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Deutsche Welle: More People in Hong Kong Intend to Immigrate Overseas

Deutsche Welle reported that the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies conducted a survey in Hong Kong in December 2018. The survey found that about one-third of the Hong Kong residents who responded said that they plan to immigrate if they have the opportunity. The main driving factors were dissatisfaction with local political disputes, a serious social split, and local living conditions. The respondents consisted of 708 people, age 18 or above. The results showed that 34 percent of the respondents said that if they had the opportunity, they would immigrate or move to another region. The results were similar to a survey conducted in 2017 which showed 33.1 percent would immigrate. The survey also showed that the public’s attitude towards immigration has become more open and active than it was in the past. Among the citizens with immigration plans, 16.2 percent said they were “prepared,” up 2.8 percentage points from the 13.4 percent who responded to  the survey that took place in the same period in 2017. Among the overall respondents, 5.5 percent said they were “prepared,” which was higher than the 4.5 percent in 2017. According to the survey, 19 percent of the respondents with immigration intentions thought that Canada was the ideal place for immigration for Hong Kong residents, followed by Australia and Taiwan, accounting for 18 percent and 11 percent respectively. The rest of the respondents did not identify destinations for immigration.

The survey also rated Hong Kong’s suitability for living. The results showed that the average score of the respondent’s who considered Hong Kong “livable” was 62.1 out of 100, which was lower compared to 63.9 in 2017. Respondents with immigration intentions said that the main factor is that the living space outside of Hong Kong is much bigger.

Another phenomenon was that, in recent years, the intention to immigrate among young people has been on the rise. The Deutsche Welle article quoted comments the director of Hong Kong Polytechnic University research center made during the interview. He said that many of the young people who have not yet graduated from college have already hoped to save enough money as soon as possible to apply for immigration to countries such as Taiwan, the U.S. and Canada. This has much to do with the change in the political environment in recent years. After the “umbrella movement,” the political atmosphere in society has been low. Young people are very dissatisfied with the status quo of the society, but they are unable to change it. In addition, they felt that the pressure and the cost of living in Hong Kong is too high. According to the latest statistics, if a family saves all of their income, it will take 19 years to buy a home . Many of them felt that there is no hope in Hong Kong.

Source: Deutsche Welle, January 26, 2019