The divide between the rich and poor in Hong Kong has hit a record high. Hong Kong is now the second most "unequal" city in terms of income and wealth, behind New York.
The number of Hong Kong people living in poverty continued to rise, hitting a record high last year. One in five people lives below the poverty line, the latest official figures reveal.
The government reported that Hong Kong’s poverty rate reached 19.9 percent in 2016, meaning there were 1.35 million people living below the poverty line, up about 7,000 people from 2015.
The city’s poverty line is drawn at half the median monthly household income according to household size. For 2016, it was HK$4,000 (US$512) for one person, HK$9,000 for a two-person household and HK$15,000 for a three-person household.
Sham Shui Po in Kowloon remained the poorest district with 24.6 percent of residents falling below the poverty line. This was followed by Kwun Tong – 24.3 percent – and Kwai Tsing, with a poverty rate of 24.1 percent.
“In view of rapid population aging under which the number of retired elderly persons will continue to increase, coupled with the fact that the poverty line only takes into account income but not assets, there would be little room for significant improvement in the poverty figures,” the government said.