Familial Effect on Child Poverty in Hong Kong Immigrant Families

by Kee-Lee Chou Department of Social Work & Social Administration The University of Hong Kong

Abstract:
This study investigated how family context affect poverty disparities between young children of immigrants from the Mainland China and children of local families whose parents were born in Hong Kong using 2006 bicensus data. 12609 and 12753 children of immigrant and

local families were included in our data analyses. We find higher child poverty rates in immigrant families than in local families. Moreover, we found that family structure

(single-parent vs 2-parent), assimilation (first vs second generation children of immigrant families), and parental human capital characteristics are significantly associated with the child poverty risk. Surprisingly, the impact of immigrant status on child poverty rates is stronger in 2-parent households than in single-parent households while child poverty declines associated with increasing assimilation defined by generational status of children are greater in 2-parent immigrant families than the corresponding declines in single-parent immigrant families. The implications of our results in intergenerational poverty are discussed.