HKU POP releases latest survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identityBack

 
Press Release on June 17, 2014

| Special Announcement | Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases (Tentative) | Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |


Special Announcement

To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP Site” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 49 regular rating surveys of CE CY Leung, as well as the 181 regular rating surveys of former CE Donald Tsang and 239 regular rating surveys of former CE CH Tung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data. POP is planning to put up a “POP Education Page” to centralize all raw data and educational material as a one-stop service.



Abstract

POP interviewed 1,026 Hong Kong people between 6 and 12 June by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that in terms of absolute rating, the strength rating of “Hongkongers” has significantly increased, that of “Chinese” and “citizens of the PRC” have significantly dropped to their respective record low since 1997 and 2007, while that of other three identities have not changed much. If we use “identity indices” ranging between 0 and 100 to measure people’s feeling of different identities (the higher the index, the stronger the positive feeling), Hong Kong people’s feeling is strongest as “Hongkongers”, followed by “Asians”, then “members of the Chinese race”, “global citizens”, “Chinese”, and finally “citizens of the PRC”. Both the indices of “Chinese” and “citizens of the PRC” are once again at their lowest since the compilation of these indices in 2008. If we follow the usual study method of using a dichotomy of “Hongkonger” versus “Chinese” to measure Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as “Hongkongers” outnumbers that of “Chinese” both in their narrow and broad senses by 20 to 36 percentage points, significantly higher than that of six months ago. However, those opting for the mixed identities of “Hongkongers in China” or “Chinese in Hong Kong” have slightly gone down by 4 percentage points. All in all, Hong Kong people feel the strongest as “Hongkongers”, then followed by a number of cultural identities. The feeling of being “citizens of the PRC” is the weakest among all identities tested. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 68%.

 

Points to note:

[1] The address of the “HKU POP SITE” is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.
[2] The sample size is 1,026 successful interviews, not 1,026 x 67.5% response rates. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure needs another calculation. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of various ratings not more than +/-0.24, sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.3, and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level”. Because POP introduced “rim weighting” in 2014, during the transition period, whether changes in various figures are beyond sampling errors are based on tests using the same weighting methods. That is, to test whether the first set of figures collected in 2014 is significantly different from that of the previous survey, both sets of data are rim weighted before testing, instead of using simple computation of the published figures.
[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.
[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses “computerized random telephone survey” to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.
[6] Starting from 18 June 2013, in light of their popular usage, the following translations are used in reports and releases: 香港人 = Hongkonger, 中國的香港人 = Hongkonger in China, 中國人 = Chinese, 香港的中國人 = Chinese in Hong Kong.



Latest Figures

POP today releases via the POP Site the latest survey on people’s ethnic identity. From 2014, POP enhanced the previous simple weighting method based on age and gender distribution to “rim weighting” based on age, gender and education (highest level attended) distribution. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2013 year-end and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the latest contact information:

 

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages [7]

Maximum sampling error of ethnicity indices [7]

6-12/6/2014

1,026

67.5%

+/-3%

+/-2.3

[7] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.
[8] The figures shown in the “latest change” column of this press release have been tested after “rim weighting” data collected in this and last surveys. The structural effect of using the new weighting method is small, around -2% to +1% for percentage figures, around -0.1 to +0.1 for rating figures, and around -0.6 to +1.2 for index figures while statistical significance tests are not affected.


Recent figures on Hong Kong people’s ratings on separate identities are tabulated as follows:

Date of survey

14-17/12/12

10-13/6/13

9-12/12/13

6-12/6/14

Latest change

Sample base[9]

669-696

657-684

564-660

611-705

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[10]

--

Strength rating of being “Hongkongers”

Identity index of being “Hong- kongers” [11]

8.43[12]

81.7[12]

8.13[12]

78.2[12]

7.87[12]

75.6[12]

7.99
+/-0.16

78.2
+/-1.5

+0.12[12]

+2.6[12]

Importance rating of being “Hongkongers” [11]

8.12[12]

7.71[12]

7.54

7.83
+/-0.17

+0.29[12]

Strength rating of being “Asians”

Identity index of being “Asians” [11]

7.74[12]

72.7[12]

7.71

71.1

7.71

71.2

7.83
+/-0.18

73.2
+/-1.8

+0.12

+2.0

Importance rating of being “Asians” [11]

