Hong Kong recorded more deaths than births last year for the first time, in what experts said was a warning of an imminent decline in the city’s overall population.

According to unpublished provisional figures from the Census and Statistics Department obtained by the Post, there were 43,100 newborns and 49,800 deaths in the city in 2020, resulting in a negative natural population increase of about 6,700, the first negative value since official records began in the 1960s.

The negative natural population increase came earlier than the government forecast, which suggested in 2017 the phenomenon would emerge in 2026, before revising that to 2021.

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