HKU POP releases second part of Macau annual survey 2015Back

 

Press Release on January 7, 2016

| Detailed Findings (Macau annual survey) |

| Detailed Findings (Macau Studies Feature Page) |


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 87 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

Hong Kong and Macau differ a lot, the figures of their public sentiments cannot be directly compared. However, within the survey series conducted by POP in Macau, they themselves can be compared. Between 8 and 9 December 2015, POP interviewed 510 Macau people by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers, and found that using a one-in-three choices method, livelihood problems continue to be Macau people’s most concerned problems followed by economic and then political problems, a pattern which has existed for many years. Among the ratings of 4 core social indicators, “stability” has not changed much but replaced “prosperity” at the top of the list, that of “prosperity” has dropped significantly, that of “freedom” has somewhat increased, while that of “democracy” has not changed much and remains at the bottom. As for Macau people’s appraisal of news media in general, the latest credibility rating slightly goes up to 5.23 marks. Compared to one year ago, people’s net trust in the Macau SAR Government has not changed much, but that in the Central Government has increased significantly to positive 44 percentage points. As for the confidence indicators, people’s confidence in the future of Macau has remained positive, but its net value has significantly dropped as compared to one year ago, now stands at positive 43 percentage points, registering a new record low since the handover in 1999. People’s net confidence in the future of China and “one country, two systems” have rebounded to positive 76 and 60 percentage points respectively. In terms of ethnic identity, people’s identity rating of “Chinese citizen” has increased significantly compared to one year ago, now stands at the same rating of “Macau citizen”, at 7.9 marks. The maximum sampling error of all percentage figures is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures and net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 66%.

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 of this survey is 510 successful interviews, not 510 x 66.1% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points 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. When quoting these figures, journalists can state “sampling error of rating not more than +/-0.2, of percentages not more than +/-4% and of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level”. Because POP introduced “rim weighting” in 2015 for this survey series, 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 2015 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.


Background Information

Since 1992, POP has been conducting onsite studies in Macau in order to study the development of its public sentiment. Among them, most are related to election studies and opinion testing. Up to now, these research projects include Macau Legislative Assembly Exit Polls (1992, 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2009), Macau handover and year-end review surveys (since 1999), and other feature studies

After the sovereignty of Hong Kong and Macau returned to China, the development of public sentiment in the two cities has become more inter-related. One can expect that Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, Zhuhai and the whole Pearl River Delta will soon merge to become one entity both economically and culturally. Therefore, in the long run, establishing a common social indicator in this region is a “multiple-win situation” for all. POP’s research in Macau in the last 23 years is aimed at gradually building up a regional system on scientific public opinion polling, and to provide useful data for comparative studies in future.


Latest Figures

POP today releases via the “POP SITE” the second part of the Macau annual survey 2015. The first part of survey results were released on December 18, 2015. From 2015, 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 for this survey series. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Statistics and Census Service of Macau government regarding the gender-age distribution of the Macau population in 2014 year-end and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

8-9/12/2015

510

66.1%

+/-4%

[6] 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.


I. Appraisal of society’s conditions

Recent figures of Macau people’s appraisal of society’s conditions are summarized as follows:


Date of survey

17/11-9/12/11

23-28/12/12

6-12/12/13

1-3/12/14

8-9/12/15

Latest change

Sample base[7]

1,022

519

511

502

510

--

Overall response rate

71.7%

70.6%

69.6%

66.5%

66.1%

--

Latest finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[8]

--

Most concerned with livelihood problems[9]

--

72%

73%

69%

68+/-4%

-1%

Most concerned with economic problems

--

21%

20%

24%

25+/-4%

+1%

Most concerned with political problems

--

4%

4%

4%

5+/-2%

+1%

Degree of stability

7.28

7.61[10]

7.20[10]

7.20

7.22+/-0.16

+0.02

Degree of freedom

6.92

7.12[10]

6.82[10]

6.71

6.90+/-0.18

+0.19

Degree of prosperity

7.51

7.65

7.41[10]

7.22[10]

6.76+/-0.16

-0.46[10]

Degree of democracy

5.98

5.97

5.49[10]

5.51

5.58+/-0.20

+0.07

Credibility rating of local news media in general

--

5.79

5.37[10]

5.20

5.23+/-0.21

+0.03

[7] The frequency of this series of questions is different for different questions. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same intervals.

[8] 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 various ratings not more than +/-0.21 and 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.

[9] The wordings used before the 2012 survey were “social problems” and “social condition”. We take them to mean the same as “livelihood problems” and “livelihood condition” in the survey context.

[10] 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.


Latest survey showed that 68% of the respondents were most concerned with livelihood problems, 25% with economic problems, while 5% attached their greatest concern to political problems. Regarding the core social indicators, latest results showed that, on a scale of 0-10, Macau’s degree of “stability” scored the highest rating with 7.22 marks, followed by “freedom” with 6.90 marks, and then “prosperity” and “democracy”, with 6.76 and 5.58 marks respectively. As for people’s appraisal of Macau’s news media, on a scale of 0-10, the latest credibility rating of the Macau’s news media in general was 5.23 marks.

