A flash of red plies the nighttime waters of the South China Sea as shining skyscrapers mark the prosperity of Hong Kong. With seven million people living in its 426-square-mile (1,103-square-kilometer) region, the Asian megaport is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Photograph by Ghani Khan, My Shot
  • On December 19, 1984, the United Kingdom agreed to return the territory of Hong Kong to China. Hong Kong consists of several islands and the West Kowloon peninsula on the south coast of China. With more than 7 million people living in just 1,104 square kilometers (426 square miles), the region is one of the most densely populated in the world.

    Hong Kong had been a British colony for more than a hundred years, and officially changed hands on July 1, 1997. Today, Hong Kong is one of two “special administrative regions” of China (the other is nearby Macau). These regions enjoy greater social and economic sovereignty than provinces in mainland China.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    consist Verb

    to be made of.

    densely Adverb

    heavily or crowded.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    peninsula Noun

    piece of land jutting into a body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: peninsula
    province Noun

    division of a country larger than a town or county.

    Encyclopedic Entry: province
    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    territory Noun

    land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.