The report revealed that about 1.3 million people, or 19.6 percent of the population, were below the poverty line last year.
According to the Japan Times, the benchmark, determined for the first time, was set at half of the city's median household income, excluding the impact of tax and welfare transfers.
The report, commissioned by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, may give him the backing to ask for more spending and overcome objections to further increases to the minimum wage.
The report said that thousands of people protested on July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, demanding the government address the inequality between rich and poor.
At a summit, Leung said to alleviate poverty, the government must promote balanced economic development.
He added that poverty is not only an issue of the low-income population's hardship, but it also affects Hong Kong's harmony and stability, thus affecting its long-term competitiveness.
--ANI (Posted on 29-09-2013)