Survey shows new immigrants have low participation in local society

A survey published by two local associations has shown that the city’s new immigrants struggle to “participate in local society” as a measure of integration in Macau, though are moderately integrated in other respects.

The two associations, Macau New Citizens Association and the Association of People’s Hope, conducted a survey between April and August about new Macau residents’ integration into the local community. The survey received a total of 740 valid questionnaires.

Some 13.5% of the new-immigrant respondents emigrated to Macau under the city’s skilled professionals immigration and investment immigration program. Other respondents came to Macau under the family reunion policy, half of whom are aged between 35 and 44 years old, and 31.1% of whom are aged between 45 and 54 years old.

About 92% of the respondents live in Macau, while the remainder live in Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Hong Kong.

The majority of respondents work in the hospitality and catering industry, followed by the gaming and other services industry.

The five indicators are participation in society, cultural integration, psychological integration, residential integration and social integration. Of these, cultural integration (79.4 points) is at the highest level, whereas participation in society (52.3 points) is at the lowest level compared to the other four indicators.

Including the aforementioned two types of integration, all five types have been recorded at a moderate level. Psychological integration, residential integration, and social integration were given 76 points, 70.6 points, and 67.9 points, respectively.

The President of the Association of People’s Hope, Song Pei Kei, has proposed that the government improve its social inclusion policies, for instance by establishing an organization to conduct research on relevant policies. She wants the government to enhance cooperation with social services organizations so as to establish a support centre for new immigrants.

The survey also found that most families have a monthly income between MOP20,000 and MOP30,000, which, the associations believe, shows that new immigrants’ income may satisfy their living expenses, and that high-income immigrants can integrate into the society faster and better.

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