Twenty-five years since the British handover of Hong Kong to China, a recent survey found that most young Hong Kongers are pessimistic about the future. 

Between May 13 and 29, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups surveyed 1,054 members aged from 15 to 34, including 15 youngsters and four experts. The organization released the results on July 3. 

The report said, 47% of the respondents saw a bleak future for their city, whereas the opposite viewpoint accounted for only 17.5%. 

Among social issues that this demographic wanted the regime to pay attention to, housing shortages were the top concern, at 66.5%. Worries about housing issues made up 45%. In addition, 35.3% hoped their voices would be heard, and 27.5% believed the regime should mend relationships with them.

The majority (48.7%) thought they might remain in the city for the next 10 years. However, 17.4% envisioned moving overseas, whereas a significantly low percentage (2.2%) considered relocating to the mainland.

When asked about what they would expect in the next decade, the young in Hong Kong looked forward to liberty (38.3%), prosperity (32.4%), and a stable and livable city (25.2%). 

On the core values the respondents hoped their city would embrace, freedom topped at 59.7%, followed by democracy (41%) and the rule of law (35.9%).

Twenty-five years ago, when Hong Kong was returned to China, the Chinese Communist Party promised to let the city enjoy 50 years of self-government and civil and political rights that the mainland does not have.

Halfway through the process, however, Hong Kong only saw more suffocation and interference from Beijing. It became especially so since the sweeping national security bill was passed in 2020.

Iris, a 25-year-old born during the handover, told Aljazeera that her generation felt pretty hopeless about the future. 

Iris said, [quote] “The things that we assumed that would always be here just gradually faded, like the system itself, like freedom of speech, press freedom, all of this, and we lost faith in our government.” [end quote]

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