Domestic Households in Hong Kong
Domestic households in Hong Kong grew faster than the population
1. The number of domestic households in Hong Kong increased by 12.7% from 2.23 million in 2006 to 2.51 million in 2016. Along with the change in the composition of domestic households, the average household size declined from 3.0 in 2006 to 2.8 in 2016, leading to faster growth of the number of domestic households than the population (6.9%).
Small households had become increasingly common
2. Between 2006 and 2016, the proportion of households with one to three persons increased from 63.8% to 69.2%, reflecting (i) the tendency of people living alone; (ii) more young people living apart from their parents after marriage; and (iii) couples choosing to have one or even no child.
3. The increase in households with one person and two persons was notable. The proportion of one-person households rose from 16.5% in 2006 to 18.3% in 2016, attributable to population ageing and more people staying single. Moreover, owing to a relatively low birth rate, the proportion of two-person households which comprised a couple only increased from 14.1% in 2006 to 15.5% in 2016.
Proportion of households without children increased significantly
4. Hong Kong’s level of fertility remained at a very low level. The proportion of domestic households without children aged under 15 increased significantly from 70.4% in 2006 to 76.9% in 2016. For domestic households with children aged under 15, the average number of children therein remained at 1.4 over the period.
On average one in three households had at least one elderly member
5. The number of elderly persons aged 65 and over increased by about 0.31 million in the past 10 years. In line with this, there was a significant increase (in both number and share) in domestic households with elderly members. The number of such households grew by 36.5% from 594 730 in 2006 to 811 645 in 2016; its share among all domestic households rose from 26.7% to 32.3% during the same period.
Single elderly households increased significantly by over 50% during the past 10 years
6. Number of domestic households comprising solely elderly persons reached 261 421 in 2016. In particular, the majority (58.3%) of the elderly-only households were elderly persons living alone; while it is observed at the same time that the number of single elderly households grew significantly by 54.3% from 98 829 in 2006 to 152 536 in 2016. There was also an increase in the proportion of two-person elderly-only households, from 40.2% to 41.0% over the period.