Majority of Hong Kong’s youth looking to leave city, with Covid-19 and economic uncertainty believed to be main reasons

  • Chinese University polled residents between 15 and 30 years old, and found nearly 60 per cent want to emigrate
  • Few of those polled were willing to work in China’s Great Bay Area

Latest Articles

Help! My classmate is bullying me, and she says it’s her ‘freedom’ to do it

Former students launch petition to save Hong Kong’s Rosaryhill School

First Hong Kong-made satellite set to launch in November

Chinese youths trade city living for ceramics

Starbucks to face lawsuit claiming its fruit drinks are missing fruit

Young adults are uncertain about their futures in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP / K. Y. Cheng

Nearly 60 per cent of Hong Kong youth want to leave Hong Kong if possible, a new survey has found. That figure is up from almost half three years ago.

The study released last Thursday by Chinese University’s (CUHK) Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies also found young people were more negative about the city’s future, giving an average score of only 2.95 out of 10, down from 4.37 in 2018. Researchers believe the negativity could be linked to uncertainty about Hong Kong’s future because of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

The real benefits of taking a gap year

But one academic believes some will eventually return.

The survey, commissioned by Lions Clubs, was done between March 19 and April 8. It polled 803 respondents aged between 15 and 30. The institute last conducted a similar survey in 2018.

When asked whether they wanted to move overseas, about 57.5 per cent said yes. In the 2018 version, only around 46.8 per cent of about 800 people said the same.

On a scale of 1 to 10 rating their level of positivity about their own future, respondents gave an average of 4.76, compared to 6.02 in 2018. In addition, more young people (90.4 per cent) believed they would not be able to buy a flat, up from about 89 per cent three years ago.

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to start May 26

Few of those polled, less than 10 per cent, were willing to work or start a business in the Great Bay Area cities on the mainland.

Professor Anthony Fung Ying-him, director of CUHK’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, said the figures in the survey findings, were “mostly a perception”. Most of them could not emigrate right now, it was just something they were thinking about.

Professor Stephen Chiu Wing-kai, sociology chair professor at Education University, said stakeholders should look into how young voices can be heard.

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy