HKU POP releases the latest survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity and the 2017 year-end and 2018 forecastBack

 

Press Release on December 27, 2017

| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |

| Detailed Findings (Year-end Reviews) |

Special Announcements

1. From July 2017, apart from sampling landline numbers to conduct opinion surveys, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has also added mobile numbers to the sampling frame. After three months of testing, in October 2017, POP formalized the use of mixed samples as its standard for regular opinion surveys. The figures released today by POP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples, while “effective response rate” is continued to be used to describe the survey’s contact information. As for the weighting method, a two-step protocol is used. First, both the landline and mobile samples 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 as well as economic activity status distribution collected in the 2011 Census. After that, the mobile sample was rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample, and then mixed together to produce the final results. This weighting method has proved to be feasible after three months of testing, but POP will continue to review and enhance it, and keep the public informed.

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 regular rating surveys of current CE Carrie Lam, former CEs CH Tung, Donald Tsang and CY Leung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

Abstract

POP interviewed 1,034 Hong Kong people between 4 and 6 December 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 “Hongkongers” stands at 8.27, that of “Asians” stands at 7.88, that of “global citizens” 7.12, that of “members of the Chinese race” 7.08, that of “Chinese” 6.89, and “citizens of PRC” 6.00. 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 78.9 marks, followed by “Asians” 72.8, then “members of the Chinese race” 67.3, “global citizens” 66.9, “Chinese” 66.0, and finally “citizens of the PRC” 58.0. All increased significantly except “global citizens” as compared to the last survey. 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 25 to 37 percentage points. The reason why the percentage selecting “Chinese” in the categorical question has dropped while all “Chinese identity” ratings (including strength, importance and identity index) have increased is because the corresponding ratings of “Hongkonger indentity” have increased even more. All in all, Hong Kong people continue to feel the strongest as “Hongkongers”, 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 61%.

As for the 2017 year-end and 2018 forecast survey, POP interviewed 1,013 Hong Kong people between 18 and 19 December 2017 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our survey shows that people’s net satisfaction with Hong Kong’s development in the year past has increased significantly by 32 percentage points to positive 3 percentage points. At an individual level, 56% said they lived a happy life in the year past, 20% said they were not happy, giving a net happiness value of positive 36 percentage points. Meanwhile, net optimism on next year’s personal and societal development have dropped to positive 24 and positive 10 percentage points respectively as compared to those registered at the same time last year but only the change of the former has gone beyond sampling error. Figures show that people are leading a happy life and optimistic about the future. If people had to choose between having a prosperous, bribery-free, fair, free or welfare society, most people would opt for a bribery-free society. Looking ahead, the percentage of people who consider housing to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government has increased significantly by 10 percentage points to 40%, that of constitutional reform has remained unchanged as a year ago at 15%, that of economy has dropped significantly by 4 percentage points to 11%, while those of medical and health and education have both increased significantly by 3 percentage points to 8% and 5% respectively. As for people’s New Year wishes, without explicit prompting, 38% and 31% made a wish on society-related issues and personal matters respectively, while 16% wished for world peace. Further analysis shows that the citizens aged between 18 and 29 are most dissatisfied with Hong Kong’s development in 2017 and also most pessimistic about the year ahead. The maximum sampling error of the survey is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while that of net values need another calculation, response rate being 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] 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.

[3] 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.


Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity:

[4] The sample size is 1,034 successful interviews, not 1,034 x 61.0% response rates. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[5] 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 +/-0.25, sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.5, and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level”.

[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.


The 2017 year-end and 2018 forecast:

[7] The sample size of this survey is 1,013 successful interviews, not 1,013 x 64.9% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[8] 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 percentages not more than +/-4% and of net values not more than +/-7% at 95% confidence level”.


I. Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity:

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. The mobile sample has also been rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. Herewith the latest contact information:

Date of survey

Sample base

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[9]

Maximum sampling error of ethnicity indices [9]

4-6/12/2017

1,034

61.0%

+/-3%

+/-2.5

[9] 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

10-16/6/16

12-15/12/16

13-15/6/17

4-6/12/17

Latest change

Sample base[10]

579-629

613-706

633-725

645 - 727

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[11]

--

Strength rating of being “Hongkongers”

Identity index of being “Hong-
kongers”[12]

7.95

76.4[13]

8.09

78.8[13]

7.65[13]

73.8[13]

8.27
+/-0.15

78.9

+/-1.7

+0.62[13]

+5.1[13]

Importance rating of being “Hongkongers”[12]

7.59[13]

7.87[31]

7.49[13]

7.89
+/-0.18

+0.40[13]

Strength rating of being “Asians”

Identity index of being “Asians”[12]

7.58[13]

68.1[13]

7.81[13]

73.0[13]

7.85

70.7[13]

