HKU POP SITE releases latest findings of people's appraisal of society's current conditionsBack


Press Release on July 12, 2007
 

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Appraisal of Society's Current Conditions) |

Special Announcement
 

With the publication of the 「Green Paper on Constitutional Development」 by the HKSAR Government yesterday, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong has also started to operate the 「Hong Kong People's Opinion Platform」 (HKPOP, at http://hkpop.hk) to collect people's opinion on political reform in parallel. Members of the public are welcome to logon to the 「Political Reform Opinion Platform」 at HKPOP and submit their ideas. POP will forward all submissions onward to the government at a later date. The main purpose of HKPOP is to conduct consultation of the people by the people for the people, on matters related to the people.  


Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the latest findings of people's appraisal of society's current conditions. 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* 
 15-21/6/2007   1,006   65.2%   +/- 3% 
* 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 of people's appraisal of society's current conditions are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  26-29/9/05   9-14/12/05   19-21/6/06   18-20/12/06   15-21/6/07   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,027   1,017   1,012   1,016   1,006   -- 
  Overall response rate  61.2%   67.7%   58.2%   64.1%   65.2%   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings
(at 95% conf. level)*
 +/- 0.14   +/- 0.14   +/- 0.14   +/-0.12   +/-0.12   -- 
  Finding for each question/Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Error   -- 
  Most concerned with social problems  42%   32%   53%   51%   62%   +/-3%   +11% 
  Most concerned with economic problems  51%   54%   42%   42%   32%   +/-3%   -10% 
  Most concerned with political problems  5%   8%   4%   5%   4%   +/-1%   -1% 
  Rating on concern for social problems  7.09   7.03   7.24   7.21   7.35   +/-0.12   +0.14 
  Rating on concern for economic problems  7.23   7.20   7.11   7.14   7.07   +/-0.12   -0.07 
  Rating on concern for political problems  5.66   5.78   5.71   5.71   5.87   +/-0.12   +0.16 
  Current economic condition: Satisfaction rate**  35%   33%   55%   46%   57%   +/-3%   +11% 
  Current economic condition: Dissatisfaction rate**  29%   29%   19%   22%   17%   +/-2%   -5% 
  Current social condition: Satisfaction rate**  46%   33%   57%   43%   54%   +/-3%   +11% 
  Current social condition: Dissatisfaction rate**  21%   26%   15%   23%   18%   +/-2%   -5% 
  Current political condition: Satisfaction rate**  42%   23%   40%   29%   39%   +/-3%   +10% 
  Current political condition: Dissatisfaction rate**  22%   36%   25%   27%   24%   +/-3%   -3% 
  Regarded economic condition has become better in the last 3 years  75%   --   78%   72%   81%   +/-2%   +9% 
   Regarded economic condition has become worse in the last 3 years  9%   --   8%   9%   7%   +/-2%   -2% 
   Regarded social condition has become better in the last 3 years  60%   --   62%   55%   60%   +/-3%   +5% 
   Regarded social condition has become worse in the last 3 years  15%   --   14%   19%   16%   +/-2%   -3% 
   Regarded political condition has become better in the last 3 years  60%   --   52%   43%   50%   +/-3%   +7% 
   Regarded political condition has become worse in the last 3 years  12%   --   16%   19%   14%   +/-2%   -5% 
   Expected economic condition to become better in 3 years' time  61%   --   52%   42%   50%   +/-3%   +8% 
   Expected economic condition to become worse in 3 years' time  10%   --   11%   17%   12%   +/-2%   -5% 
   Expected social condition to become better in 3 years' time  54%   --   46%   35%   44%   +/-3%   +9% 
   Expected social condition to become worse in 3 years' time  13%   --   16%   23%   15%   +/-2%   -8% 
   Expected political condition to become better in 3 years' time  51%   --   43%   32%   42%   +/-3%   +10% 
  Expected political condition to become worse in 3 years' time  9%   --   14%   16%   14%   +/-2%   -2% 

* "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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.

