According to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), far from all leaving expats have been returning home but, rather, relocating to the likes of Singapore, Africa and North America.
For the year to June, the number of Britons in Hong Kong declined by 10.64 per cent, while the number of Americans fell by eight per cent and five per cent of Australians left. There were also smaller declines in expat populations from Malaysia, Portugal, Japan, Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. Overall, however, the number of foreign residents living in the city fell by only about one per cent, mainly because of a significant rise in the number of arrivals from the Philippines – traditionally the source of domestic staff in Hong Kong.
The SCMP pointed out that Hong Kong now ranked only 28th in a survey of the ‘most liveable’ places in Asia, with air quality problems one of the main reasons for its low rating. “Increasing numbers of workers are returning to their home countries after completing temporary contracts in the city or relocating to the likes of Singapore for new career opportunities,” said the report.