Hong Kong birth rate
32-year-old Diane Wong is a working mom with 2-year-old son. According to Wong, Hong Kong’s reality is unfavorable for raising children. “I’ve applied to nearly 20 kindergartens so far but I’m not shortlisted for any of them. Education in Hong Kong is not only expensive but also competitive. Even with subsidies from the government, ” says Wong. It took her total 4 years to decide whether she should have a child or not. It is mainly because education and housing are costly in Hong Kong while working environment in Hong Kong is not family friendly to working moms. “I don’t have any more child plans because it’s already hard to be a responsible mom to my son, “ she says.
Low fertility rate in Hong Kong remains unchanged, as more and more young people want to be “child-free”. Low fertility rate is common in developed nations where people receive higher education and consider marriage as an option than a social obligation.
According to the statistics provided by Hong Kong government, Hong Kong’s birth rate is 1.12 child born per woman that is far below the replacement level of 2.1 children born per woman. In addition, the whole picture is even worse when only births among local mothers are considered. Hong Kong’s low fertility has triggered national alarm as it will have severe impact on society.
What made young Hong Kongers so reluctant about having children? Law Chi-Kwong, an associate professor from department of social work and social administration at the University of Hong Kong, says there are several factors that hold back Hong Kongers’ from having more children.