The World Factbook (1982)/Hong Kong

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Hong Kong


(See reference map VIII)


1,036 km2; 14% arable, 10% forested, 76% other (mainly grass, shrub, steep hill country)

Land boundaries: 24 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm

Coastline: 733 km


Population: 5,272,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.3%

Nationality: adjective—Hong Kong

Ethnic divisions: 98% Chinese, 2% other

Religion: 10% Christian, 90% eclectic mixture of local religions

Language: Chinese, English

Literacy: 75%

Labor force (1976 Census): 1.87 million; 45.3% manufacturing, 18.6% services, 6.0% construction, mining, quarrying and utilities, 19.4% commerce, 2.6% agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and hunting, 7.3% communications, 0.8% other; est. unemployment 3.0%, underemployment is a serious problem

Organized labor: 21% of 1976 labor force


Official name: Hong Kong

Type: British colony

Capital: None

Political subdivisions: Hong Kong, Kowloon, and New Territories

Legal system: English common law

Branches: Governor assisted by advisory Executive Council; he legislates with advice and consent of Legislative Council; Urban Council which alone includes elected representatives, responsible for health, recreation, and resettlement; independent judiciary

Government leader: Governor and Commander in Chief Sir Edward YOUDE

Suffrage: limited to 200,000 to 300,000 professional or skilled persons

Elections: every two years to select one-half of elected membership of Urban Council; other Urban Council members appointed by the Governor

Political parties: Civic Association; Reform Club; Socialist Democratic Party; Hong Kong Labor Party

Voting strength: (elected Urban Council members) Civic Association 4, Reform Club 3, and 1 independent Communists: an estimated 2,000 cadres affiliated with Communist Party of China

Other political or pressure groups: Federation of Trade Unions (Communist controlled), Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (Nationalist Chinese dominated), Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (Communist controlled), Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong

Member of: ADB


GDP: $17.4 billion (1979, in 1979 prices), $3,600 per capita; average real growth 1979, 11.5%

Agriculture: agriculture occupies a minor position in the economy; main products—rice, vegetables, dairy products; less than 20% self-sufficient; food shortages—rice, wheat

Major industries: textiles and clothing, tourism, plastics, electronics, light metal products, food processing

Shortages: industrial raw materials, water, food

Electric power: 3,491,000 kW capacity (1980); 11.320 billion kWh produced (1980), 2,195 kWh per capita

Exports: $15.2 billion (f.o.b., 1979), including $4.0 billion reexports; principal products—clothing, plastic articles, textiles, electrical goods, wigs, footwear, light metal manufactures

Imports: $17.26 billion (c.i.f., 1979)

Major trade partners: (1979) exports—33.6% US, 11.4% West Germany, 10.7% UK; imports—22.5% Japan, 17.6% China, 12.0% US

Budget: (1979/80) $2.8 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 4.9 Hong Kong dollars=US$1 (December 1979)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: 35 km standard gauge (1.435 m); government owned

Highways: 966 km total; 660 km paved, 306 km gravel and crushed stone, or earth

Ports: 1 major

Civil air: 16 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 2 total; 2 usable; 2 permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m

Telecommunications: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services; 62 telephone exchanges, 1.5 million telephones; 5 AM and 2 FM radiobroadcast stations with 11 transmitters; 5 TV stations; 2.5 million radio and 1.1 million TV receivers; 10,100 Telex subscriber lines with direct connections to 47 countries; 2 INTELSAT ground stations with access to Pacific and Indian Ocean satellites; coaxial cable to Guangzhou (Canton), China; 3 international submarine cables; troposcatter to Taiwan available but inactive


Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,550,000; 1,220,000 fit for military service; about 52,000 reach military age (18) annually

Defense is the responsibility of UK