7.01[12]

6.82

6.81

7.05
+/-0.20

+0.24

Strength rating of being “Members of the Chinese race”

Identity index of being “Members of the Chinese race” [11]

7.71[12]

75.6[12]

7.38[12]

71.0[12]

7.35

70.8

7.29
+/-0.23

71.0
+/-2.2

-0.06

+0.2

Importance rating of being “Members of the Chinese race” [11]

7.52[12]

6.99[12]

7.00

7.03
+/-0.23

+0.03

Strength rating of being “global citizens”

Identity index of being “global citizens” [11]

7.06[12]

67.4[12]

6.83[12]

65.0[12]

6.81

64.5

7.01
+/-0.20

67.7
+/-1.8

+0.20

+3.2[12]

Importance rating of being “global citizens” [11]

6.68[12]

6.38[12]

6.41

6.73
+/-0.21

+0.32[12]

Strength rating of being “Chinese”

Identity index of being “Chinese” [11]

7.47[12]

72.4[12]

6.80[12]

65.9[12]

6.91

65.7

6.65
+/-0.22

63.7
+/-2.2

-0.26[12]

-2.0

Importance rating of being “Chinese” [11]

7.20[12]

6.59[12]

6.50

6.32
+/-0.23

-0.18

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

Identity index of being “citizens of PRC” [11]

6.39[12]

62.4[12]

6.11[12]

59.0[12]

6.08

58.2

5.95
+/-0.24

57.0
+/-2.3

-0.13[12]

-1.2[12]

Importance rating of being “citizens of PRC” [11]

6.29[12]

5.90[12]

5.81

5.70
+/-0.24

-0.11

[9] Since December 2008, the sub-sample size of the series of questions is controlled at slightly over 500 cases. The sub-sample sizes of this survey range from 611 to 705, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated. 
[10] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of ratings not more than +/-0.24 and sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.3 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[11] New items since December 2008. “Identity index” is calculated for each identity of a respondent by taking the geometric mean of the strength and importance ratings of a certain identity, multiply by 10. If either the strength or importance rating of a respondent is missing, it is substituted by the sample mean of that identity.
[12] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


The above figures were collected from independent rating questions, but not involving the dichotomy issue of “Hongkongers” and “Chinese”. Latest findings showed that the identity ratings for “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “members of the Chinese race” were 7.99, 7.83 and 7.29 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people’s identity as “global citizens”, “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC” were 7.01, 6.65 and 5.95 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “members of the Chinese race” scored 7.83, 7.05 and 7.03 marks respectively, while those for “global citizens”, “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.73, 6.32 and 5.70 marks respectively.

 

Taking the geometric mean of the strength and importance ratings of each respondent and then multiply it by 10, we have an “identity index” for the respondent for a certain identity between 0 and 100, with 0 meaning no feeling, 100 meaning extremely strong feeling, and 50 meaning half and half. Using these identity indices, the rank order of Hong Kong people’s six identities was “Hongkongers”, “Asians”, “members of the Chinese race”, “global citizens”, “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC”. Their scores were 78.2, 73.2, 71.0, 67.7, 63.7 and 57.0 marks respectively.

 

As for the results from the survey mode used for long on Hong Kong people’s sense of ethnic identity, recent figures are tabulated as follows:

 

Date of survey

14-17/12/12

10-13/6/13

9-12/12/13

6-12/6/14

Latest Change

Sample base[13]

687

677

628

660

--

Overall response rate

67.5%

67.9%

68.0%

67.5%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[14]

--

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers”

27%[16]

38%[16]

35%

40+/-4%

+5%[16]

Identified themselves as “Chinese”

21%

23%

22%

20+/-3%

-2%

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of “Hongkongers” plus “Chinese” [15]

49%[16]

36%[16]

43%[16]

39+/-4%

-4%

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in broad sense

60%[16]

62%

62%

67+/-4%

+5%[16]

Identified themselves as “Chinese” in broad sense

37%[16]

35%

37%

31+/-4%

-6%[16]

[13] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 660, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated. 
[14] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[15] This means the percentage of “Hongkongers in China” plus “Chinese in Hong Kong”.
[16] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


When asked to make a choice among 4 given identities, namely, “Hongkongers”, “Hongkongers in China”, “Chinese” and “Chinese in Hong Kong”, 40% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, 20% as “Chinese”, 27% as “Hongkongers in China”, while 11% identified themselves as “Chinese in Hong Kong”. In other words, 67% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Hongkongers” or “Hongkongers in China”), whereas 31% identified themselves as “Chinese” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Chinese” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”), 39% chose a mixed identity of “Hongkongers plus Chinese” (i.e. either as “Hongkongers in China” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”).

