Ethnicity, cultural disparity and residential mobility: Empirical analysis of Hong Kong

Eddie Chi Man Hui*, Si Ming LI, Francis Kwan Wah Wong, Zheng Yi, Ka Hung Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the residential mobility patterns among Hong Kong's various ethnic groups, grounded on the Spatial Assimilation Theory. The results first show that immigrants in general have contributed the most to the residential movement of Hong Kong's populace. Nonetheless, disparities in residential mobility patterns have been observed among these immigrants. Wealthier immigrants, for instance westerners, by relocating to non-new town areas of the New Territories, show no signs of acculturation to local Hong Kong community. Also, while public rental housing has managed to relocate and gather ethnical groups, such as new arrivals from the Chinese Mainland and South Asians with permanent residence status, to new town areas in the New Territories (N.T.), the out-migration of private-sector residents from new towns to the outskirt areas of the N.T. has turned these new towns to multiethnic enclaves. For South Asians whom have yet to obtain permanent residence, they appear to have segregated themselves from the locals in urban areas and formed their own ethnic concentrations (i.e. Chungking Mansions in Kowloon). Lastly, the home-moving pattern of long-term Chinese immigrants is very similar to that of local Hong Kong residents, which can be regarded as a sign of assimilation. Policy implications derived from these findings are then discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHabitat International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Urban Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cultural differences
  • Ethnicity
  • Hong Kong
  • Residential mobility
  • Spatial assimilation theory


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