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

 

Press Release on June 20, 2017

| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |

Special Announcements

1. Robert Chung, the Director of Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong, continues to publish his article series “Chung’s Blunt Words: HKSAR 20th Anniversary Series” in his online column “Chung’s Blunt Words” ( www.facebook.com/ChungsBluntWords ) today. He mentions that Hong Kong people should stand firm in their core values in order to regain the pride, and recognize the contributions of these values to the future Chinese society and world order. The copyrights of all articles are open to the world, the media are welcome to re-publish the articles in full or in part, early or concurrent publication can also be arranged.

2. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP has already released for public examination some time ago via the HKU POP SITE” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 124 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 1,004 Hong Kong people between 13 and 15 June by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. According to our latest survey, on a scale of 0-10 measuring the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating of “Asians” stands at 7.85, that of “Hongkongers” stands at 7.65, that of “global citizens” 6.88, that of “members of the Chinese race” 6.74, that of “Chinese” 6.53, and “citizens of PRC” 5.84. 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 the strongest as “Hongkongers”, at 73.8 marks, followed by “Asians” 70.7, then “global citizens” 66.4, “members of the Chinese race” 64.4, “Chinese” 62.5, and finally “citizens of the PRC” 54.8, all dropped significantly except “global citizens” as compared to last survey. Among them, the “identity indices” of “Hongkongers” and “members of the Chinese race” registered record low since the development of such 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 16 to 28 percentage points. All in all, Hong Kong people continue to 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 70%.

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 1,004 successful interviews, not 1,004 x 69.8% 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 = 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 2016 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]

13-15/6/2017

1,004

69.8%

+/-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

3-7/12/15

10-16/6/16

12-15/12/16

13-15/6/17

Latest change

Sample base[8]

561-711

579-629

613-706

633-725

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[9]

--

Strength rating of being “Hongkongers”

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

8.12

78.7

7.95

76.4[11]

8.09

78.8[11]

7.65
+/-0.19

73.8
+/-2.0

-0.44[11]

-5.0[11]

Importance rating of being “Hongkongers”[10]

7.88

7.59[11]

7.87[11]

7.49
+/-0.20

-0.38[11]

Strength rating of being “Asians”

Identity index of being “Asians”[10]

7.85

73.4

7.58[11]

68.1[11]

7.81[11]

73.0[11]

7.85
+/-0.18

70.7
+/-1.9

+0.04

-2.3[11]

Importance rating of being “Asians”[10]

7.03

6.51[11]

7.04[11]

6.70
+/-0.21

-0.34[11]

Strength rating of being “global citizens”

Identity index of being “global citizens” [10]

7.08[11]

67.9[11]

6.84

64.1[11]

6.76

64.5

6.88
+/-0.21

66.4
+/-1.8

+0.12

+1.9[11]

Importance rating of being “global citizens” [10]

6.71[11]

6.29[11]

6.30

6.60
+/-0.22

+0.30[11]

Strength rating of being “Members of the Chinese race”

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

7.04

67.9

6.92

65.5[11]

7.55[11]

72.8[11]

6.74
+/-0.24

64.4
+/-2.4

-0.81[11]

-8.4[11]

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

6.71

6.43[11]

7.18[11]

6.40
+/-0.24

-0.78[11]

Strength rating of being “Chinese”

Identity index of being “Chinese”[10]

6.59

63.0

6.59

62.5

6.88[11]

66.6[11]

6.53
+/-0.24

62.5
+/-2.5

-0.35[11]

-4.1[11]

Importance rating of being “Chinese”[10]

6.29[11]

6.19

6.63[11]

6.30
+/-0.25

-0.33[11]

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

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

5.75

55.3

5.63

53.6

6.25[11]

60.7[11]

5.84
+/-0.26

54.8
+/-2.5

-0.41[11]

-5.9[11]

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

5.55

5.43

6.09[11]

5.49
+/-0.27

-0.60[11]

[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 633 to 725, 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.


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 “Asians”, “Hongkongers” and “global citizens” were 7.85, 7.65 and 6.88 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people’s identity as “members of the Chinese race”, “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.74, 6.53 and 5.84 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “global citizens” scored 7.49, 6.70 and 6.60 marks respectively, while those for “members of the Chinese race” , “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.40, 6.30 and 5.49 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”, “global citizens”, “members of the Chinese race”, “Chinese” and “citizens of PRC”. Their scores were 73.8, 70.7, 66.4, 64.4, 62.5 and 54.8 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

3-7/12/15

10-16/6/16

12-15/12/16

13-15/6/17

Latest Change

Sample base[12]

687

573

728

661

--

Overall response rate

65.4%

71.2%

71.6%

69.8%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error [13]

--

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers”

40%

42%

35%[15]

37+/-4%

+2%

Identified themselves as “Chinese”

18%[15]

18%

16%

21+/-3%

+5%[15]

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of “Hongkongers” plus “Chinese”[14]

40%

38%

47%[15]

40+/-4%

-7%[15]

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in broad sense

68%

67%

64%

63+/-4%

-1%

Identified themselves as “Chinese”
in broad sense

31%

31%

34%

35+/-4%

+1%

[12] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 661, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[13] 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.

[14] This means the percentage of “Hongkongers in China” plus “Chinese in Hong Kong”.

[15] 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”, 37% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, 21% as “Chinese”, 26% as “Hongkongers in China”, while 14% identified themselves as “Chinese in Hong Kong”. In other words, 63% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Hongkongers” or “Hongkongers in China”), whereas 35% identified themselves as “Chinese” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Chinese” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”), 40% 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 12 to 15, 2016 while this survey was conducted from June 13 to 15, 2017. 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.

9/6/17

United Kingdom general election 2017.

4/6/17

A terrorist attack takes place at London Bridge.

2/6/17

The United States decides to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

27/5/17

Zhang Dejiang reiterates the relationship between the central government and the HKSAR at a symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of implementing the Basic Law of the HKSAR.

23/5/17

ICAC arrests 21 over faked concrete test results for Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project.

23/5/17

Media reports on the Manchester terrorist attack.

21/5/17

Two Hong Kong people conquer Mount Everest.

15/5/17

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation closes in Beijing.

11/4/17

President Xi Jinping meets with Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in Zhongnanhai.

7/4/17

US President Donald Trump orders to fire Syrian military air base.

26/3/17

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is elected as the fifth Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

22/3/17

Principal firefighter Yau Siu-ming dies in mountain rescue.

10/3/17

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is impeached.

3/1/17

Hong Kong and Shenzhen agree to jointly develop Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau Loop.

30/12/16

Wang Guangya, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, speaks out the four criteria for Chief Executive.


Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “According to our latest survey, on a scale of 0-10 measuring the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating of ‘Asians’ stands at 7.85, that of ‘Hongkongers’ stands at 7.65, that of ‘global citizens’ 6.88, that of ‘members of the Chinese race’ 6.74, that of ‘Chinese’ 6.53, and ‘citizens of PRC’ 5.84. 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 the strongest as ‘Hongkongers’, at 73.8 marks, followed by ‘Asians’ 70.7, then ‘global citizens’ 66.4, ‘members of the Chinese race’ 64.4, ‘Chinese’ 62.5, and finally ‘citizens of the PRC’ 54.8, all dropped significantly except ‘global citizens’ as compared to last survey. Among them, the ‘identity indices’ of ‘Hongkongers’ and ‘members of the Chinese race’ registered record low since the development of such 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 16 to 28 percentage points. All in all, Hong Kong people continue to 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 22, 2017 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Trust and confidence indicators
  • June 27, 2017 (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 “Chinese” 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 – “Chinese” (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 – “Chinese” 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