II. Trust and confidence indicators

Recent popularity figures of Macau SAR and Beijing Central and people’s confidence in the future as well as “one country, two systems” are summarized below:


Date of survey

17/11-9/12/11

23-28/12/12

6-12/12/13

1-3/12/14

8-9/12/15

Latest Change

Sample base [11]

1,022

519

511

502

510

--

Overall response rate

71.7%

70.6%

69.6%

66.5%

66.1%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error [12]

--

Trust in MSAR Government[13]

55%

65%[14]

58%[14]

53%[14]

51+/-4%

-2%[14]

Distrust in MSAR Government[13]

16%

11%[14]

19%[14]

21%

19+/-3%

-2%

Net trust

39%

54%[14]

39%[14]

32%

33+/-7%

+1%

Mean value[13]

3.5

(Base=569)

3.6

(Base=513)

3.4 [14]

(Base=501)

3.4

(Base=495)

3.4+/-0.1

(Base=496)

--

Trust in Beijing Government[13]

62%

60%

56%

52%

55+/-4%

+3%

Distrust in Beijing Government[13]

13%

11%

16%[14]

19%

11+/-3%

-8%[14]

Net trust

49%

49%

40%[14]

33%

44+/-6%

+11%[14]

Mean value[13]

3.7

(Base=556)

3.7

(Base=475)

3.5 [14]

(Base=468)

3.5

(Base=486)

3.6+/-0.1

(Base=464)

+0.1

Confidence in Macau’s future

83%

82%

76%[14]

74%

67+/-4%

-7%[14]

No-confidence in Macau’s future

11%

12%

19%[14]

21%

24+/-4%

+3%

Net confidence

72%

70%

57%[14]

53%

43+/-8%

-10%[14]

Confidence in China’s future

87%

87%

81%[14]

80%

85+/-3%

+5%[14]

No-confidence in China’s future

9%

8%

12%[14]

14%

10+/-3%

-4%[14]

Net confidence

78%

79%

69%[14]

66%

76+/-5%

+10%[14]

Confidence in “one country, two systems”

85%

82%

75%[14]

70%[14]

75+/-4%

+5%

No-confidence in “one country, two systems”

12%

12%

19%[14]

23%

15+/-3%

-8%[14]

Net confidence

73%

70%

56%[14]

46%[14]

60+/-7%

+14%[14]

[11] The frequency of this series of questions is different for different questions. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same intervals.

[12] 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% and of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[13] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[14] 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.


Latest survey revealed that 51% of the respondents trusted the Macau SAR Government, 55% trusted the Beijing Central Government. The net trust values were positive 33 and positive 44 percentage points, while the mean scores of these trust indicators were 3.4 and 3.6 respectively, meaning between “quite trust” and “half-half” in general. On the other hand, 67% of the respondents had confidence in Macau’s future and 85% had confidence in China’s future, while 75% of the respondents were confident in “one country, two systems”. The three net confidence values were positive 43, positive 76 and positive 60 percentage points respectively.


III. Ethnic identity

Recent figures on Macau people’s ratings on two separate identities are tabulated as follows:

Date of survey

17/11-9/12/11

23-28/12/12

6-12/12/13

1-3/12/14

8-9/12/15

Latest change

Sample base

1,022

519

511

502

510

--

Overall response rate

71.7%

70.6%

69.6%

66.5%

66.1%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[15]

--

Strength rating of being “Macau citizens”

8.0

8.3[16]

7.9[16]

8.0

7.9+/-0.2

-0.1

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

7.9

8.1

7.6[16]

7.7

7.9+/-0.2

+0.2[16]

[15] 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 strength ratings not more than +/-0.2 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[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.


The above figures were collected from independent rating questions, but not involving the dichotomy issue of “Macau citizens” and “Chinese citizens”. Latest findings showed that the identity ratings for “Macau citizens” and “citizens of PRC” were both 7.9 marks.


Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Hong Kong and Macau differ a lot, the figures of their public sentiments cannot be directly compared. However, within the survey series conducted by POP in Macau, they themselves can be compared. According to our annual survey completed at the end of last year, using a one-in-three choices method, livelihood problems continue to be Macau people’s most concerned problems followed by economic and then political problems, a pattern which has existed for many years. Among the ratings of 4 core social indicators, ‘stability’ has not changed much but replaced ‘prosperity’ at the top of the list, that of ‘prosperity’ has dropped significantly, that of ‘freedom’ has somewhat increased, while that of ‘democracy’ has not changed much and remains at the bottom. As for Macau people’s appraisal of news media in general, the latest credibility rating slightly goes up to 5.23 marks. Compared to one year ago, people’s net trust in the Macau SAR Government has not changed much, but that in the Central Government has increased significantly to positive 44 percentage points. As for the confidence indicators, people’s confidence in the future of Macau has remained positive, but its net value has significantly dropped as compared to one year ago, now stands at positive 43 percentage points, registering a new record low since the handover in 1999. People’s net confidence in the future of China and ‘one country, two systems’ have rebounded to positive 76 and 60 percentage points respectively. In terms of ethnic identity, people’s identity rating of ‘Chinese citizen’ has increased significantly compared to one year ago, now stands at the same rating of ‘Macau citizen’, at 7.9 marks.


Future Releases (Tentative)

  • January 11, 2016 (Monday) 1pm to 2pm: People’s expectation of CE’s Policy Address
  • January 12, 2016 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and Principal Officials
  • January 14, 2016 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Policy Address Instant Poll