7.88
+/-0.17

72.8

+/-1.7

+0.03

+2.1[13]

Importance rating of being “Asians”[12]

6.51[13]

7.04[13]

6.70[13]

7.01
+/-0.18

+0.31[13]

Strength rating of being “Members of the Chinese race”

Identity index of being “Members of the Chinese race” [12]

6.92

65.5[13]

7.55[13]

72.8[13]

6.74[13]

64.4[13]

7.08
+/-0.24

67.3

+/-2.5

+0.34[13]

+2.9[13]

Importance rating of being “Members of the Chinese race”[12]

6.43[13]

7.18[13]

6.40[13]

6.62
+/-0.25

+0.22

Strength rating of being “global citizens”

Identity index of being “global citizens” [12]

6.84

64.1[13]

6.76

64.5

6.88

66.4[13]

7.12
+/-0.21

66.9

+/-2.0

+0.24[13]

+0.5

Importance rating of being “global citizens” [12]

6.29[13]

6.30

6.60[13]

6.55
+/-0.23

-0.05

Strength rating of being “Chinese”

Identity index of being “Chinese”[12]

6.59

62.5

6.88[13]

66.6[13]

6.53[13]

62.5[13]

6.89
+/-0.22

66.0

+/-2.3

+0.36[13]

+3.5[13]

Importance rating of being “Chinese”[12]

6.19

6.63[13]

6.30[13]

6.64
+/-0.24

+0.34[13]

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

Identity index of being “citizens of PRC” [12]

5.63

53.6

6.25[13]

60.7[13]

5.84[13]

54.8[13]

6.00
+/-0.24

58.0

+/-2.4

+0.16

+3.2[13]

Importance rating of being “citizens of PRC” [12]

5.43

6.09[13]

5.49[13]

5.83
+/-0.25

+0.34[13]

[10] 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 645 to 727, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[11] 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 +/-0.25 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.

[12] 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.

[13] 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 “global citizens” were 8.27, 7.88 and 7.12 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 7.08, 6.89 and 6.00 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, “Hongkongers”, “Asians” and “Chinese” scored 7.89, 7.01 and 6.64 marks respectively, while those for “members of the Chinese race”, “global citizens” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.62, 6.55 and 5.83 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 78.9, 72.8, 67.3, 66.9, 66.0 and 58.0 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

10-16/6/16

12-15/12/16

13-15/6/17

4-6/12/17

Latest Change

Sample base[14]

573

728

661

633

--

Response rate*

71.2%

71.6%

69.8%

61.0%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error [15]

--

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers”

42%

35%[17]

37%

39+/-4%

+2%

Identified themselves as “Chinese”

18%

16%

21%[17]

14+/-3%

-7%[17]

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of “Hongkongers” plus “Chinese”[16 ]

38%

47%[17]

40%[17]

45+/-4%

+5%[17]

Identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in broad sense

67%

64%

63%

68+/-4%

+5%[17]

Identified themselves as “Chinese”
in broad sense

31%

34%

35%

31+/-4%

-4%

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[14] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 633, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[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 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.

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

[17] 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”, 39% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, 14% as “Chinese”, 29% as “Hongkongers in China”, while 16% identified themselves as “Chinese 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 “Chinese” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Chinese” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”), 45% 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 June 13 to 15, 2017 while this survey was conducted from December 4 to 6, 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.

27/11/17

The Legislative Council Commission decides to recover 11.74 millions of remuneration and operating expenses paid to Leung Kwok-hung, Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai and Yiu Chung-yim, who have been disqualified from assuming the office of Members of LegCo.

23/11/17

The Hong Kong Government held a seminar on the 19th National Congress.

17/11/17

The government releases the Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2016 with an increased poverty rate of 19.9%.

8/11/17

US President Donald Trump embarks on his first state visit to China.

4/11/17

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passes decisions to include the national anthem law in Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law.

17/10/17

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

11/10/17

Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivers her first Policy Address.

27/9/17

Hong Kong has been ranked as the sixth most competitive economy.

22/9/17

The State Council announces new appointments of officers responsible for Hong Kong and Macau affairs.

15/9/17

The heads of ten universities release a joint statement against "Hong Kong independence".

17/8/17

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow have been sentenced to six to eight months in prison.

1/8/17

President Xi Jinping attends the ceremony of celebrating the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army.

25/7/17

The government announces the co-location arrangement for the Express Rail Link.

1/7/17

Xi Jinping attends the Inaugural Ceremony of the Fifth Term HKSAR Government.

21/6/17

The State Council, on the nomination of Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, appoints principal officials of the fifth-term Government of the HKSAR.


II. The 2017 year-end and 2018 forecast:

Latest Figures

POP today releases on schedule via the “POP SITE” the latest findings of the 2017 review and 2018 forecast survey. 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. The mobile sample has also been rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample.Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Sample base

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[18]

18-19/12/2017

1,013

64.9%

+/-3%

[18] 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.


