Affluent mainlanders: young, and often single

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am


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Looking for a mister or miss right with a healthy bank balance?

Then the mainland could be just the place to start looking.

Among eight regional economies, the mainland and Australia tie for the highest proportion of singles among the affluent - 20 per cent. This compares with 12 per cent in Hong Kong and a measly 8 per cent in Taiwan.

Also, the average age of well-heeled mainlanders is just 36, compared with a relatively geriatric 48 in Hong Kong.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by HSBC and research company Nielsen in which 4,408 individuals drawn from the richest 10 per cent of the population on the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia were interviewed.

The 515 mainlanders interviewed had at least 500,000 yuan in liquid assets or 1 million yuan or more in outstanding mortgages, a less stringent requirement compared to some of the other regions. Sixty-four per cent of the respondents were male.

'I don't know if it is good news for the Chinese women, or bad news for the Chinese men,' quipped Bruno Lee, HSBC's Asia-Pacific head of wealth management.

While the survey did not break down the groups by first- and second-generation wealth, most respondents had accumulated their wealth through private business or investments.

The number of affluent mainlanders are expected to quickly surpass their counterparts in the region's developed markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, according to HSBC.

Along with a high proportion of affluent singles, the mainland also has the highest proportion of 'DINKS', or 'double income, no kids', at 18 per cent, compared with Taiwan's 2 per cent.

Lee said China's large, growing economy and vast opportunities had led to substantial internal migration, which 'might have deferred the marital and maternal age in the country'.

Among the other regions covered by the survey, Indonesia has the second-youngest affluent population, at 38, while India comes next at 39.

The survey also showed that Asia's wealthy kept much of their wealth in highly liquid assets, one reason the region had sailed through the global gloom. Lee said.