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Poverty & Hunger

Hong Kong

In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: HongKong

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Hong Kong in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

On September 8, 2023, Hong Kong experienced unprecedented rainfall, resulting in severe flooding and disruptions. The scenes of flooding and chaos were unprecedented, leaving residents and authorities grappling with the aftermath of this extreme weather event.

It was the heaviest rain in at least 140 years, with more than 200mm (7.9 inches) of rain recorded on the main island, Kowloon district, and the northeastern part of the New Territories.– adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook – Hong Kong

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 29 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

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 reexports, 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, oil, and methyl alcohol. There are no quotas or dumping laws. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983.

Excess liquidity, low interest rates and a tight housing supply have caused Hong Kong property prices to rise rapidly. The lower and middle-income segments of the population increasingly find housing unaffordable

GDP - per capita (PPP): $64,500 (2018 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3.8% (2013 est.)

industry: 2% (2016 est.)

services: 54.5% (2016 est.)

industry and services: 12.5% (2013 est.)

agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining: 10.1% (2013 est.)

manufacturing: 17% (2013 est.)

note: above data exclude public sector

Unemployment rate: 3.1% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 19.9% (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 29.8 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 2.7 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 83.2 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 100% of population

Physicians density: 1.96 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 96.4% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

The Borgen Project – Hong Kong

[accessed 6 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Covid-19 And Hong Kong’s Coffin Homes

~ Life Inside Coffin Homes In Hong Kong

~ Understanding Hong Kong’s Housing Crisis

~ Record-High Poverty Line In Hong Kong

~ Top 10 Facts About Poverty In Hong Kong

~ Education In Hong Kong: Problems And Solutions

~ Solutions To Hunger In Hong Kong

~ The High Cost Of Living In Hong Kong

How Covid-19 offers Hong Kong a chance to tackle food waste and poverty

Thomas Tang, South China Morning Post, 23 February 2021

[Long URL]

[accessed 23 February 2021]

Food can be rescued, though. It is heartening to see the intrepid efforts of non-governmental organisations collecting food that is perfectly good but unwanted and distributing it to vulnerable communities that appreciate warm meals they probably would not have been able to access or afford.

It is a telling indictment of Hong Kong’s situation where one in five families still lingers in poverty. Nonetheless, this basic yet effective system of recovering food that would otherwise been thrown away, to fill hungry bellies, has a double benefit of tackling a social problem and an environmental conundrum.

Is There Hunger In Hong Kong?

Go.Asia, Food Crisis & Rescue, FOOD WASTEFACT, Go Action, 27 December 2013

[accessed 14 January 2021]

Most of us can end the temporary experience of hunger. Unfortunately, more than 1.5 million individuals in Hong Kong do not have that choice.

· 40% of the Hong Kong population live in subsidised public housing

· At least 170,000 people live in coffin, cage homes and rooftops

· Over 1,000 people are homeless

· Hong Kong has highest income gap between the rich and the poor of any developed economy in the world

· There are 644,000 working poor

· 1 in 3 of our elderly are living below the poverty line

· 1 in 4 underprivileged children do not get 3 meals a day

· 1 in 5 of our children are living below the poverty line

  as at 2012 census report.

Corona Capital: Poverty, Beer cans, Budget hotels

Reuters Breakingviews, Hong Kong/London, 24 December 2020

[Long URL]

[accessed 24 December 2020]

LOWER INCOME -- More than one in five Hong Kongers were officially poor even before the pandemic struck. An annual study published on Wednesday showed the poverty rate hit a decade high of 21.4% in 2019, up a percentage point on 2018. The protests that rocked the city that year, combined with U.S.-China trade tensions, were major factors. Poverty is defined broadly, at 50% of median household income, but by any measure the pandemic will have worsened 2020 numbers. Unemployment of 6.4% is already more than twice the 2019 rate.

In wealthy Hong Kong, the poorest residents live in metal cages

Vincent Yu, Associated Press AP, Hong Kong, 8 February 2013

[accessed 13 Sept 2018]

63-year-old Lee Tat-fong, walks in a corridor while her two grandchildren Amy, 9, and Steven, 13 sit in their 50-square-foot room in Hong Kong. Lee, like many poor residents, has applied for public housing but faces years of waiting.

For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, like Leung Cho-yin, home is a metal cage.

The 67-year-old former butcher pays 1,300 Hong Kong dollars ($167) a month for one of about a dozen wire mesh cages resembling rabbit hutches crammed into a dilapidated apartment in a gritty, working-class West Kowloon neighborhood.

The cages, stacked on top of each other, measure 1.5 square meters (16 square feet). To keep bedbugs away, Leung and his roommates put thin pads, bamboo mats, even old linoleum on their cages' wooden planks instead of mattresses.

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