Hong Kong

Hong Kong (/ˈhɒŋkɒŋ/ (US) or /hɒŋˈkɒŋ/ (UK); Chinese: 香港, Cantonese: [hœ́ːŋ.kɔ̌ːŋ] (listen)), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR),[lower-alpha 4] is a city and special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China. With 7.5 million residents of various nationalities[lower-alpha 5] in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Hong Kong is also a major global financial centre and one of the most developed cities in the world.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Cantonese Yale romanisation:Jūng'wàh Yàhnmàhn Guhng'wòhgwok Hēunggóng Dahkbiht Hàhngjingkēui
Location of Hong Kong within China
Sovereign stateChina
British possession26 January 1841
Treaty of Nanking29 August 1842
Convention of Peking24 October 1860
New Territories lease9 June 1898
Imperial Japanese occupation25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945
Sino-British Joint Declaration19 December 1984
Handover to China1 July 1997
Administrative centreTamar
Largest district
by population
Sha Tin
Official languages
Cantonese[lower-alpha 1]
Traditional Chinese[lower-alpha 2]
English alphabet
Ethnic groups
92.0% Han Chinese
2.5% Filipino
2.1% Indonesian
1.1% Indian
0.8% White
0.3% Nepalese
1.6% Others[6]
GovernmentDevolved executive-led government within a unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic[7]
John Lee
Eric Chan
Andrew Leung
Andrew Cheung
LegislatureLegislative Council
National representation
36 deputies
203 delegates[8]
2,754.97[9] km2 (1,063.70 sq mi) (168th)
 Water (%)
(1644.79 km2;
635.05 sq mi)[9]
1,110.18 km2
(428.64 sq mi)[9]
Highest elevation957 m (3,140 ft)
Lowest elevation0 m (0 ft)
 2022 estimate
 2021 census
6,801[12]/km2 (17,614.5/sq mi) (4th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
$518.743 billion[13] (48th)
 Per capita
$69,987[13] (11th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
$368.373 billion[13] (43rd)
 Per capita
$49,700[13] (18th)
Gini (2016) 53.9[14]
HDI (2021) 0.952[15]
very high · 4th
CurrencyHong Kong dollar (HK$) (HKD)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (HKT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Mains electricity220 V–50 Hz
Driving sideleft[lower-alpha 3]
Calling code+852
ISO 3166 code
Internet TLD
License plate prefixesNone for local vehicles, 粤Z for cross-boundary vehicles

Hong Kong was established as a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island from Xin'an County at the end of the First Opium War in 1841 then again in 1842.[18] The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898.[19][20] British Hong Kong was occupied by Imperial Japan from 1941 to 1945 during World War II; British administration resumed after the surrender of Japan.[21] The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997.[22] As one of China's two special administrative regions (the other being Macau), Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of "one country, two systems".[23][lower-alpha 6]

Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages,[18][24] the territory has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.[25] It is the world's tenth-largest exporter and ninth-largest importer.[26][27] Hong Kong has a market economy characterised by a focus on services, low taxation and free trade; its currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world.[28] Hong Kong is home to the third-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world,[29] the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Asia, and the largest concentration of ultra high-net-worth individuals of any city in the world.[30][31] Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, severe income inequality exists among the population.[32] Most notably, housing in Hong Kong has been well-documented to experience a chronic persistent shortage; the extremely compact house sizes and the extremely high housing density are the effects of Hong Kong's housing market being the least affordable and the most expensive housing market in the world.[33][34][35]

Hong Kong is a highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index.[36] The city has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world,[37] and its residents have some of the highest life expectancies in the world.[36] The dense space has led to a highly developed transportation network with public transport rates exceeding 90%.[38] Hong Kong is ranked 3rd in the Global Financial Centres Index.[39]

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