Hong Kong: Dependency Ratio Expected to Soar

A new Progress Report by Hong Kong’s Steering Committee on Population Policy indicates that the administrative region’s dependency ratio has levelled off since 2009 and will climb quickly after 2014, due to one of the lowest fertility ratios in the world (TFR = 1.1, well below the 2.1 replacement rate) and a steady increase in life expectancy. 

“Dependency ratio measures the number of persons aged under 15 and those aged 65 and over per 1,000 persons aged 15-64. (…) In 2010, the overall dependency ratio was 334 and is projected to rise to 625 in 2039, which is almost twice of that in 2010.” 

The report makes some recommendations to improve the region’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) by tapping the elderly, women and the young:

“In response to the challenges brought about by an ageing population, though there is no statutory retirement age in Hong Kong at present, consideration should also be given for the Government to examine the merits and implications of encouraging the adoption of a higher retirement age.”

“To raise the female LFPR, the following issues may be considered – (a) how to create/enhance a family-friendly environment which would enable or facilitate women with dependents to perform the “dual roles”, (b) how to enable and encourage the Mainland new arrivals coming to Hong Kong via OWP (One-Way Permit), many of whom ar homemakers before arrival, to take part in the labour market.”

Full Report