150K People Living On Boats in 1963: Now Only 6K Remaining in Hong Kong Harbour

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

In the Hong Kong harbour, there were reportedly 150,000 people living in boats in 1963. This floating metropolis was a vibrant neighbourhood with its own economy, schools, and hospitals and was made up of anything from junks to sampans. However, by the early 2000s, this number had decreased to just 6,000 as the government cracked down on unauthorised boat dwellers and waterfront development made it more challenging to live on the water.When Hong Kong was a British colony at the time, the floating city was initially built. Many of the people who lived on boats at the period were fisherman or boat builders, and the harbour was a thriving hub of commerce. The community expanded and diversified over time, attracting boat people from many spheres of life.In the 1960s, when there were an estimated 150,000 people living on the river, the floating city was at its busiest. However, as the government started to crack down on unauthorised boat residents, this also signalled the beginning of the end for the community. As life on the water became more challenging due to greater enforcement and shoreline development in the early 2000s, there were only 6,000 boat people left.The floating metropolis of Hong Kong is nonetheless an intriguing look at a manner of life that has all but vanished, despite its downfall. It was a dynamic and distinctive community that will never be forgotten, according to many who remember it.
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