China News Service, Hong Kong, January 31. Luo Zhiguang, Director of the Labour and Welfare Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government published a blog on the 31st, analyzing the changes in Hong Kong’s population and pointing out that the number of deaths in the first 11 months of 2020 exceeded the number of births for the first time. The fertility rate may fall further, but the number of births may increase in 2022.

  Luo Zhiguang said that the number of newborn babies in Hong Kong continued to decline, from 2014 to 2019, a decrease of 13%. The number of newborn babies in the first 11 months of 2020 decreased by 17% year-on-year, mainly due to the social instability in Hong Kong in the second half of 2019. The number of births after 9 months has dropped significantly.

  Luo Zhiguang pointed out that another phenomenon affecting the number of births in 2020 is the number of marriages.

In the first 11 months of 2020, the number of registered marriages in Hong Kong fell by 40% year-on-year.

Coupled with the 2020 epidemic and economic conditions, Hong Kong's fertility rate may decline further in 2021.

However, he pointed out that if Hong Kong's economic environment improves, perhaps the number of births in 2022 will increase, and the number of newborns in the Year of the Dragon will also rebound by 2024.

Luo Zhiguang said that the decline in the birth rate may mean that the demand for child care and pre-school services in Hong Kong will decline in the next few years.

  Luo Zhiguang said that with an aging population in Hong Kong, the gradual increase in deaths is expected. The average daily death toll in the first 11 months of 2020 will increase by 4.4% year-on-year.

The Bureau of Labour and Welfare of the Special Administrative Region Government is also concerned about the number of deaths in subsidized residential care services for the elderly, and found that the crude death rate of the elderly who are currently subsidized or waiting for subsidized residential places have increased significantly in 2020.

  Luo Zhiguang emphasized that the Hong Kong SAR government does not have a policy to encourage childbirth.

He pointed out that the current population of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is about 70 million. It is estimated that the population will increase to 90-100 million in the next 10 years.

The global population is estimated to increase to 10.9 billion by the end of this century.

Whether it is regional or global food and water resources in the future will be a big challenge, whether individual countries or regions still strive to increase the local fertility rate is worth thinking about.