At HK$1 million, Hong Kong parents spend three times global average on children’s education: study

Expenditure tops findings in Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China, with France coming in last among 15 countries and regions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 6:30pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 7:12pm

Hong Kong parents are spending more than HK$1 million on their children’s education from primary school to university, about three times the global average, a study on 15 countries and regions has revealed.

At US$132,161 (HK$1.03 million), parents in the city topped the study’s findings on education expenditure, exceeding that of Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China. The global average is US$44,221 (HK$345,135).

The report was commissioned by HSBC and involved interviews with more than 8,400 parents across 15 countries and regions in February.

Hong Kong parents with at least one child aged 23 or younger were asked about the costs on tuition, books, transport and accommodation for their children pertaining to education.

The study found that the average Hong Kong parent’s expenditure was about HK$256,000 more than parents in the United Arab Emirates, which came in second.

French parents spent the least, with about HK$130,000 to cover their children’s education costs.

Hongkongers are also more likely to do more to enhance the academic performance of their children, with about 88 per cent of parents currently paying for private tuition or having previously engaged such services.

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To support the heavy cost of their children’s education, about half of Hong Kong parents interviewed have reduced their spending on leisure activities, while more than a quarter of them also contributed less to long-term savings or investments.

“It is clear that Hong Kong parents are going to great lengths to build a secure future for their children but this is causing both financial pressure and emotional stress,” Greg Hingston, head of HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management, said.

Forget children, let’s educate the parents

Compared to other parents, Hongkongers are more likely to make personal sacrifices for their children, according to the survey. Some 48 per cent of them would give up their own time to tend to the education needs of their young, compared with 42 per cent in Malaysia and 41 per cent in Indonesia.

Some 37 per cent of local parents have also reduced or completely stopped leisure activities and holidays to cut down on expenditure, followed by 34 per cent in Taiwan.