The total population of Macau hit 644,900 by the end of 2016, indicating a 0.4 per cent decrease, or 1,900 fewer individuals, according to the latest data from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
This is the first yearly drop in the city’s population since 2009, when the population contracted by 1.3 per cent. The fall comes after Macau’s population increased by 10,600 people in 2015, a 1.6 per cent year-on-year increase.
The decrease was mainly caused by a drop in the overall number of non-resident workers in 2016, down by 2.2 per cent year-on-year to 177,638.
According to the data, the overall decrease was mainly attributed to the ‘successive completion of large-scale entertainment facilities’ such as The Parisian and Wynn Palace, which led to a 20.4 per cent drop in non-residents working in construction, a reduction of 8,868 individuals, as of the end of 2016.
Mainland Chinese population falling
In 2016, the number of immigrants arriving from China fell by 25.3 per cent, amounting to 6,327, a decrease of 2,141 year-on-year.
Nevertheless, as of the end of 2016, workers from Mainland China still accounted for the largest percentage of the non-resident labour population, at 63.8 per cent.
Workers from the Philippines represented the second largest group of overseas workers, accounting for 15 per cent, followed by Vietnam at 8.3 per cent, Hong Kong at 3.3 per cent and Indonesia at 2.5 per cent.
A total of 78,413 Non-resident Workers Identification Cards were granted in 2016, 15.2 per cent less year-on-year, while 1,447 people were granted the right to reside in the MSAR in the same period, a decrease of 18.9 per cent year-on-year.
The ageing ratio of the city continued to rise for the twentieth consecutive year, with the 65-plus demographic increasing slightly by 0.8 percentage points year-on-year and accounting for almost 10 per cent of the total population, while the population aged between 15-65 fell by 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
Besides an increase in the elderly population, 2016 also registered 246 more deaths than the previous year, with 2,248 deaths recorded in the whole year.
According to the data, malignant neoplasms – growths linked to cancer – were the major cause of death in the MSAR in 2016, representing 36.3 per cent of the total, followed by pneumonia & influenza, and hypertension.
The birth rate stayed stable with only 91 more live births being registered in 2016, making for a total of 7,146 live births recorded in the city.