News Centre

3 Jan 2019

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

3 Jan 2019

A telephone survey was conducted from 11 to 17 December 2018 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views on emigration from Hong Kong. Successfully interviewed were 708 respondents aged 18 or above, with a response rate of 37.3%. The sampling error is plus or minus 3.68 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%. 

Major findings are summarised as follows: 

One third (34%) of the respondents indicated they would emigrate if they had the chance. Compared to a similar survey a year ago (September 2017), there is no statistically significant change. Among those who would like to move, 16.2% have acted to prepare for the move (equivalent to 5.5% of the total number of the respondents). The differences were not statistically significant when compared with those of last year. 

A breakdown to the tendency of emigration by age groups or levels of education indicated that the younger generation (18­–30, 51%) had a higher tendency to emigrate than did the older generation (51 and over, 21.1%). Moreover, more respondents with college or higher education (47.9%) indicated their intention to emigrate compared with the number of people of other levels of education. 

Among those inclined to emigrate, 24.7% have not decided where they would move to. The three most popular destinations were Canada (18.8%), Australia (18.0%), and Taiwan (11.3%). 

The respondents intended to stay were asked about the inviting aspects of life in Hong Kong. The top three aspects were “convenience of life” (46.9%), “a Chinese society / the language the majority speaks / accustomed to life / friendly society” (27.3%), and “good infrastructures and institutions” (25.9%). 

For the respondents intended to move, the top three push factors were “too much political dispute / social cleavage” (25.7%), “overcrowded living conditions” (25.7%), and “dissatisfied with the political institutions” (17.4%). The top three pull factors were “ample living space” (35%), “better air quality, less pollution and beautiful environment” (22.3%), and “more liberty and better conditions for human rights” (15.6%). Compared with the survey results of last year, the top push and pull factors have 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 50 indicating “in-between”. The average score for Hong Kong as a livable city rated by the respondents was 62.1, a statistically significant drop from that of last year. 

Only 6.7% of the respondents had foreign right of abode, and 32.8% had family members or relatives now living abroad.