More than 60 percent of the city’s young people hope to move abroad, Singtao Daily reported Tuesday, citing a survey by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.
The ratio is a new high since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997.
In the survey, 500 Hongkongers aged between 15 and 39 were interviewed by phone between the end of August and mid-September, two weeks before the Occupy Central protests began.
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they were worried about the increasingly serious problem of corruption in Hong Kong, up 15 percentage points from the last survey, done in 2012, and also a record high.
Angela Ngai Mei-mui, a supervisor with the federation, was quoted as saying the rising proportion of young people seeking to emigrate may be due to the influence of their parents or other family members, plus increasing opportunities to see the world through “working holiday” programs.
Only half the respondents believed public opinion could affect government policymaking, down 11 percentage points from 2012.
Just 44.1 percent said they were optimistic about the prospects for Hong Kong in the coming year, a new low since the survey was launched in 1997.
Young people’s willingness to marry and have children has also decreased.
While 80 percent of respondents said they will get married, only 68 percent said they will have children. This may be due to the rising costs of education, living and medical care, the report said.
However, the survey shows young Hongkongers are more confident about becoming entrepreneurs and hope for a more open society.
Ngai called for the government to open up and listen to the voices of young people.
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