Herewith the figures of 2017 review and 2018 forecast, compared with similar figures obtained in recent years:

Date of survey

17-22/12/14

10-15/12/15

19-22/12/16

18-19/12/17

Latest change

Sample base[19]

1,021

1,012

1,009

648

--

Response rate*

68.0%

65.4%

70.9%

64.9%

--

Latest finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[20]

--

Satisfied with HK’s development in the year past [21]

22%[23]

23%

23%

38+/-4%

+15% [23]

Dissatisfied with HK’s development in the year past [21]

50%[23]

48%

52%[23]

35+/-4%

-17% [23]

Net satisfaction rate

-28%[23]

-26%

-29%

3+/-7%

+32% [23]

Mean value[21]

2.6 [23]

(Base=999)

2.6

(Base=979)

2.5

(Base=990)

3.0+/-0.1

(Base=624)

+0.5 [23]

Expected HK’s development to be better next year

29%

23%[23]

39%[23]

39+/-4%

--

Expected HK’s development to be worse next year

43%[23]

41%

26%[23]

29+/-4%

+3%

Net optimism

-14%[23]

-18%

13%[23]

10+/-6%

-3%

Perceived housing to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government next year

34%

38%[23]

30%[23]

40+/-4%

+10% [23]

Perceived constitutional development to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government next year

27%[23]

10%[23]

15%[23]

15+/-3%

--

Perceived economy to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government next year

9%[23]

10%

15%[23]

11+/-2%

-4% [23]

Perceived medical/ health to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government next year

3%

3%

5%[23]

8+/-2%

+3% [23]

Perceived education to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government next year

2%[23]

4%[23]

2%[23]

5+/-2%

+3% [23]

Wished HK to become a corruption-free society [22]

27%[23]

27%

31%[23]

29+/-4%

-2%

Wished HK to become a fair society

23%

23%

21%

24+/-3%

+3%

Wished HK to become a prosperous society

22%

20%

21%

22+/-3%

+1%

Respondents who were happy in the year past[21]

50%[23]

51%

50%

56+/-4%

+6% [23]

Respondents who were unhappy in the year past [21]

17%[23]

16%

20%[23]

20+/-3%

--

Net happiness value

34%[23]

34%

31%

36+/-6%

+5%

Mean value[21]

3.4

(Base=1,014)

3.4

(Base=1,010)

3.3

(Base=1,004)

3.4+/-0.1

(Base=645)

+0.1

Expected personal development to become better next year

38%

36%

44%[23]

39+/-4%

-5% [23]

Expected personal development to become worse next year

16%[23]

16%

13%[23]

15+/-3%

+2%

Net optimism

22%[23]

20%

30%[23]

24+/-5%

-6% [23]

New Year wishes: Society-related (e.g. economic related, people’s livelihood, political related and others)

47%[23]

34%[23]

48%[23]

38+/-4%

-10% [23]

New Year wishes: Personal matters (e.g. health, career, studies, wealth, family, love, marriage, friendship and other personal issues)

29%[23]

41%[23]

26%[23]

31+/-4%

+5% [23]

New Year wishes: World peace-related

14%[23]

11%[23]

13%

16+/-3%

+3%

No special wish

8%

10%

9%

9+/-2%

--

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[19] Starting from 2017, these questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sample size for this series is 648.

[20] 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 +/-7% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[21] 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.

[22] The expression “clean society” was used in 2006 and before. In 2007, it was changed to “corruption-free society” to highlight the original meaning of the question.

[23] 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.


Looking back at the year past, 38% said they were satisfied with Hong Kong’s development, 35% were dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction of positive 3 percentage points. The mean score is 3.0, which is “half-half” in general. Meanwhile, 39% expected Hong Kong’s development in general to become “better” next year, 29% said it would be worse, giving a net optimism of positive 10 percentage points. Besides, 40% considered “housing” to be the most important problem that the government should tackle next year, 15% and 11% thought “constitutional development” and “economy” was the most pressing problem respectively, while 8% and 5% thought “medical and health” and “education” should be tackled respectively. If one had to choose between a “prosperous”, “corruption-free”, “fair”, “free”, and “welfare” society, 29% of the respondents would wish Hong Kong to become a “corruption-free” society, while 24% and 22% opted for a “fair” and “prosperous” society respectively.

Findings also showed that 56% of the respondents said they were happy in the year past, 20% were not, giving a net happiness of positive 36 percentage points. The mean score is 3.4, which is between “quite happy” and “half-half” in general. As for the coming year, 39% believed their personal development would become better, 15% thought they would be worse off, giving a net optimism of positive 24 percentage points. With respect to people's New Year wishes, 38% were society-related, 31% were related to personal matters, 16% were world peace-related, 9% did not have any New Year wish.

Indepth Analysis

In the survey, we also asked respondents for their age. If they were reluctant to give their exact age, they could give us a range. According to their answers, we grouped them into 18-29, 30-49, and 50 years or older. Herewith further analysis of the satisfaction of HK’s development in year 2017 and the expectation of HK’s development in year 2018 by respondents’ age:

Date of survey: 18-19/12/2017

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

Satisfaction of HK’s development in year 2017 [24]

Satisfied

20+/-8%
(21)

29+/-6%
(64)

51+/-6%
(156)

38+/-4%
(242)

Half-half

27+/-9%
(28)

30+/-6%
(68)

19+/-5%
(58)

24+/-3%
(154)

Dissatisfied

53+/-10%
(55)

39+/-7%
(88)

26+/-5%
(78)

35+/-4%
(221)

Not sure

0+/-0%
(0)

2+/-2%
(4)

4+/-2%
(11)

2+/-1%
(15)

Total

100%
(104)

100%
(224)

100%
(304)

100%
(632)

Mean value

2.5+/-0.2

(104)

2.8+/-0.1

(220)

3.3+/-0.1

(293)

3.0+/-0.1

(617)

[24] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.


Date of survey: 18-19/12/2017

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

Expectation of HK’s development in year 2018[25]

Better

33+/-9%
(34)

34+/-6%
(80)

44+/-6%
(135)

39+/-4%
(248)

Half-half

21+/-8%
(22)

24+/-6%
(56)

21+/-5%
(64)

22+/-3%
(142)

Worse

46+/-10%
(48)

35+/-6%
(80)

18+/-4%
(56)

29+/-4%
(184)

Don’t know / hard to say

0+/-0%
(0)

6+/-3%
(15)

16+/-4%
(50)

10+/-2%
(65)

Total

100%
(104)

100%
(231)

100%
(304)

100%
(639)

[25] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.


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.

Since August 2007, POP would normally include in its regular press releases a list of significant events which happened in between two surveys, so that readers can make their own judgment on whether these events have any effect on the ups and downs of the polling figures. This release is an exception, because the surveys invovled were one year apart, and any of the significant events listed in our “Opinion Daily” in between might have affected people's comments for the year past. Thus, this release has not highlighted any event from “Opinion Daily”, but readers can make their own judgment based on the detailed records listed in our webpage.

Commentary

Note: The following commentary was written by Senior Data Analyst of POP, Edward Chit-Fai Tai.

According to our latest ethnic identity survey completed in early-December, on a scale of 0-10 measuring the absolute strength of identity, the identity rating of “Hongkongers” stands at 8.27, that of “Asians” stands at 7.88, that of “global citizens” 7.12, that of “members of the Chinese race” 7.08, that of “Chinese” 6.89, and “citizens of PRC” 6.00. 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 78.9 marks, followed by “Asians” 72.8, then “members of the Chinese race” 67.3, “global citizens” 66.9, “Chinese” 66.0, and finally “citizens of the PRC” 58.0. All increased significantly except “global citizens” as compared to the last survey. 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 25 to 37 percentage points. The reason why the percentage selecting “Chinese” in the categorical question has dropped while all “Chinese identity” ratings (including strength, importance and identity index) have increased is because the corresponding ratings of “Hongkonger indentity” have increased even more. All in all, Hong Kong people continue to feel the strongest as “Hongkongers”, 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”.

On the other hand, our annual survey completed in mid-December shows that people’s net satisfaction with Hong Kong’s development in the year past has increased significantly by 32 percentage points to positive 3 percentage points. At an individual level, 56% said they lived a happy life in the year past, 20% said they were not happy, giving a net happiness value of positive 36 percentage points. Meanwhile, net optimism on next year’s personal and societal development have dropped to positive 24 and positive 10 percentage points respectively as compared to those registered at the same time last year but only the change of the former has gone beyond sampling error. Figures show that people are leading a happy life and optimistic about the future. If people had to choose between having a prosperous, bribery-free, fair, free or welfare society, most people would opt for a bribery-free society. Looking ahead, the percentage of people who consider housing to be the most important problem to be tackled by the government has increased significantly by 10 percentage points to 40%, that of constitutional reform has remained unchanged as a year ago at 15%, that of economy has dropped significantly by 4 percentage points to 11%, while those of medical and health and education have both increased significantly by 3 percentage points to 8% and 5% respectively. As for people’s New Year wishes, without explicit prompting, 38% and 31% made a wish on society-related issues and personal matters respectively, while 16% wished for world peace. Further analysis shows that the citizens aged between 18 and 29 are most dissatisfied with Hong Kong’s development in 2017 and also most pessimistic about the year ahead.

Future Release (Tentative)

  • January 2, 2018 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government and PSI