How has Hong Kong changed over 20 years?

From a small fishing town and port 200 years ago to today’s major international trading hub, Hong Kong has served as the gateway to China for major banking and corporate firms. Here’s a look back at Hong Kong over the past 20 years since its return to China on July 1, 1997.

Hong Kong’s GDP nearly doubled from $173,720 in 1997 to $319,127 million in 2017. The unemployment rate rose from 2.2 percent in 1997 to 3.4 percent in 2017.

In 2016, 56.6 million people visited Hong Kong compared with 10.4 million in 1997. Many of the new visitors were from mainland China.

Housing and living
Hong Kong is pricey! High-end apartments regularly sell for upward of $4,895 per square foot. Hong Kong is densely populated! In Kowloon, there are 22,104 people per square mile.

Resistance to Beijing’s rule by many young people in Hong Kong began during the “Occupy” protests of 2014 and has flared up during occasional protests.

Beijing has reacted to activism against its rule with a variety of measures, coercive and otherwise, including propaganda videos such as this one.