Hong Kong’s low birthrate projected to keep falling

Flickr/Kenton

A new survey projects that Hong Kong’s plummeting birthrate is going to fall even lower.

The Hong Kong Women Development Association (HKWDA) surveyed over 800 people between the ages of 20 and 49. The organization found that only 47 percent of women expressed a desire to have children.

Meanwhile, slightly more of the men surveyed — 50 percent — wanted to have children.

Cherry Yan, social policy assistant officer at HKWDA, told Coconuts HK that the numbers were the lowest the organization has seen in five years of conducting the annual survey.

The number one reason respondents gave for not wanting children was Hong Kong’s lack of housing, followed by the struggle to find childcare. Yan also pointed out that some respondents may prioritize career ambitions over having children.

Hong Kong’s fertility rate — one of the lowest in the world in 2016, according to the World Bank — has declined precipitously over the past 60 years, raising concerns about a shrinking labor force and insufficient support for the growing elderly population. In recent years, the government has introduced several policies, including higher child allowances and paternity leave, to encourage people to have children.

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