People chat during a matchmaking event for mostly mainland Chinese single men and Hong Kong single women in Dongguan, south China's Guangdong province on Nov 10, 2013. (AFP)
HONG KONG - More than half of Hong Kong-mainland married couples prefer living in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area over the long term, a study by think tank Hong Kong Ideas Centre (HKIC) revealed on Tuesday.
These couples were generally optimistic about the nation’s development prospects, the study showed.
The center in the last few months polled some 800 cross-boundary spouses mainly from the middle class and with high levels of education.
In 2016, Hong Kong saw 55,567 marriages, in which 41% (22,926) were between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland
In 2016, Hong Kong saw 55,567 marriages, in which 41 percent (22,926) were between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, according to the HKIC. The number of Hong Kong-mainland marriages registered in Hong Kong has increased by six times, from 2,635 in 1997 to 17,367 in 2016, finds the study.
Some 55 percent of the survey respondents said they wanted to live in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as they felt the area would develop well, the survey found.
Among these cities, Hong Kong remains the first choice. About 60 percent of those interviewed said the education system in Hong Kong is better than the one on the mainland.
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The study found those interviewed unanimously praised Hong Kong people’s English proficiency level and advances in medical facilities and technology. This encourages them to want to settle down and bring their children up in Hong Kong.
Cases of Hong Kong women marrying men from the mainland have increased by more than three times, from 2,407 in 2003 to 7,626 in 2016. This social phenomenon is due to the demographic mismatch between men and women in Hong Kong, the study concluded.
Center executive director Anna Lai said a narrower economic gap between Hong Kong and the mainland no longer concerns Hong Kong women thinking about marrying mainland men.
Lai also said Hong Kong people should show more respect to cross-boundary couples as they have become a significant component of total Hong Kong marriages.
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