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30 Nov 2015

Survey Findings on Views on Social Mobility of Young People in Hong KongReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK

30 Nov 2015

A telephone survey was conducted from 19 to 23 November 2015 by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to gauge public views on social mobility of young people in Hong Kong.  714 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 39.9%.  The sampling error is + or –3.67% at a confidence level of 95%. 

Major findings are summarized as follows:

In the current survey, the respondents were asked about their views on social mobility and career development opportunities for the current generation of young people in Hong Kong. Compared to their parents’ generation, nearly three-fifth of the 714 respondents (58.1%) thought that the career development opportunities of the current youth generation is worse, 16.8% thought it is better, and 18.6% indicated “in-between”. 

When the respondents were asked whether the chance of upward social mobility for young people have improved compared to 10 years ago, about half of them (52.0%) said it is worse, only 9.7% said it is better and 32.1% indicated “in-between”. About the future prospect, only 13.2% of the respondents predicted that the chance of upward social mobility will become better, 38.3% predicted that it will get worse and 34.4% predicted that it will be similar to the current situation. 

The respondents were also asked about their opinion of whether the Hong Kong society has provided enough opportunities for the young people to move up the social ladder. About half of the respondents (52.0%) thought that there is not enough opportunities, 14.3% said the opposite and 31.0% indicated “in-between”. According to Chi-square test, older respondents generally have a better evaluation of young people’s opportunities, while there is no statistically significant difference in the responses among respondents of different education levels. 

When the respondents were asked if they thought that young people these days have made enough efforts to achieve upward social mobility, about one-third of the respondents (35.6%) said not enough, 13.3% said enough and 44.3% indicated “in-between”. As indicated by statistical test, a higher proportion of older respondents indicated that young people nowadays are not making enough efforts for upward mobility, while more tertiary educated respondents thought that young people have already made enough efforts. When asked if young people would have a higher chance of success if they develop their career in mainland China, only about one-fifth of the respondents (19.2%) thought it would, 31.2% thought the opposite and 41.3% indicated “in-between”. 

Though young people’s opportunities for career development and upward social mobility are perceived to be not as good as before, over three-fifth of respondents (62.2%) opined that their living standard is better than that of their parents’ generation. 18.6% said that it is worse and 14.0% indicated that it is similar as before.