Trends in Elderly Poverty in Hong Kong: A Decomposition Analysis

Siu Yau Lee*, Kee Lee Chou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Despite significant improvements in education and a decline in the percentage of immigrants in elderly population, the poverty risk in old age and the actual number of impoverished elders in Hong Kong have both increased significantly over the past two decades. This study assesses the changing rates of elderly poverty in Hong Kong over the last 20 years and, by means of decomposition analysis, identifies the factors shaping their evolution. The analysis is based on the 5 % microdata samples from the 1991, 2001, and 2011 censuses covering Hong Kong residents aged 65 and above. The results show that the rate of poverty among older adults increased from 27.7 % in 1991 to 38.7 % in 2001, and then to 41.4 % in 2011. The increase was largely caused by a significant decline in the number of earners in the households with older adults, which offset the poverty-reducing effects of education and the percentage decrease of immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-564
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Decomposition analysis
  • Elderly poverty
  • Hong Kong


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