"Non-engaged" young people in Hong Kong: Key statistics and observations

Tan Lei Shek, Britta M. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the key statistics and observations regarding "non-engaged" adolescents in Hong Kong, where " non-engaged" adolescents refer to unemployed young people and adolescents who do not pursue any further studies in the 15-24 year age bracket. Several phenomena could be highlighted from the available statistics on non-engaged young people in Hong Kong. First, there was a rise in adolescent unemployment figures, particularly in the 1990s. Second, youth unemployment rates for adolescents aged 15-24 years were higher than the overall unemployment rates for the general population. Third, while youth unemployment rates in Hong Kong were lower than those reported in some English-speaking countries, the figures were higher than those reported in Mainland China. Fourth, some demographic correlates of youth non-engagement were found: a) unemployment rates were relatively higher in younger adolescents than in older adolescents; b) the sex ratios (number of males per 1,000 females) in non-engaged young people were higher than those of young people in the general population; c) the educational attainment of non-engaged young people was lower than that of the same age group in the general population; d) new arrival status was not related to youth non-engagement. Fifth, some family correlates were also observed: a) compared with adolescents who were not non-engaged youths, there was higher proportion of non-engaged youths living with one parent; b) the educational attainment of parents of non-engaged youths and the family income of their families were lower than those of households without non-engaged youths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-163
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Hong Kong
  • Non-engaged adolescents
  • Youth unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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