Over 200,000 people live in subdivided flats, according to the results of Hong Kong’s 2016 population by-census.

The Census and Statistics Department said the estimated number of subdivided flats was around 92,700. Around 209,700 people reside in such households.

Frank Chan subdivided flat
Housing secretary Frank Chan visiting a family living in a subdivided flat.

The median per capita floor area of subdivided accommodation was 5.3 square metres, lower than that of public housing estates which each person would have around seven square metres.

The department said 66.9 per cent of subdivided households in 2016 were residing in units with a floor area of between seven and 13 square metres, and a median floor area of 10 square metres.

subdivided flats
Subdivided flats. Photo: PBADMIN via photoblog.

The median monthly household income of such households was HK$13,500 – lower than the HK$25,000 median for Hong Kong households overall.

Geography and demographics

Kowloon had the highest number of subdivided flats at 52,700 – around 56.9 per cent of the total number. 21,900 or 23.6 per cent were in the New Territories; 18,100 or 19.5 per cent were on Hong Kong Island.

By district, Yau Tsim Mong had the highest number of subdivided flats, at 21,500. Sham Shui Po had 15,400, Kowloon City had 9,000, Eastern had 8,400 and Tsuen Wan had 6,600.

“Speaking overall, there were more children and young-to-middle-aged persons living in subdivided flats,” the department said.

subdivided flats
Subdivided flats. Photo: PBADMIN via photoblog.

Age, ethnicity and gender statistics exclude foreign domestic helpers. 28.4 per cent were below 25; 39.4 per cent were between 25 and 44; 24.0 per cent were between 45 and 64, while those aged 65 and over accounted for 8.2 per cent.

87.1 per cent living in subdivided flats were Chinese, followed by South Asians – Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Bangladeshis and Sri-Lankans – at 6.5 per cent and Filipinos at 2.1 per cent in 2016.

48.1 per cent of people living in subdivided flats were male, while 51.9 per cent were female – similar to that of the general population.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.