 

Because the concepts of “Hongkongers”, “Hongkongers in China”, “Chinese” and “Chinese in Hong Kong” may overlap with each other, and making a one-in-four choice may not reflect the actual strengths of one’s ethnic identities, POP has right from the beginning conducted parallel tests on the strengths of people’s separate identities as “Hongkongers” and “Chinese” using a scale of 0-10, to study ethnic identity in different levels. In June 2007, POP has already expanded its study to include four new identities for strength rating, namely, “citizens of PRC”, “members of the Chinese race”, “Asians” and “global citizens”. In December 2008, the study was further expanded by including separate importance ratings for different identities, and the compilation of a separate index for each identity using geometric means. Though they may not be perfect, the complex studies adopted by POP were already very comprehensive.


Opinion Daily

In January 2007, POP opened a feature page called "Opinion Daily" at the "POP Site", to record significant events and selected polling figures on a day-to-day basis, in order to let readers judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP each day starting from July 24, a record of significant events of that day, according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to "Opinion Daily" as soon as they are verified by POP.

 

For some of the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from December 9 to 12, 2013 while this survey was conducted from June 6 to 12, 2014. During this period, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.

6/12/14

Rimsky Yuen responses to the Barristers' statement on the Central government's announcement of a white paper on "One Country, Two Systems".

6/10/14

The Central government announces a white paper to reaffirm the relationship between China and HKSAR.

4/6/14

HKASPDMC announces that around 180,000 people participate in the June Fourth candlelight vigil.

27/5/14

The Chief Executive CY Leung mentions to review the Individual Visit Scheme at a Commission on Strategic Development meeting.

15/5/14

The anti-China riot in Vietnam spreads to whole nation.

14/5/14

Anti-China riot erupts due to the South China Sea dispute between China and Vietnam.

7/5/14

Occupy Central with Love and Peace held the third deliberation day yesterday.

23/4/14

Hong Kong and the Philippines resolve Manila hostage row.

23/3/14

Taipei Police launches clearance operation at the Executive Yuan.

18/2/14

Government officials and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council condemn the anti-mainlanders demonstration in Tsim Sha Tsui.

1/1/14

The Civil Human Rights Front announces that around thirty thousand people participate in the New Year's Day rally and over sixty thousand people participate in the Civil Referendum.



Commentary

Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Our latest survey shows that in terms of absolute rating, the strength rating of ‘Hongkongers’ has significantly increased, that of ‘Chinese’ and ‘citizens of the PRC’ have significantly dropped to their respective record low since 1997 and 2007, while that of other three identities have not changed much. If we use ‘identity indices’ ranging between 0 and 100 to measure people’s feeling of different identities (the higher the index, the stronger the positive feeling), Hong Kong people’s feeling is strongest as ‘Hongkongers’, followed by ‘Asians’, then ‘members of the Chinese race’, ‘global citizens’, ‘Chinese’, and finally ‘citizens of the PRC’. Both the indices of ‘Chinese’ and ‘citizens of the PRC’ are once again at their lowest since the compilation of these indices in 2008. If we follow the usual study method of using a dichotomy of ‘Hongkonger’ versus ‘Chinese’ to measure Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as ‘Hongkongers’ outnumbers that of ‘Chinese’ both in their narrow and broad senses by 20 to 36 percentage points, significantly higher than that of six months ago. However, those opting for the mixed identities of ‘Hongkongers in China’ or ‘Chinese in Hong Kong’ have slightly gone down by 4 percentage points. All in all, Hong Kong people feel the strongest as ‘Hongkongers’, then followed by a number of cultural identities. The feeling of being ‘citizens of the PRC’ is the weakest among all identities tested. As for the reasons behind the ups and downs of these figures, we will leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our ‘Opinion Daily’.”

 


Future Releases (Tentative)

  • June 19, 2014 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Trust and confidence indicators

  • June 24, 2014 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government



Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity


| Special Announcement| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases (Tentative) |Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |