Adult and child deprivation in Hong Kong

Peter SAUNDERS*, Vera Mun‐yu TANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing interest in the application of Townsend's deprivation approach to provide estimates of poverty that more directly reflect the living standards of those on low income. The consensual approach is applied here using data from the second wave (conducted in 2015–2016) of the Trends and Implications of Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong survey. The article draws on a related study that identifies separate lists of items deemed “necessary for all” by a majority of adults (aged 18 years or older) and children (aged 10–17 years). Those unable to obtain at least three of these items are identified as deprived, and the profile of household deprivation is examined in terms of the family types most affected, age groups, and numbers of children. Further analysis focuses on the disparity between children identified as living in households identified as deprived according to information provided by adults and children whose deprivation status reflects their own views. Finally, the overlaps between deprivation and four measures of poverty—two objective and income based and two subjective and perception based—are examined and discussed. The results indicate that deprivation and poverty are different but that, however it is measured, more needs to be done to address poverty in Hong Kong, including further improvements in the coverage and adequacy of health service provision and social security benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-834
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number6
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Poverty and social disadvantage in Hong Kong

Funding for the research on which this paper draws was provided by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council underits Strategic Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, 2011/12.


  • child deprivation
  • consensual approach
  • deprivation
  • poverty

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