The survey conducted in mid-June showed that 62% of the respondents were most concerned with social problems, 32% with economic problems, while 4% attached their greatest concern to political problems. Using a scale of 0-10 marks, the ratings of people's concern over social, economic and political problems were 7.35, 7.07 and 5.87 marks correspondingly. Meanwhile, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions were 57%, 54% and 39% in respective order. Regarding people's appraisal of Hong Kong's development, 81%, 60% and 50% respectively considered our economic, social and political conditions have improved in the last 3 years, while 50%, 44% and 42% respectively believed they would become better in 3 years' time. 


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, 「According to our survey conducted in mid-June, whether in terms of absolute ratings or relative percentages, people are still most concerned with social problems, then economic and political problems. However, in terms of absolute ratings, people's concern with economic problems has dropped significantly over the past 6 months, while their concern with social and political problems has increased. According to our latest survey, people's satisfaction with the current economic condition has reached record high since the handover, while the percentage of people who said the current economic condition is better than that 3 years ago has reached record high since the beginning of this survey in December 1992. In other words, with the rapid recovery of the economy in recent years, people are turning their attention from economic problems to social and political problems. Looking ahead, whether in terms of economic, social or political development, those who expect things to get better in 3 years' time are much less than those who said things have improved over the last 3 years, meaning that people are expecting a slow-down in Hong Kong's development in the next 3 years. Moreover, it should be noted that people's satisfaction with the current political condition is about 15 to 20 percentage points lower than their satisfaction with the current social and economic conditions. The government should take special care to handle the issue of constitutional development.」

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 July 17, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and Principal Officials under the accountability system will be released.

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.

For the whole of last year, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of sharing our research experience with the readers and the general public, and the subject of our education section today is 「About HKUPOP」. In the near future, we will keep on stepping up our effort in promoting general civic education to enhance our POP Site accordingly.

About HKUPOP

Mapping people's appraisal of society's current conditions

People's appraisal of their society's current condition is always an important indicator of a society's development. Shortly after HKUPOP was established, we began to conduct regular surveys on people's appraisal of Hong Kong society's current conditions. The surveys not only investigate the problem people are most concerned with, but also include people's satisfaction with the current political, economic and social conditions as well as their appraisal, expectation and level of concern for the above three aspects. We have explained the survey development in our press release of January 9, 2007. Today, we post it again, so that readers can refresh such development. 

  • Since December 1992, HKU POP began our regular surveys on "people's appraisal of society's current conditions". The questions in the initial surveys covered people's most concerned problem, their satisfaction with the current political, economic and social conditions as well as their appraisal and expectation. The wordings used in the questionnaire are "Hong Kong is currently facing various problems. What kind of problems are you most concerned with?", "Generally speaking, are you satisfied with the present political/economic/social condition in Hong Kong?", "Do you think the political/economic/social condition in Hong Kong has become better or worse in the last three years?" and "Do you think the political/economic/social condition in Hong Kong will become better or worse in three years' time?"

  • In 2005, under people's most concerned problem, we added questions on people's level of concern for political, economic and social problems. The wordings used in the questionnaire are "Please use a scale of 0-10 to rate your level of concern for the political/economic/social problems in Hong Kong, with 10 indicating extremely concerned, 5 being half-half and 0 indicating extremely not concerned."

  • Regarding the frequency, "people's most concerned problem" and "satisfaction with the current political, economic and social conditions" were first surveyed once every two months. Their frequencies were changed to once every three months since December 2000 and then to once every six months since June 2006. For the "appraisal and expectation on the political, economic and social conditions", the frequency of this sub-indicator survey was changed from once every two months at the beginning to once every three months since February 1997. From February 1998 onwards, it is reviewed once every half a year. When it comes to "people's level of concern for political, economic and social problems", it was first surveyed once every three months since March 2005. Starting from June 2006, it is examined once every six months to cope with the changing social conditions.

  • Regarding the sample size, on or before April 2000, the sample size of surveys was set at slightly over 500. Since June 2000, it was increased to at least 1,000.

  • The findings from our "people's appraisal of society's current conditions" surveys conducted by 2000 were released through our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established, the findings are released online, while all previous findings published in our POP Express have also uploaded on-line in various formats.

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Appraisal of Society's Current Conditions) |