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HKBU Economics team releases research report on “Mainland Immigrants in Hong Kong: Dynamic Changes in Socioeconomic Status”

10 Jun, 2021
img The Department of Economics of the HKBU School of Business has recently completed a study on “Mainland Immigrants in Hong Kong: Dynamic Changes in Socioeconomic Status”. The study was sponsored by the Society for Community Organization (SoCO). A press conference was conducted on 9 June 2021 on HKBU campus.

The research findings show that Mainland immigrants ameliorate the effects of population ageing and boost economic transformation. “Misconceptions about Mainland immigrants are also found in Hong Kong. The fact is, there have been significant changes in the characteristics of Mainland immigrants in recent years, where both their incomes and education attainments have been substantially increased,” Prof. Cheng Yuk-shing, Head and Professor of the Department of Economics, who led the research team of the study, explained.

Dr. Hongliang Zhang, Associate Professor of the Department of Economics at HKBU and a member of the research team, elaborated that the research utilised a 5% sample of the Census and By-Census microdata from 2001 to 2016. A novel method is used to investigate Mainland immigrants’ socioeconomic status after staying in Hong Kong for over seven years. The findings revealed that the incomes of Mainland immigrants are generally converging to those of the locally-born residents. Some of the findings from this project have not been uncovered in previous studies. For example, a large proportion of highly-educated immigrants that arrive in Hong Kong do not actually stay here, often leaving Hong Kong after a relatively short period of time. This suggest that the Hong Kong government should consider to formulating strategies to retain talent.

Prof. Cheng further indicated that, given the importance of Mainland immigrants to Hong Kong’s demographics and future labour supply, the Hong Kong government should fully consider their role when formulating policies on population and human resources.

More details are available in the report (written in Chinese, with an English executive summary).
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