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Hong Kong population drops by record on China's grip, COVID curbs

Exodus that started in 2020 picks up pace as 113,000 move abroad

Hong Kong’s population dropped by a record over the past year as people fled strict COVID-19 restrictions and crackdown under the national security law.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong saw a record decline in the city's residents in the past year as many fled the financial hub to escape strict COVID-19 isolation measures and Beijing's tightening grip on society.

Hong Kong's population stood at 7.29 million as of the end of June, down 121,500, or 1.6%, from a year earlier, the city government said Thursday. The decline is the steepest since 1961, the earliest year for which data is available.

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