Despite Economic Boom Hong Kong Residents Live in Poverty


Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest  places in Asia. The economy  of the former  British colony  is  boominglargely  because of China’s economic rise . But still, there are over a million who live in  poverty in Hong Kong. The  gap  between rich and poor is becoming bigger.

Not only Hong Kong’s poorest are suffering . Middle class citizens  are frustrated because,  even though they have good jobs, they can barely make ends meet . Housing prices are going through the roof; food is becoming more and more expensive.



Real estate prices in Hong Kong are skyrocketing , rising up to 20% a year. Many rich people from communist China are coming to Hong Kong and buying up property  in the former colony. They can even buy themselves a citizenship  if they bring at least 10 million Hong Kong dollars into the city.

While many upper class citizens live in luxurious  apartment buildings there are a hundred thousand people in Hong Kong who don’t have enough space  to live. Some of them live in cages or containers only a few feet wide.


Despite this, the economy  of the new Chinese province could not be better. Unemployment  is at a low rate, the  stock market  is booming and the  government  has enough money to give $6,000 to every Hong Kong citizen .

This will not help the average  middle and lower class  resident . Inflation is increasing,  due to  rising food prices and education costs. At 5% it is at its highest rate since the beginning of the  century . The Hong Kong dollar is linked  to the US dollar and has lost value  over the past years. Hong Kong’s imports have become more expensive, especially oil and food.



Criticism of the government is commonplace . Many suggest that  instead of  giving citizens money it would be better to spend it on creating new homes and houses. Hong Kong will need more room for its population. Thousands of people from mainland  China are moving to Hong Kong to reunite with their families, who  fled Communism many years ago.


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  • average   = normal
  • barely   = hardly
  • boom   = going up very quickly
  • century   = a hundred years
  • citizen   = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • colony   = a country that is controlled by a bigger, more powerful country
  • commonplace   = widespread ; something that is here all the time
  • despite   = even though
  • due to   = because of
  • economy   = the system of buying and selling goods in a country
  • especially   = above all
  • even though   = while
  • flee-fled   = to escape from
  • former   = at an earlier time
  • gap   = difference
  • government   = the people who rule a country
  • instead of   = in something’s place
  • largely   = mainly
  • link   = connect
  • luxurious   = very expensive, beautiful
  • mainland   = here: Communist China
  • make ends meet   = have enough money to live or survive
  • poverty   = the situation of being poor
  • property   = land
  • real estate   = land, houses or buildings
  • resident   = a person who officially lives in a place
  • reunite   = to come together again
  • rise   = increase, to go up
  • skyrocket   = to go up to a very high level
  • space   = room
  • stock market   = place where parts of a company can be bought or sold
  • suffer   = to be in a difficult or bad situation
  • unemployment   = the number of people who cannot get a job
  • value   = what something is worth
  • wealthy   = rich