Hong Kong Population Living in Poverty Declines to Six-Year Low

  • Poverty rate falls to 14.3%, with 960,000 below poverty line
  • Aging of population is an `urgent matter,' Carrie Lam says

The number of Hong Kong people living in poverty fell to a six-year low as the city created more jobs by diversifying its economy, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said at a conference on Saturday.

Those below the poverty line -- an individual earning less than about HK$3,500 ($452) a month, or a family of six with a monthly household income of under HK$18,800 -- dropped 1 percent to 960,000 at the end of last year, Leung said. That reduced the rate to 14.3 percent from 14.5 percent. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam is chairman of the Commission on Poverty, which was convened by the government in December 2012.

Carrie Lam

Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

“We will continue to strengthen education and training, develop the economy to create more jobs,” Lam said. “We will start innovative programs to help solve some of the problems that Hong Kong is facing today.”

Hong Kong has more people with net assets of at least $10 million among 30 cities tracked by New World Wealth, a Johannesburg-based market-research company, according to a study released last year. Lam said problems facing the city were rising as the population ages, with more poverty observed in districts with a higher concentration of seniors. Hong Kong is expected to add 60,000 seniors per year for the next two decades, according to Lam.

“The aging of Hong Kong’s population is an urgent matter,” said Lam.

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