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Central and Western District

Central and Western
Central and Western District
Day view of the Central and Western District skyline
Day view of the Central and Western District skyline
Location within Hong Kong[clarify]
Location within Hong Kong[clarify]
Coordinates: 22°17′12″N 114°09′18″E / 22.28666°N 114.15497°E / 22.28666; 114.15497
SARHong Kong
RegionHong Kong
District Council Constituencies15
 • District OfficerLeung Chi-Ki[2]
 • District Council Chairmanvacant
 • District Council Vice-ChairmanVictor Yeung Sui-Yin
 • Total12.55 km2 (4.85 sq mi)
 • Land12.55 km2 (4.85 sq mi)
 Lands Department[3]
 • Total235,953
  • 77% Chinese
  • 7.6% Filipino
  • 5.8% White[1]
 Census and Statistics Department[1]
Time zoneUTC+8 (Hong Kong Time)
Largest neighbourhood by populationKennedy Town (62,272 – 2016 est)[4][clarify]
WebsiteCentral and Western District
Central and Western District
Traditional Chinese中西區
Simplified Chinese中西区
Cantonese YaleJūngsāi Kēui
JyutpingZung1sai1 Keoi1
Literal meaningCentral Western District

The Central and Western District (Chinese: 中西區; Cantonese Yale: Jūngsāi Kēui, Jyutping: zung1 sai1 keoi1) located on northwestern part of Hong Kong Island is one of the 18 administrative districts of Hong Kong. It had a population of 243,266 in 2016. The district has the most educated residents with the second highest income and the third lowest population due to its relatively small size.

Central is the central business district and the core urban area of Hong Kong. Western District covers Shek Tong Tsui, Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, parts of Lung Fu Shan. Most of the districts lie within the statutory limits of the City of Victoria, the earliest urban settlement in colonial Hong Kong.


Central District, as Victoria City, was the first area of planned urban development in Hong Kong during the colonial era. The British held a land sale in June 1841, six months after the flag was raised at Possession Point. A total of 51 lots of land were sold to 23 merchant houses to build offices and warehouses. The property buyers included Dent's, Jardine's, Russell's and Olyphant's. At the time, the two roads Albany Nullah (now Garden Road) and Glenealy Nullah (now Glenealy) were mainly used by the British. The streets later became known as Government Hill.[5]

In 1857, the British government expanded Victoria City and divided it into seven districts. Those located in present-day Central and Western are: Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, Tai Ping Shan, Central. The area was essentially a European area until 1860 when Chinese merchants begin buying up European properties around Cochrane, Wellington and Pottinger Streets. The Central district was the principal European business district, hence the arrival of the first major bank HSBC. The Western district was the commercial centre for Chinese businesses. When property values in the district rose, a meeting was held in February 1866 to establish a "District Watch Force" to police and protect this specific area.[6]

In 1880, Shek Tong Tsui was established, followed by Kennedy Town in the 20th century. By the 1890s the majority of Hong Kong's population was concentrated in the district with about 200,000 residents, mostly in Victoria City.[7]


Corner of Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road Central, in Central.

District councils in Hong Kong are primarily consultative bodies of the HKSAR government with very limited powers, primarily restricted to building and maintaining parks, open areas, recreational and cultural activities and tourist promotion. The corresponding body for the district is Central and Western District Council.

District council elections are held every four years; the last one was held on 24 November 2019, for terms beginning 1 January 2020. Fifteen constituency members are elected while four are appointed by the government. The constituency areas are smaller than the commonly used geographic areas, which are in turn based on the old 1857 and 1880 divisions.


In Hong Kong's 2011 Census the district population was 251,519, down four percent from 261,884 in the 2001 census, and with an average of 2.7 people for each of the 89,529 households. Among the 18 districts, Central and Western has the second highest median household income in the territory (behind only Wan Chai District). In terms of average size of households, it is third smallest at 2.8 persons, behind only Wan Chai and Yau Tsim Mong District, at 2.7 each.

