HKU POP SITE releases the latest findings of people's opinions towards ethnic identityBack


Press Release on June 26, 2007
 

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Latest Figures
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the latest findings of people's opinions towards ethnic identity. This press release not only includes people's categorical ethnic identity as "Hong Kong Citizens", "Chinese Hong Kong Citizens", "Chinese Citizens" and "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens", which we have asked for a long time, as well as the strength of "Hong Kong Citizens" and "Chinese Citizens" identities measured on a scale of 0-10, it also covers the strength of identities as "Citizens of PRC", "members of the Chinese race", "Asians" and "global citizens" for the first time. These findings were collected over two separate surveys, and as a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population at the end of 2006. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:


 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages*   Sampling error of ratings*
 8-12/6/07 (first survey)  1,016   69.5%   +/- 3%   +/- 0.16 
 18-22/6/07 (second survey)  1,026   65.1%   N/A   +/- 0.15 
* 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 sense of ethnic identity are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  13-15/6/06^   6-12/12/06^   8-12/6/07   18-22/6/07    Latest change^
  Sample base  1,018   1,011   1,016   1,026     -- 
  Overall response rate  63.1%   60.4%   69.5%   65.1%     -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%     --   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-0.14   +/-0.16   +/-0.16   +/-0.15     -- 
  Finding for each question / Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Error   Finding   Error   -- 
  Identified themselves as "Hong Kong Citizens"  25%   22%   23%   +/-3%   --   --   +1% 
  Identified themselves as "Chinese Citizens"  35%  32%   26%   +/-3%   --   --   -6% 
  Identified themselves with a mixed identity of "Hong Kong Citizen" plus "Chinese Citizen" **  44%   49%   48%   +/-3%   --   --   -1% 
  Identified themselves as "Hong Kong People" in broad sense  50%   47%   55%   +/-3%   --   --   +8% 
  Identified themselves as "Chinese People" in broad sense  49%   52%   43%   +/-3%   --   --   -9% 
  Identity rating of being "Asians"  --   --   --   --   8.04   +/-0.14   -- 
  Identity rating of being "Hong Kong Citizens"  7.79   7.98   8.00   +/-0.12   --   --   +0.02 
  Identity rating of being "Chinese Citizens"  7.68   7.82   7.66   +/-0.16   --   --   -0.16 
  Identity rating of being "Members of the Chinese race"  --   --   --   --   7.62   +/-0.14   -- 
  Identity rating of being "Citizens of PRC"  --   --   --   --   7.28   +/-0.15   -- 
  Identity rating of being "global citizens"  --   --   --   --   7.18   +/-0.15   -- 

* "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 +/-0.16, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
** This means the percentage of "Chinese Hong Kong Citizen" plus "Hong Kong Chinese Citizen". 


When asked to make a choice among 4 given identities, namely, "Hong Kong Citizen", "Chinese Hong Kong Citizen", "Chinese Citizen" and "Hong Kong Chinese Citizen", 23% of the respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong Citizens", 26% as "Chinese Citizens", 32% as "Chinese Hong Kong Citizens", while 17% identified themselves as "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens". In other words, 55% of the respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong People" in the broader sense (i.e. either as "Hong Kong Citizens" or "Chinese Hong Kong Citizens"), whereas 43% identified themselves as "Chinese People" in the broader sense (i.e. either as "Chinese Citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens"), 49% chose a mixed identity of "Hong Kong Citizen plus Chinese Citizen" (i.e. either as "Chinese Hong Kong Citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens").

Because the concepts of "Hong Kong Citizen", "Chinese Hong Kong Citizen", "Chinese Citizen" and "Hong Kong Chinese Citizen" 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 therefore conducted parallel tests on the strengths of people's separate identities as "Hong Kong Citizens" and "Chinese Citizens" using a scale of 0-10. The latest ratings registered in mid-June for "Hong Kong Citizens" and "Chinese Citizens" were 8.00 and 7.66 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, findings of the late-June survey showed that the strength of people's identity as "Asians" and "members of the Chinese race" were 8.04 and 7.62 marks respectively, while those for "Citizens of PRC" and "global citizens" were 7.28 and 7.18 marks respectively. 


