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McSleepers - Number of Hong Kong People Sleeping At McDonald's Increases Sixfold

The number of Hong Kong people sleeping at McDonald's restaurants has increased almost sixfold since 2013. 

People sleeping in McDonald's outlets, commonly known in Hong Kong as 'McSleepers' or 'McRefugees', are a common sight in Hong Kong, where the presence of McSleepers is usually tolerated by employees.  

According to a recent survey by the non-profit organization Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan, the number of McSleepers in Hong Kong has risen from 57 to 334 individuals over the period from 2013 to August 2018. 

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In densely populated Hong Kong there are a a total of 116 McDonald's outlets open 24-hours: 30 in Hong Kong Island, 42 in Kowloon, 40 in the New Territories and 4 on the Outlying Islands. The American food chain provides not only cheap meals, but also free internet and air-conditioning, thus attracting customers from the city's poorest social groups. 


Hong Kong-based Wenweipo reports that 70% of McSleepers have a home, yet they choose to sleep at McDonald's. Some cannot afford to pay for electricity to keep air-conditioning running in Hong Kong's scorching summer heat. Some live in small, subdivided flats and prefer to sleep in McDonald's rather in their minimal living space. Others simply have problems with relatives. 30% of McSleepers do not have a home. 

The age of McSleepers ranges from 19 to 79, while the average age is about 53 years old. 57% of McSleepers have a job and the rest are unemployed. 

In September 2013 the Hong Kong government announced the first official poverty line, set at 50% of the median monthly household income. A 2017 study shows that despite annual economic growth averaging 3.4% from 2010 to 2017, and a low unemployment rate of 3.4%, poverty remains a pressing issue in the city. 


In 2016,  the number of poor people was more than 1.3 million, amounting to 19.9% of the population. Government welfare policies (recurrent cash) reduced the figures to 995,800 and 14.7% respectively. 

Hong Kong’s housing shortage is the cause of social problems such as the proliferation of cage homes

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