One in three Hong Kong people would leave the city and live overseas if they have the opportunity, with the desire to emigrate particularly strong among the younger and better educated lot, a survey shows.
According to the latest poll from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 34 percent of respondents said they would emigrate if they had the chance, up from 33.1 percent seen in a similar survey in September 2017.
The study, conducted by the university’s Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, showed that only 56.5 percent of the people said categorically that they don’t have any wish to move to another place.
Of those with the wish to move, 16.2 percent admitted they have recently begun to act on it, marking an increase from the 13.4 percent who revealed such initiative in the previous survey.
For the survey, researchers took in the responses of 708 Hongkongers aged 18 or above, with interviews conducted over the phone, during Dec. 11 to 17 last year.
Asked what gave them the urge to live abroad, those intending to move cited “too much political dispute/social cleavage” (25.7 percent), “overcrowded living conditions” (25.7 percent) and being “dissatisfied with the political institutions” (17.4 percent).
While the order was the same as that in the previous survey, it was worth noting that the complaint about “overcrowded living conditions” has gone up from 17.4 percent in 2016 and 21.8 percent in 2017, suggesting the housing problem has become unbearable for more Hongkongers.
The survey also found that the inclination to emigrate was linked to age and education background, the Hong Kong Economic Journal noted.
In the 18-30 age group, 51 percent intended to move overseas, and the ratio was 44.1 percent in the 31-50 age group. Such intention was expressed by 47.9 percent of those with college or higher education.
As for their most preferred destination, the top three were Canada, Australia and Taiwan.
The survey also asked the respondents to grade the perception of Hong Kong’s quality of living with a point scale from 0 as “very unsuitable” to 100 as “very suitable” and 50 indicating “in-between”.
The average score of such rating was 62.1, a “significant drop” from 63.9 seen a year earlier in terms of statistical analysis.
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