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Bilingual, on WeChat and kind of happy: a portrait of the youth of Macao

The results of a sweeping survey, conducted toward the end of last year, provide a revealing snapshot of residents of the territory aged under 35.

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The results of a sweeping survey, conducted toward the end of last year, provide a revealing snapshot of residents of the territory aged under 35.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:30 pm

The Education and Youth Development Bureau has released the results of a comprehensive survey of people in Macao aged 13 to 35, finding them moderately happy, glued to social media and mostly bilingual.

The 2022 Macao Youth Indicators Profile was based on a survey of 2,376 young people carried out between last September and November. The poll, reported on in multiple media outlets, found that young people were moderately content – scoring themselves an average of 3.24 out of a maximum of 5 when asked to rate their levels of happiness.

They listed the workplace (3.21 out of 5), financial issues (3.16) and health (3.04) as their main sources of stress. Regarding the environment, 72.3 percent said they were concerned by air quality, 54 percent by municipal waste and 47 percent by noise pollution.

When it came to skills, 28 percent of those polled said they had mastered Macao’s three main languages (Chinese, Portuguese and English), 67.9 percent said they had command of two of them and 4.1 percent said they were monolingual. 

They were not confident of their technological proficiency, however, giving below-average rankings when it came to use of design software (2.62), video editing (2.60), web page production (2.10), animation software (2.01) and computer programming (1.90).

[See more: Macao’s young people don’t want to work in Zhuhai, according to a new poll]

But unsurprisingly, Macao’s young people are glued to social media. Those polled reported spending an average of 8.13 hours a week on social media platforms, 7.66 hours on the Internet for study or work purposes and 7.06 hours watching videos. The most trusted platforms are WeChat (83.9 percent), Youtube (75.8 percent), Instagram (64.4 percent), Facebook (57.2 percent) and China’s Instagram equivalent Xiaohongshu (51.6 percent). 

Only 1.71 hours a week was allocated to leisure reading and less than an hour to reading news. Most reading is done in electronic formats, with mobile phones accounting for 89 percent of it, followed by computers.

The study found that 23.1 percent of respondents were married, and were an average of 26.87 years old at the time of their weddings. Just 18.4 percent of those under 35 have children.

Overall, Macao’s young people are satisfied with social and economic conditions, giving satisfaction scores of 3.69, 3.27 and 3.20 points to public order, education and leisure and facilities respectively. 

The survey also found that most respondents considered themselves patriotic, scoring themselves an average of 3.99 on the scale.

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:30 pm

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