameral legislature has 30 members indirectly elected by functional constituencies and 30 members elected by popular vote – to be expanded from 60 to 70 members in 2012. Members serve four-year terms.

Recent History

World Factbook: "Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Britain on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years."

Elections of September 2008: The pro-democracy party wins 57% of the vote, the pro-Beijing party wins 40% and independents win 3%. This gives the pro-Beijing party

The World Factbook

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