6 October 2020

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



A telephone survey was conducted from 18 to 24 September 2020 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views on emigration from Hong Kong. Through the survey, 737 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with response rates of 34.2% (landline) and 35.7% (mobile). The sampling error is plus or minus 3.61 percentage points, at a confidence level of 95%.

Major findings are summarised as follows:

Of the respondents who were successfully interviewed, 43.9% indicated they would emigrate if they had the chance. Of those who would like to move, 35.0% had acted to prepare for the move (equivalent to 15.3% of the total number of respondents). Both percentages increased significantly over those of last year.

Of those inclined to emigrate, except for the 15.7% who had not yet decided where they would move, the three most popular destinations were the United Kingdom (23.8%), Australia (11.6%), and Taiwan (10.7%).

Aggregated and sorted from the open answers of the respondents, the top four push factors for respondents intending to move were: “dissatisfaction with the SAR government, the chief executive, senior officials or government policies” (27.3%), “too much political dispute/social cleavage” (23.6%), “liberty, human rights or freedom of information is weakening” (19.8%), “no democracy in Hong Kong” (17.6%). The top four pull factors were: “more liberty and better conditions for human rights” (23.3%), “ample living space” (19.4%), “political systems more democratic” (18.7%) and “conditions of immigration for Hongkongers are being relaxed” (15.2%).

The respondents were asked to rate Hong Kong’s livability on a scale from 0 (very unsuitable) to 100 (very suitable), with 50 indicating “in-between”. The current average rating from the respondents for Hong Kong’s livability was 49.6. This year’s score is not only significantly lower than that of last year (54.4), but is the lowest score in the past four years, which has displayed a steady decline since 2017. Close to a tenth (9.4%) of the respondents had the right of abode in other countries. The percentage of the respondents without this right was 90.6%.

The survey also asked the respondents’ intention to move to mainland China. A tenth (9.5%) of all respondents said yes. Among them, the top four push factors were: “cramped living space” (24.8%), “too much political dispute/political instability” (15.6%), “poor economic prospect/no economic future” (13.0%) and “the anti-extradition bill movement caused political turmoil” (11.3%). The top four pull factors to mainland China were: “ample living space” (34.3%), “brighter economic prospect” (24.1%), “social stability and order” (21.8%) and “not much political disputes” (8.7%). 

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55th Anniversary of CUHK
55th Anniversary of CUHK