One in four Hongkongers deprived of basic necessities, CUHK study finds

One in four Hongkongers deprived of basic necessities, CUHK study finds

Some locals cannot pay for three meals a day or health care, as study goes beyond using just income as a measure of poverty

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The study suggests a drop in poverty compared to earlier studies, but deprivation still exists.

Almost one-fifth of Hongkongers aged 10-17 can’t afford to have days out with their families or do leisure activities, according to a local study conducted last year.

The results showed that 39.1 per cent of teens could not take “local tours with family members at least four times in a year”; 25.3 per cent did not receive a “present for special occasions”; and 17.3 per cent were unable to “participate in leisure activities with family member or friends at least once a month”.

Chinese University (CUHK) assistant professor Wong Hung called for more school- and community-based programmes to “provide low-cost leisure activities and local tours for teenagers and their family members”.


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The study, which was carried out by CUHK with 574 people taking part, did however suggest a drop in the teenage deprivation rate of 6.4 per cent, compared to a similar survey done in 2014.

The same study showed that a quarter of Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above go without basic necessities, such as three meals a day, a dental check-up every year, a mobile phone, new clothes once a year, and going out with family or friends once a month.

What’s more, some say the government’s definition of poverty, based solely on income, does not reflect the hardships people face.


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“In the United Kingdom, the definition of poverty includes income and deprivation poverty, but in Hong Kong, poverty is such a one-dimensional concept,” said CUHK assistant professor Roger Chung Yat-nork.

Wong agreed, saying that more needs to be done.

“Although the study shows there were fewer deprived people, almost a quarter of Hongkongers still struggled to afford these very basic necessities in life, and we should be concerned about that,” he remarked.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
25pc of HKers can't afford 3 meals a day

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