Life in Hong Kong falters as family well-being index reflects downward trend

Families in Hong Kong, a former British colony and now part of China, are witnessing a downward trend in family well-being.

This emerges from a recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS).

According to the latest “Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index (HKFWI)”, the region ranks 6.06 (out of 10).

The region has been moving down the list since 2019, a year before the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which a section of experts believe originated in China.

Teresa Cheung Wing-shan, senior director of the HKFWS, said the drop in the latest overall score is less significant than the last survey in 2022. She believes the time has come to return to normal after the pandemic, but it will be necessary. time to achieve it, The Epoch Times reported.

This was the third survey conducted by the group between January 2 and 23 during which the HKFWS conducted random sample telephone interviews with respondents.

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The group successfully interviewed around 2,014 Hong Kong residents aged 18 and over living with their families via landlines and mobile phones.

The first survey was conducted during the anti-extradition movement from July to August 2019, and the results were published in 2020. At that time, the index score was 6.3, the publication reported.

The second survey was conducted before the peak of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2022 and the result was 6.1. The last index released this year fell slightly to 6.06, and nearly half of respondents said they felt their FWI is just “average,” which is about the same as the 2022 survey.

The dark phase of the situation in Hong Kong was evident in the survey, where the number of respondents declaring “worse” in their answers continued to increase.

The survey found that FWI among younger people remains significantly lower and continues to decline. The 18-29 age group has the lowest score in the last three surveys, with the latest score being just 5.85. The 50-59 age group has seen the biggest drop since the 2019 survey, from about 6.6 in 2019 to 5.98 this year, the newspaper reported.

In its recommendation, the group said the government should focus resources on providing services appropriate to the needs of “older single carers”.

The HKFWS also recommends that the government build more family-oriented community facilities, leisure and public spaces to improve families’ participation in society and their sense of belonging. Additionally, the government should provide more avenues for people to participate in social issues. It is recommended that the government conduct surveys and research to have a deeper understanding of the obstacles and challenges that families face in participating and contributing to society, The Epoch Times reported.

The relationship between China and Hong Kong has worsened over the years since the region was handed over to Beijing in 1997. But in recent years it has gone from bad to worse.

In 2019, a controversial extradition bill sparked protests and Hong Kong became a defining conflict zone for mainland China.

These protests were the largest witnessed in Hong Kong so far.

Crowds took to the streets across the region to peacefully oppose what they described as interference from Beijing and called for true universal suffrage.

Soon, street clashes with police became the order of the day and law enforcement authorities used firebombs, tear gas and water cannons to silence protesters.

According to the BBC, the sweeping new national security law banned anything considered “secession” or “subversion” of Beijing’s power, effectively curbing dissent.

Taking a tough stance, Beijing also introduced “patriotic” electoral reforms that ensured only those deemed loyal to Beijing could run for parliament and the post of Hong Kong chief executive.

A large number of experts believe that China has managed to strengthen its control over the city during President Xi Jinping’s term.

But recent surveys show some of the lowest scores for Hong Kongers who identify as Chinese citizens since the handover, the BBC reported.

After so many years, the question remains whether China has moved closer to Hong Kong or whether life in the city has become more uncertain since it was handed over by British rulers in 1997.


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