|Background: Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally
ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later
in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK
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 practiced in 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.
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Currency: 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$) = 100 cents
Geography of Hong Kong
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
People of Hong Kong
Hong Kong's population has increased steadily over the past decade, reaching about 6.8 million by 1999. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of some 6,300 people per square kilometer.
Cantonese, the official Chinese dialect, is spoken by most of the population. English, also an official language, is widely understood; it is spoken by more than one-third of the population. Every major religion is practiced in Hong Kong; ancestor worship is predominant due to the strong Confucian influence.
All children are required by law to be in full-time education between the ages of 6 and 15. Preschool education for most children begins at age 3. Primary school begins normally at the age of 6 and lasts for 6 years. At about age 12, children progress to a 3-year course of junior secondary education. Most stay on for a 2-year senior secondary course, while others join full-time vocational training. More than 90% of children complete upper secondary education or equivalent vocational education.
Population: 6,898,686 (July 2005 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Hong Kong > Map Economy History