A new study has found that about half of Hong Kong’s young people would choose to live somewhere else if given the chance.

The public opinion study was carried out last month by Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.

It found that overall, 34 percent of people in Hong Kong said they would choose to leave the territory to live elsewhere. 

The group with the most people who said they want to leave Hong Kong was between the ages of 18-30. Fifty-one percent of this group said they would want to leave if given the chance. This compared to just 21 percent of people over age 50.

The study found that nearly 48 percent of people with a college degree or higher said they would rather live somewhere else.

About 25 percent of those questioned said growing political and social tensions in Hong Kong were major reasons they would seek to leave. Another 17 percent said they were "dissatisfied with the political institutions."

The most popular country people said they would like to move to was Canada, chosen by 19 percent of those questioned. Eighteen percent said Australia and 11 percent said Taiwan.

About 15 percent said they were in search of "more liberty” and better human rights.

Andrew Shum is a member of the Hong Kong-based human rights group Civil Rights Observer. He says one of the main reasons people want to leave Hong Kong is the government's failure to permit fully democratic elections.

"People's demand for universal suffrage has yet to be realized," Shum said. Shum added that hopes for more democratic changes in Hong Kong had “collapsed” for many people.

In 2014, parts of Hong Kong were shut down during 79 days of demonstrations held to protest Chinese plans to restrict fully free elections in Hong Kong.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


institution (n.) - large and important organization


liberty (n.) - the freedom to live, work and travel as you desire


suffrage (n.) - the right to vote in an election



Exercise 2 


Answer these questions about the article.


  1. How many of young people wants to leave Hong Kong?
  2. What percent have a college degree?
  3. Why they want to leave Hong Kong?



Exercise 3

Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the correct word listed below.


institution, liberty, suffrage


  1. ______ equals freedom!
  2. Parliament is the most important _____ in the state.
  3. Women have fought for _______.



Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions.


  1. Why young people want to leave Hong Kong?
  2. Would you like to leave your city or country?
  3. What would be the reason for your leaving?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.