9 October 2017

Survey Findings on Views on Emigration from Hong Kong Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK

A telephone survey was conducted from 18 to 22 September 2016 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to gauge public views on emigration from Hong Kong. 719 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 38.4%.  The sampling error is + or – 3.65 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%.

Major findings are summarized as follows:

One third (33.1%) of respondents indicated that they would emigrate to other places if they got the chance. Compared to a similar survey a year ago (September 2016), the percentage decreased from 38.9% to 33.1%.  Some 13.4% of them answered that they have taken actions to make preparation (equivalent to 4.5% of the total number of respondents).  A further analysis to break down the tendency of emigration by age groups or levels of education indicated that younger people (e.g. aged 18-30: 45.5%) had a higher tendency to emigrate compared to older people (e.g. aged 51 and above: 20.2%), if they got the chance.  Moreover, more respondents with college or above education (48.8%) indicated their intention to emigrate in contrast to the number of people of other levels of education.  Among those inclined to emigrate, 20.2% had not decided where to move. Three preferable destinations, ranked by popularity, were Australia (16.8%), Canada (16.8%), and Taiwan (12.2%).

Counted by the number of respondents, top three pushing factors for emigration among those inclined to move were “too much political dispute / social cleavage” (31.1%), “overcrowded living conditions” (21.8%), and “dissatisfied with the political institutions” (17.2%).  Counted by the number of respondents, top three pulling factors included “ample living space” (38.9%), “well-rounded democratic institutions” (15.8%), and “comprehensive social benefits” (11.6%). Compared with the survey last year, the top pushing factor was “dissatisfaction with SAR government/government performance/Chief Executive/high-ranking government officials”, while the top pulling factor was not changed.

This survey also asked the respondents to rate Hong Kong’s quality of living, with a point scale ranging from 0 (very unsuitable) to 100 (very suitable), and with 50 indicating “in-between”.  The average score for Hong Kong as a livable city rated by respondents was 63.9.

Among all the respondents, about 12.8% had experiences of living abroad for six months or longer.  Only 5.7% of respondents had foreign rights of abode and 31.8% had family members or relatives now living abroad.