The challenges for educational achievements of young Mainland Chinese migrants in Hong-Kong

Author(s): Wong, Yu-Cheung

Date: 2011

Pages: p. 277-291

Hong Kong's population has increased by around one million per decade from the end of World War II till the 1990s. A large proportion of this growth came from the mass influx of migrants from Mainland China, and the children born to them. During the 1960s and 1970s when Hong Kong's economy was booming rapidly, career advancement opportunities were abundant even for the less educated migrants and their children. But when the economic restructuring occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, trades such as manufacturing and construction sectors, where a large number of workers with migration background were employed, were hit most hardly. The problem of the intergenerational transmission of poverty and low social mobility has now become the focus in the agenda of poverty alleviation. This article aims to use a subsample of the 2006 By-Census dataset to explore whether children with migration background from Mainland China were generally disadvantaged in their educational attainment and income. The findings confirmed this hypothesis, indicating that the human capital investment strategy in Hong Kong is not sufficient to break down the barriers for children in disadvantaged social positions.

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