HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s population rose 0.4 per cent to 7.50 million in 2023, boosted by a net inflow of returning residents and people on residential schemes, the government said, as the financial hub marked its second year of population growth since the pandemic.

The increase of 30,500 people from 7.47 million in 2022 comes as the Chinese special administrative region is trying to bolster its economy and international appeal after three years of strict COVID-19 rules.

Anti-government protests in 2019, followed by Beijing’s swift imposition of a sweeping national security law in 2020 have also taken a toll on its reputation and economy.

The government said the population increase was the second year since “normalcy resumed” in the former British colony.

“Many Hong Kong residents who stayed abroad during the epidemic have returned to Hong Kong throughout 2023. In the second half of 2023, there was still considerable inflow of Hong Kong Permanent Residents.”

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