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41,300 HK People Take Up Residence in Chinese Mainland

Less than one percent of Hong Kong residents aged 18 and over had taken up residence in the Chinese mainland, according to the findings of a survey released by the Planning Department of Hong Kong Friday.

Their main reasons for choosing to live there were employment-related, better living environment and living with family members, the survey revealed.

A total of 10,100 households were interviewed in the survey, entitled the Thematic Household Survey on Hong Kong Residents' Experience of and Aspirations for Taking up Residence in the Chinese Mainland, commissioned by the government between April and June this year.

It was estimated that some 41,300 local people, or only 0.8 percent of the population aged 18 and over, had taken up "residence in the mainland," which was defined as residing in the Chinese mainland for three or more months during the six-month period before the survey.

The survey does not cover local residents who have taken up residence in the Chinese mainland and usually stay in Hong Kong for only a short period of time, nor those who do not have usual accommodation in Hong Kong.

Releasing the findings, a spokesman for the department said the survey aimed at providing a snapshot of local people's intention and aspirations to live in the Chinese mainland which would serve as a useful reference for long-term strategic planning studies, including the on-going "Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy."

It was found that 163,900 Hong Kong households owned a total of 189,000 residential properties in Chinese mainland, representing 7.9 percent of all local households.

Eighty-eight percent of these properties were located in Guangdong, and the rest mostly in Fujian and Jiangsu.

Within Guangdong, Dongguan and Shenzhen were found to be the most popular places where Hong Kong residents had bought or built their residential properties.

Of the Chinese mainland properties owned by Hong Kong people, 69 percent were flats in multistory buildings, and the rest houses.

About 55 percent were for self-occupation, serving as second homes or vacation retreats, whereas some 20 percent were left vacant.

It was also found that some 25,500 local households, or 1.2 percent of all households, intended to move their entire household to take up residence in the Chinese mainland within the next 10 years. The most commonly quoted reasons to do so were lower cost of living, better living environment, reunion with spouse and children, and proximity to place of work.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2001)

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