Childcare costs in Hong Kong account for almost 70% of median household income: survey

Data show that Hong Kong’s total population will record negative growth in 2021, with declining fertility rates being the biggest reason.

According to a recent survey, the average cost of raising a child in Hong Kong accounts for almost 70% of the city’s median household income.

according to it Census and Statistics Bureau (CSD), Hong Kong’s total population will be about 7.4 million at the end of 2021, down 23,600 from the end of 2020.

Natural decline (deaths outnumbering births) and net exodus of Hong Kong residents were identified as two of the biggest drivers of negative population growth in Hong Kong.

Between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021, 14,200 natural declines were recorded, with 37,000 births and 51,200 deaths.

According to public data, Hong Kong’s fertility rate has been declining continuously over the past decade.

According to the city’s Birth Trends Report, annual births per 1,000 population fell from 13.5 in 2011 to 7.0 in 2019 (pdf) was released in December 2020. But that number has fallen to less than 5 per 1,000 people in 2021, according to the latest data.

“Fertrate” is the number of births per 1,000 population per year, and “fertility rate” is the number of births per 1,000 women of reproductive age in the population.

Another set of data suggests that women in Hong Kong have a much lower fertility rate than women in other developed countries.

According to the Hong Kong Population Forecast (2020-2069) report (pdf), announced in September 2020 by the CSD, the city’s fertility rate reached a high of 1,285 in 2012 and by 2019 the number had fallen to 1,051.

By comparison, Japan’s fertility rate was 1,429 in 2019. Australia, 1,800. Sweden, 1,705; UK, 1,653. and the United States, 1,840.

The report predicts that between 2024 and 2064, Hong Kong’s fertility rate will be well below that of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and many developed countries, with the lowest fertility rate at 955 in 2039. I’m here.

Moreover, the report suggests that Taiwan, which had a fertility rate comparable to Hong Kong in 2019, will overtake Hong Kong by 2024 and continue its upward trend. And South Korea, which has a lower birth rate than Hong Kong, will surpass Hong Kong in 2029 and continue its upward trend.

high childcare fees

According to a recent study in Hong Kong, it currently costs about HK$284,000 ($36,000) a year to raise a child in the city, and at least HK$6 million ($765,000) to raise a child up to the age of 22. I understand. hong kong news.

The survey, conducted in June by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank, asked 633 Hong Kong residents aged 30 to 64 with liquid assets of HK$1 million ($128,000) or more about their child-rearing and retirement plans. Asked.

Of respondents who are parents, 79% are concerned about their children’s future and want to care for them until they graduate and become financially independent, the report said.

According to the Hong Kong Business Times, the survey found that the six main categories included general living expenses such as meals and transportation, tuition fees, classes and cram schools of interest, entertainment such as overseas travel and study tours, and medical care. It included expenses, insurance and a savings plan. (HKBT).

According to CSD’s 2021 population and household data (pdf), the overall median monthly household income in Hong Kong was HK$35,000 (about $4,500) in 2021, or HK$420,000 (about $54,000) annually.

Given that it costs about HK$284,000 ($36,000) a year to raise a child in the city, as the above survey suggests, that’s about 70% of Hong Kong’s median household income, and a sizable economy. will be a burden.

Low birth rate in mainland China

A similar problem can be seen in mainland China.

Despite the recent introduction of a three-child policy by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to combat the country’s aging population, most families do not have a third child due to the high cost of raising children in China. You are unlikely to have two children, let alone.

The Chinese Communist Party’s Health Commission said on May 31, “Even after the introduction of the two-child policy, most families have decided not to have another baby even if they want it.”

The commission, citing research, said the top three reasons were “heavy financial burden”, “not caring for children” (meaning parents are unable to devote time to caring for young children), It suggests that it is “difficulty in balancing family and work”. Among them, “heavy financial burden” was the most common reason for 75.1% of households. More than half of the families surveyed were also concerned about having “uncared-for children.”

Moreover, a recent survey published by YuWa Population Research, a Chinese demographer, found that people in China, on average, are one of the least willing to have children in the world due to the high cost of raising children. are becoming one. According to the report, China’s ideal number of children averages less than two per couple, while most countries have her two or more.

Comparing the country’s average childcare costs with per capita GDP, China is the second highest in the world, adding that average childcare costs are equivalent to 6.9 times per capita GDP, the report added. The first place is Korea with 7.79 times.

By contrast, the UK is 5.25 times. America is 4.11 times. Germany, 3.64 times. Japan, 4.26 times. Australia is 2.08 times.

Countries with higher rates tend to have lower fertility rates because they indicate greater parenting pressure, the report said.

Ann Chan


Anne Zhang is a reporter for The Epoch Times, covering China-related topics. She started writing her Chinese version in 2014.

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