Publication: High-density Living in Hong Kong from the Perspective of Teenagers
Being one of the world’s densest cities and the most expensive to buy a home, Hong Kong is infamous for inadequate housing and small living spaces. Living under such crowded conditions is often accused of aggravating stress and social problems. However, the effect of high living density on juveniles remain ambiguous. Using a 2017 survey of secondary school students in Hong Kong, this paper examines residential crowding and satisfaction experienced by juveniles with respect to objective densities of their homes measured by number of persons per room. The results suggest for juveniles in Hong Kong high living densities do not necessarily lead to the perception of crowding. Moreover, residential crowding, if perceived by the juveniles, is not directly translated into dissatisfaction. The variables which explain the residential (dis)satisfaction of juveniles are the composition and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of their families. The paper argues that family composition and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds contribute to juveniles’ varying degrees of tolerance to high living density, which lead to different levels of perceived crowding. The effect of perceived crowding on residential satisfaction is further mediated by the interactions of family members and the overall quality of family life.
residential satisfaction, juveniles, housing crowding, family background