Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of China. With around 7.2 million Hongkongers of various nationalities, Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most densely populated country or territory. Less than 25% of Hong Kong’s land area is built-up, while the majority is grassland, woodland, shrub land, and agricultural land
Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the Peoples Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.
Hong Kong stature as an International Financial centre (IFC), gradually developed from the 1950s to become a key component of the island’s economy. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the seventh largest in the world and has a market capitalisation of US$3.2 trillion as of December 2016. In 2009, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of worldwide initial public offering (IPO) capital, making it the largest centre of IPOs in the world and the easiest place to raise capital. In the 2017 Global financial Centres Index, Hong Kong was ranked as having the fourth most competitive financial center in the world.
In 2014, Hong Kong was the eleventh most popular destination for international tourists among countries and territories worldwide, Hong Kong is also the most popular city for tourists, nearly two times of its nearest competitor Macau.
As of 2010 Hong Kong is the eighth most expensive city for expatriates, falling from fifth position in the previous year. Hong Kong is ranked fourth in terms of the highest percentage of millionaire households, behind Switzerland, Qatar, and Singapore with 8.5 percent of all households owning at least one million US dollars.