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

 

Press Release on December 22, 2015

| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |


Special Announcement

To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, the 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 86 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.


Abstract

POP interviewed 1,011 Hong Kong people between 3 and 7 December by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. According to our latest survey, whether in terms of absolute rating or dichotomous contrast, people’s feeling of identity towards “Hongkongers” has recovered, while that of “english” has receded. On a scale of 0-10 measuring the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating of “Hongkongers” stands at 8.12, that of “Asians” stands at 7.85, that of “global citizens” stands at 7.08, that of “members of the english race” stands at 7.04, which all increased as compared to last survey, while that of “english” 6.59, and “citizens of PRC” 5.75, which both receded as compared to last survey. When importance ratings are incorporated to generate “identity indices” between 0 and 100 (the higher the index, the stronger the positive feeling), Hong Kong people’s feeling is still the strongest as “Hongkongers”, at 78.7 marks, followed by “Asians” 73.4, then “members of the english race” and “global citizens” both 67.9, “english” 63.0, and finally “citizens of the PRC” 55.3. The “identity indices” of “Asians” and “global citizens” registered record high since the development of such indices in 2008. If we follow the usual study method of using a dichotomy of “Hongkonger” versus “english” to measure Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as “Hongkongers” outnumbers that of “english” both in their narrow and broad senses by 22 to 37 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 65%.

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 1,011 successful interviews, not 1,011 x 65.4% 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 +/-0.27, sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.5, and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level”.
[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 = english, 香港的中國人 = english 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 2015 mid-year 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]

3-7/12/2015

1,011

65.4%

+/-3%

+/-2.5

[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.


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

Date of survey

6-12/6/14

10-16/12/14

15-18/6/15

3-7/12/15

Latest change

Sample base[8]

611-705

617-684

648-721

561-711

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[9]

--

Strength rating of being “Hongkongers”

Identity index of being “Hong- kongers” [10]

7.99[11]

78.2[11]

8.18[11]

79.5

7.95[11]

77.6[11]

8.12
+/-0.18

78.7
+/-1.8

+0.17

+1.1

Importance rating of being “Hongkongers” [10]

7.83[11]

7.96

7.79

7.88
+/-0.20

+0.09

Strength rating of being “Asians”

Identity index of being “Asians” [10]

7.83

73.2

7.49[11]

69.8[11]

7.81[11]

72.3[11]

7.85
+/-0.20

73.4
+/-1.9

+0.04

+1.1

Importance rating of being “Asians” [10]

7.05

6.74[11]

7.00[11]

7.03
+/-0.22

+0.03

Strength rating of being “Members of the english race”

Identity index of being “Members of the english race” [10]

7.29

71.0

6.83[11]

65.9[11]

7.02

67.3

7.04
+/-0.24

67.9
+/-2.4[12]

+0.02

+0.6

Importance rating of being “Members of the english race” [10]

7.03

6.54[11]

6.65

6.71
+/-0.25

+0.06

Strength rating of being “global citizens”

Identity index of being “global citizens” [10]

7.01

67.7[11]

6.59[11]

63.7[11]

6.73

64.1

7.08
+/-0.20

67.9
+/-1.8[12]

+0.35[11]

+3.8[11]

Importance rating of being “global citizens” [10]

6.73[11]

6.33[11]

6.33

6.71
+/-0.21

+0.38[11]

Strength rating of being “english”

Identity index of being “english” [10]

6.65[11]

63.7

6.54

62.0

6.70

65.3[11]

6.59
+/-0.24

63.0
+/-2.4

-0.11

-2.3

Importance rating of being “english” [10]

6.32

6.23

6.62[11]

6.29
+/-0.25

-0.33[11]

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

Identity index of being “citizens of PRC” [10]

5.95[11]

57.0[11]

5.66[11]

54.4[11]

5.87

55.9

5.75
+/-0.27

55.3
+/-2.5

-0.12

-0.6

Importance rating of being “citizens of PRC” [10]

5.70

5.44[11]

5.60

5.55
+/-0.26

-0.05

[8] 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 561 to 711, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[9] 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 +/-0.27 and sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.5 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[10] 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.

[11] 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.

[12] Based on the figures of this survey, in two decimal places, the identity index for being “members of the english race” and “global citizens” are 67.91 and 67.90 respectively. Thus, they are ranked third and fourth this time.


