Thousands of people are leaving Hong Kong — and now it’s clear where they’re going

Hong Kong lost residents in 2020 and 2021, but this year is expected to far surpass both years in terms of the numbers of people leaving for good.

Key points

  • Hong Kong lost 93,000 residents in 2020, followed by another 23,000 in 2021. But early estimates show this year will see far more people go
  • Many people and companies are moving to Singapore, though some expatriates are returning home and Hong Kongers are applying for residency under new visa programs launched in Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • There’s also an increase in moves from Hong Kong to Dubai, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, according to insiders.

A surge in departures is accelerating a “brain drain” of professional talent — a situation which hit fever pitch around March, as omicron-driven Covid cases skyrocketed across the city.

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