Date
26 March 2017
Only one in 10 of those who want to emigrate has actually put their plan into action, according to the survey. Photo: HKEJ
Only one in 10 of those who want to emigrate has actually put their plan into action, according to the survey. Photo: HKEJ

40% of HK people want to emigrate but few take action: survey

Four in 10 Hong Kong people want to live overseas, but most of them are unable to make up their mind and act on their plans because of various difficulties, a survey finds.

In the survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 38.9 percent of the respondents said they would choose to emigrate should they have the opportunity to do so, news website hk01.com reports.

Among them, 57 percent were aged 30 or younger, while 26 percent were aged 51 or above.

The survey covered 710 Hongkongers aged 18 and above, who were interviewed by phone from Sept. 23 to 27.

It appears that the education level of the respondents was an important factor. More than half of those with college or higher education showed the strongest desire to emigrate.

Asked what gave them the urge to live abroad, 11 percent cited dissatisfaction with the government’s performance.

Other respondents cited crowded living space (10.5 percent), too much political bickering and serious divisions in society (10.3 percent), and lackluster economy with dim outlook (10.3 percent).

As for their most preferred destination, 16.3 percent want to live in Taiwan, followed by those who want to move to Australia (15.2 percent), Canada (13. 8 percent), Britain (6.2 percent) and Singapore (5.4 percent)

Asked the reason for their choices, the respondents cited wider living space, higher level of democracy, recommendations from families and friends, and a more relaxed lifestyle.

But thinking of emigrating is one thing, doing it is another.

The survey found that only one in 10 of those who want to emigrate has actually put their plan into action.

The top four reasons that prevent them from realizing their dream of living abroad are failure to pass English proficiency tests, concerns about career development, rising cost of emigration and fear of not being able to return to Hong Kong for a long time due to application for foreign citizenship.

An immigration consultant specializing in helping Hongkongers relocate to Taiwan said the number of applications has risen to seven to eight per month over the past three months from three to five previously, adding that most of the applicants are early retirees aged 40 to 50, according to Sky Post.

While some younger people aged 30 to 35 were also interested in emigrating to Taiwan, they ended up giving up the idea mainly because they are afraid of not being able to find jobs there after they forgo high-paying positions in Hong Kong, the consultant said.

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