The environment and elderly people : an emerging social and planning issue in Hong Kong

David Rosser PHILLIPS, Gar On, Anthony YEH

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Hong Kong's population is ageing demographically, a fact now widely recognised in academic and official publications. The proportion of elderly people aged 60 and over in the Special Administrative Region's population increased from 7.4 percent in 1971 to 14.3 percent in 1996. Absolute numbers in the age group increased from 293,273 to 889,850 over the same period. Hong Kong now has one of the highest percentages of elderly people in Asia, in percentage terms, currently second only to Japan. Other demographic and health indicators have shown similar improvements in the SAR. For example, the life expectancy at birth of Hong Kong's citizens has increased from 67.8 years for males and 75.3 years for females in 1971 to 75.9 years and 81.5 years in 1996 respectively. This is amongst the highest life expectancies in the world. However, much as these indicators illustrate how successful Hong Kong's social and economic achievements have been, the demographic ageing of populations everywhere has often been associated with various social and environmental problems. There are many changing needs associated with generally increasing dependency among ageing populations, which have great implications for land use planning, housing, transport and overall infrastructure. They have very many other implications for economies and society which are outside the direct focus of this book but which are also of great relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironment and ageing : environmental policy, planning and design for elderly people in Hong Kong
PublisherCentre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, University of Hong Kong
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789627589143
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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