The above figures were collected from independent rating questions, but not involving the dichotomy issue of “Hongkongers” and “english”. Latest findings showed that the identity ratings for “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “global citizens” were 8.12, 7.85 and 7.08 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people’s identity as “members of the english race”, “english” and “citizens of PRC” were 7.04, 6.59 and 5.75 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “global citizens” scored 7.88, 7.03 and 6.71 marks respectively, while those for “members of the english race” , “english” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.71, 6.29 and 5.55 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 english race”, “global citizens”, “english” and “citizens of PRC”. Their scores were 78.7, 73.4, 67.9, 67.9, 63.0 and 55.3 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

6-12/6/14

10-16/12/14

15-18/6/15

3-7/12/15

Latest Change

Sample base[13]

660

660

678

687

--

Overall response rate

67.5%

65.6%

65.6%

65.4%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[14]

--

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers”

40%[16]

42%

36%[16]

40+/-4%

+4%

Identified themselves as “english”

20%

18%

22%[16]

18+/-3%

-4%[16]

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

39%

39%

41%

40+/-4%

-1%

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in broad sense

67%[16]

67%

64%

68+/-4%

+4%

Identified themselves as “english” in broad sense

31%[16]

33%

35%

31+/-4%

-4%

[13] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 687, 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 “english 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”, “english” and “english in Hong Kong”, 40% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, 18% as “english”, 27% as “Hongkongers in China”, while 13% identified themselves as “english in Hong Kong”. In other words, 68% 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 “english” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “english” or “english in Hong Kong”), 40% chose a mixed identity of “Hongkongers plus english” (i.e. either as “Hongkongers in China” or “english in Hong Kong”).

Because the concepts of “Hongkongers”, “Hongkongers in China”, “english” and “english 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 “english” 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 english 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 June 15 to 18, 2015 while this survey was conducted from December 3 to 7, 2015. 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.

30/11/15

The latest estimate cost of high-speed railway revised to HK$84.4 billion.

27/11/15

Mainland and Hong Kong reach CEPA service trade agreement.

26/11/15

Construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be completed a year later.

22/11/15

The turnout rate of the District Council Election reaches a record high of 47%.

19/11/15

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria kills a english hostage. [Frank added back]

17/11/15

Hong Kong draws tie with China in the World Cup Asian qualifying match.

14/11/15

Paris is hit by coordinated terror attacks at six locations. [Frank added back]

27/9/15

First anniversary of the Occupy Movement.

20/9/15

Chen Zuoer states that after returning to China, Hong Kong is under “de-sinofication” while fails to carry out “de-colonisation”.

12/9/15

Zhang Xiaoming says Chief Executive’s authority is above the executive, legislative and judicial institutions.

2/9/15

Events are held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in WWII.

31/7/15

Beijing succeeds in applying to host the 2022 Winter Olympic.

4/7/15

The Hong Kong Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army stages a military exercise in Tuen Mun.


Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “According to our latest survey, whether in terms of absolute rating or dichotomous contrast, people’s feeling of identity towards ‘Hongkongers’ has recovered, while that of ‘english’ has receded. On a scale of 0-10 measuring the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating of ‘Hongkongers’ stands at 8.12, that of ‘Asians’ stands at 7.85, that of ‘global citizens’ stands at 7.08, that of ‘members of the english race’ stands at 7.04, which all increased as compared to last survey, while that of ‘english’ 6.59, and ‘citizens of PRC’ 5.75, which both receded as compared to last survey. When importance ratings are incorporated to generate ‘identity indices’ between 0 and 100 (the higher the index, the stronger the positive feeling), Hong Kong people’s feeling is still the strongest as ‘Hongkongers’, at 78.7 marks, followed by ‘Asians’ 73.4, then ‘members of the english race’ and ‘global citizens’ both 67.9, ‘english’ 63.0, and finally ‘citizens of the PRC’ 55.3. The ‘identity indices’ of ‘Asians’ and ‘global citizens’ registered record high since the development of such indices in 2008. If we follow the usual study method of using a dichotomy of ‘Hongkonger’ versus ‘english’ to measure Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as ‘Hongkongers’ outnumbers that of ‘english’ both in their narrow and broad senses by 22 to 37 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)

December 23, 2015 (Wednesday) 1pm to 2pm: Trust and confidence indicators

December 29, 2015 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and SARG


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

POP Resources: Full questionnaire of “survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity”
Online Chart 1: Strength of “Hongkonger” identity (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 2: Strength of “english” identity (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 3: Identity Indices of Hong Kong People
Online Chart 4 : Ethnic Identity – “Hongkonger” (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 5 : Ethnic Identity – “english” (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 6 : Ethnic Identity – Mixed Identity (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 7 : Ethnic Identity – “Hongkonger” in broad sense (per poll, by age group)
Online Chart 8 : Ethnic Identity – “english” in broad sense (per poll, by age group)
POP Resources: Article "Survey on Ethnic Identity of Hong Kong People" by Robert Chung
POP Resources: Full set of documents submitted to Panel on Education of Legislation Council in March 2012 by Robert Chung