In 2021 census, the district population was slightly reduced to 235,953 .It has a relatively ethnically diverse population. As of 2021, 77% of the district's residents are Chinese, and the largest ethnic groups are Filipinos (7.6%) and white people (5.8%). 72% of the district's residents speak Cantonese as their primary language, while 14% use English and 3% use Mandarin.[8]

Geography and political subdivisions

The district is located at 22°17′00″N 114°09′00″E / 22.28333°N 114.15000°E / 22.28333; 114.15000, based on the location of the General Post Office in Central. With an area of 12.4 km2 (4.8 sq mi), the district occupies the northwestern portion of Hong Kong Island. It is surrounded by Wan Chai District on the east, Southern District on the south, and Victoria Harbour in the north. The district also encompasses Green Island and Little Green Island, two uninhabited islands to the west of Hong Kong Island.

Areas from west to east along Victoria Harbour are: Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty and other localities.


Central is the business centre of Hong Kong, and many multinational financial services corporations have their headquarters there. Government Hill, the site of the government headquarters, is also in Central.

Central mid-levels escalator

Central-Mid-Levels escalator, passing through SoHo at Elgin Street

The Central-Mid-Levels escalator in Hong Kong is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. The system is 800 metres (2,600 ft) long, connecting Des Voeux Road Central, in Central with Conduit Road in the Mid-Levels, passing through narrow streets in SoHo.

The escalator runs downhill from 6 am to 10 am and uphill from 10:20 am to 12:00 am (midnight) every day. Apart from its significance in transport linkage, it is also a tourist attraction, with many restaurants, bars, and shops lining its route.

Bank of China Tower

The Bank of China Tower in Central houses the headquarters of BOCHK. Designed by I. M. Pei, the 70 storey building's height is 315 metres (1,033 ft) with two masts reaching 369 metres (226 ft). Construction began in 1985 and the building was completed in 1989. It was the first building outside the United States to exceed 1,000 feet (300 m) and to exceed 300 metres (980 ft). It was the tallest building in Hong Kong and Asia from 1989 to 1992, when the nearby, taller Central Plaza was completed.

City Hall

Built in 1962, the City Hall complex housed the old central library of Hong Kong, as well as concert halls, restaurants and a marriage registry. The conference room of the former Urban Council was also at the lower building of the City Hall.

The garden at the north-western side of the complex includes a memorial to those killed in Hong Kong during World War II.

Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building

The funnel-shaped Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building (formerly, and still commonly known as the Prince of Wales Building) housed the headquarters of the British garrison in Hong Kong until the territory's handover to the People's Republic of China on 30 June 1997. It now houses the local garrison of the People's Liberation Army and is formally known as Central Barracks, in line with PLA convention for naming barracks after the name of the locality.

Other landmarks

The headquarters of HSBC is a landmark in the Central and Western District of Hong Kong



Sai Ying Pun

Sheung Wan


Secondary schools

Arranged by alphabetical order of their full names in each category.

Government-administered schools:

Aided schools:

Schools under Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS):

International schools:

Tertiary institutions



Major roads that serves the area include:

Public transport

Public transport includes Hong Kong Tramways, the Peak Tram and the MTR.

MTR lines include:

See also


  1. ^ a b 2021 Population Census: Summary Results (PDF). Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR (Report). February 2022.
  2. ^ Home Affairs Dept, Welcome page for Central and Western District, Retrieved 2018-05-25
  3. ^ "Hong Kong Geographic Data (As at October 2021)". Lands Department, Hong Kong SAR. January 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  4. ^ District Profiles, Hong Kong Government, 8 December 2017, retrieved 15 April 2020
  5. ^ Wordie, Jason (2002). Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-209-563-1.
  6. ^ Tsai Jung-fang. [1995] (1995). Hong Kong in Chinese History: community and social unrest in the British Colony, 1842-1913. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-07933-8
  7. ^ Sanderson, Edgar (1897–1898). The British Empire in the nineteenth century: its progress and expansion at home and abroad. Vol. IV. London: Blackie and Son. p. 339. LCCN 02002538. OCLC 11625716.
  8. ^ 2011 Population Census - Fact Sheet for Central and Western District Council District Archived 26 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Hong Kong Census
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Central and Western District
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