Commentary

Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Compared to six months ago, our surveys show that in terms of Hong Kong people's categorical choice between "Hong Kong Citizens", "Chinese Citizens" and so on. "Hong Kong People in broad sense" is still the dominant choice, but almost half of them also chose a mixed and unclear identity of "Hong Kong Citizen plus Chinese Citizen". In order to understand people's self identity more clearly, we have already begun to study the strength of Hong Kong people's identification other than "Hong Kong Citizen" and "Chinese Citizen". Our findings show that Hong Kong people has strongest identity as "Asians" and "Hong Kong Citizens", followed by "Chinese Citizens" and "members of the Chinese race", then followed by "Citizens of PRC" and "global citizens". We will continue to monitor these figures in order to analyze Hong Kong people's self identity from a more global perspective." ^

News about POP

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday afternoon via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the next 7 days. According to schedule, our next release of regular survey findings will be June 28, 2007, Thursday, between 1pm to 2 pm, when the latest results of the Handover Anniversary survey will be released. Then on July 3, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, POP will release the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government.

Our general practice is to answer all questions on the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site as soon as we receive them, but we will not further comment on the findings. We welcome questions for follow-up purpose, please email them to us at <[email protected]>. 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 POP, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.

Starting from January 2006, we have included in our press release a small educational section for the purpose of general civic education, the content of which is usually based on previous questions and comments we have received from the public. The subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP".

About HKUPOP

Mapping people's opinions towards ethnic identity

Be it under British colonial rule or under "one country, two systems", Hong Kong has always been part of China. It thus seems natural for HKUPOP to survey people's opinion on various national and ethnical issues, if we can squeeze some resources. Moreover, the study of ethnic identity has always been one important element of all societal studies. Therefore, immediately after Hong Kong's handover, we embarked on conducting regular surveys on people's ethnic identity. The survey comprises two series. The first series deals with people's categorical ethnic identity, and the strength of Hong Kong or Chinese citizen identity, while the second series asks about people's citizenship and their desired ethnicity. We have explained the development of the former series in our press release of December 21, 2006. Today we release it again, so that readers can refresh such development.

  • Since August 1997, we began our regular surveys on Hong Kong people's opinions towards ethnic identity (first series). Starting from the beginning to June 2000, the survey was conducted once every two months, but between September 2000 and December 2003, its frequency was changed to once every three months. Since June 2004, it was further changed to once every six months to match the changing social conditions. Starting from June 2007, four new questions were added to measure people's rating of strength of "Citizens of PRC", "members of the Chinese race", "Asians" and "global citizens". 

  • In terms of wording, the 3 questions used in the questionnaire are "You would identify yourself as a Hong Kong citizen/Chinese citizen/Hong Kong Chinese citizen/Chinese Hong Kong citizen?", "Please use a scale of 0-10 to rate your strength of identity as a Hong Kong citizen, with 10 indicating extremely strong, 0 indicating extremely weak, and 5 indicating half-half. How would you rate yourself?" and "Please use a scale of 0-10 to rate your strength of identity as a Chinese citizen, with 10 indicating extremely strong, 0 indicating extremely weak, and 5 indicating half-half. How would you rate yourself?". The wordings of the four new questions are, "Please use a scale of 0-10 to rate your strength of identity as a citizen of PRC / a member of the Chinese race / an Asian / a global citizen, with 10 indicating extremely strong, 0 indicating extremely weak, and 5 indicating half-half. How would you rate yourself?".

  • Regarding sample size, from the beginning to April 2000, the sample size of the survey was set at slightly over 500. From June 2000 onwards, it was increased to at least 1,000.

  • Our first findings of ethnic identity surveys in June 1999 or before were published in our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established in June 2000, the survey findings were released online since September 2002, respectively. All previous findings published in our POP Express were also uploaded on-line in various formats.

^ Some errors in the original version had been corrected, with apology.
 
 

| Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |