HKU POP SITE releases the latest subjective freedom indicatorsBack

Press Release on July 19, 2005

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" ( the latest findings of the various subjective freedom indicators. As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population obtained from the 2001 Population Census, and are summarized below:

 Date of survey 11-14/10/04 3-6/1/05 11-14/4/05 4-6/7/05 Latest change
 Sample base 1,010 1,022 1,009 1,020 ---
 Overall response rate 63.6% 64.6% 62.8% 61.9% ---
 Sampling error of indicators (at 95 % confidence level)* +/- 0.16 +/- 0.14 +/- 0.14 +/- 0.14 ---
 Freedom of religious belief 8.45 8.69 8.48 8.50 +0.02
 Freedom to enter or leave Hong Kong 8.46 8.45 8.52 8.34 -0.18
 Freedom to engage in academic research 8.07 8.10 8.06 8.01 -0.05
 Freedom to engage in artistic and literary creation 7.98 8.09 7.93 8.00 +0.07
 Freedom of procession and demonstration 7.34 7.61 7.36 7.38 +0.02
 Freedom of publication 7.13 7.49 7.26 7.27 +0.01
 Freedom of speech 6.88 7.43 7.27 7.20 -0.07
 Freedom of press 6.92 7.39 7.28 7.15 -0.13
 Freedom of association 7.06 7.40 7.14 7.11 -0.03
 Freedom to strike 6.54 6.76 6.65 6.73 +0.08

* "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.


The survey conducted in early July revealed that, on a scale of 0-10, the freedoms of "religious belief" and "entering or leaving Hong Kong" scored the highest ratings with 8.50 and 8.34 marks, followed by freedoms to engage in "academic research" and "artistic and literary creation", attaining 8.01 and 8.00 marks correspondingly. Freedoms of "procession and demonstration", "publication" and "speech" formed the next tier, with respective scores of 7.38, 7.27 and 7.20 marks. Finally, the freedom of "press", "association" and to "strike" attained 7.15, 7.11 and 6.73 marks.


Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "There was not much change in all ten subjective freedom indicators over the past three months, as almost all readings fluctuated within sampling errors, in spite of having changed the CE. In terms of numerical values, the 10 indicators can still be divided into 4 grades. The top grade includes 'freedom of religious belief' and 'freedom to enter or leave Hong Kong', with nearly 8.5 marks. The second grade includes 'freedom to engage in academic research' and 'freedom to engage in artistic and literary creation', at about 8.0 marks. Then come 'freedom of procession and demonstration', 'freedom of publication', 'freedom of speech', 'freedom of press' and 'freedom of association', between 7.0 and 7.5 marks. 'Freedom to strike' comes last, at slightly over 6.5 marks. Such clustering has become more and more obvious over the past 9 months."


POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday at 2 pm via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the forthcoming week. We will review and adjust this operation regularly. The date and time of our next release will be July 26, 2005, Tuesday, at 2 pm, the latest figures on subjective social and legal indicators will be released.


Shall anyone have any question regarding the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site, members of the POP Team will be happy to answer them, but we will not further comment on the findings. Shall any person or journalist have any other questions, please email them to us at <[email protected]>. The Director of Public Opinion Programme would answer them as soon as possible. We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.