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


Press Release on January 10, 2008
 

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

Abstract
 

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,019 Hong Kong people between 19-24 December, 2007 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that people are relatively less satisfied with the current political condition, their optimism in economic development has significantly dropped compared to 6 months ago, and they are expecting a slow-down in Hong Kong's development in the next 3 years. The sampling error of the survey is below +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 66%.

Points to note:

* The address of the "HKU POP SITE" is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.
* Since the figures in this release come from the last tracking survey conducted by HKUPOP in 2007, and the survey items are repeated once every six months, these half-yearly figures are also good for general reviews of Hong Kong's development. Because the handover of Hong Kong occurred on July 1, it may be more accurate to analyze general changes of Hong Kong society using half-yearly rather than yearly figures.
* The sample size of this survey is 1,019 successful interviews, not 1,019 x 66.2% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum standard sampling error of this survey is +/-1.6 percentage points, meaning that at 95% confidence level, the maximum sampling error of all percentages should be +/-3.2 percentage points, while the sampling error of rating figures 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 ratings +/-0.14, sampling error below +/-3% at 95% confidence level". 
* When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used, in order to match the precision level of the figures.
* 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.


Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the "POP SITE" 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 in mid-2007. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey: 


 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 19-24/12/2007   1,019   66.2%   +/- 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.
 

Recent figures of people's appraisal of society's current conditions are summarized as follows: 

Date of survey

9-14/12/05

19-21/6/06

18-20/12/06

15-21/6/07

19-24/12/07

Latest change

Sample base

1,017

1,012

1,016

1,006

1,019

--

Overall response rate

67.7%

58.2%

64.1%

65.2%

66.2%

--

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

+/-0.12

+/-0.12

+/-0.14

--

Finding for each question/Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Error

--

Most concerned with social problems

32%

53%

51%

62%

53%

+/-3%

-9%

Most concerned with economic problems

54%

42%

42%

32%

40%

+/-3%

+8%

Most concerned with political problems

8%

4%

5%

4%

6%

+/-1%

+2%

Rating on concern for social problems

7.03

7.24

7.21

7.35

7.34

+/-0.12

-0.01

Rating on concern for economic problems

7.20

7.11

7.14

7.07

7.29

+/-0.12

+0.22

Rating on concern for political problems

5.78

5.71

5.71

5.87

5.82

+/-0.14

-0.05

Current economic condition: Satisfaction rate**

33%

55%

46%

57%

55%

+/-3%

-2%

Current economic condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

29%

19%

22%

17%

20%

+/-3%

+3%

Current social condition:
Satisfaction rate**

33%

57%

43%

54%

53%

+/-3%

-1%

Current social condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

26%

15%

23%

18%

18%

+/-2%

--

Current political condition: Satisfaction rate**

23%

40%

29%

39%

37%

+/-3%

-2%

Current political condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

36%

25%

27%

24%

27%

+/-3%

+3%

Regarded economic condition has become better in the last 3 years

--

78%

72%

81%

73%

+/-3%

-8%

Regarded economic condition has become worse in the last 3 years

--

8%

9%

7%

11%

+/-2%

+4%

Regarded social condition has become better in the last 3 years

--

62%

55%

60%

59%

+/-3%

-1%

Regarded social condition has become worse in the last 3 years

--

14%

19%

16%

16%

+/-2%

--

Regarded political condition has become better in the last 3 years

--

52%

43%

50%

49%

+/-3%

-1%

Regarded political condition has become worse in the last 3 years

--

16%

19%

14%

16%

+/-2%

+2%

Expected economic condition to become better in 3 years' time

--

52%

42%

50%

40%

+/-3%

-10%

Expected economic condition to become worse in 3 years' time

--

11%

17%

12%

19%

+/-2%

+7%

Expected social condition to become better in 3 years' time

--

46%

35%

44%

39%

+/-3%

-5%

Expected social condition to become worse in 3 years' time

--

16%

23%

15%

18%

+/-2%

+3%

Expected political condition to become better in 3 years' time

--

43%

32%

42%

37%

+/-3%

-5%

Expected political condition to become worse in 3 years' time

--

14%

16%

14%

15%

+/-2%

+1%

* "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 late-December, 2007 showed that 53% of the respondents were most concerned with social problems, 40% with economic problems, while 6% 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 7.34, 7.29 and 5.82 marks correspondingly. Meanwhile, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions were 55%, 53% and 37% in respective order. Regarding people's appraisal of Hong Kong's development, 73%, 59% and 49% respectively considered our economic, social and political conditions have improved in the last 3 years, while 40%, 39% and 37% respectively believed they would become better in 3 years' time.


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. Our purpose is to provide readers with accurate information so that they can judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. When "Opinion Daily" began to operate on January 17, 2007, it only contained significant events and popularity figures of the Chief Executive over the past few months. As of today, it contains a chronology of events starting from May 1, 2006, and many poll figures registered since January 1, 2006. Readers can now check on the results of 9 different polling items compiled by POP, including the popularity of the Chief Executive, the HKSAR government, and the Secretaries of Departments under the accountability system. In near future, the content of 「Opinion Daily」 will continue to expand, in order to promote the science of opinion polling.

In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP since July 24 each day a record of significant events of that day, according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to the 「Opinion Daily」 feature page as soon as they are verified by POP, in order to provide readers with swifter and more accurate information.

In August 2007, POP began to 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 press release is no exception.

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from June 15 to 21, 2007 while this survey was conducted from December 19 to 24, 2007. In between these two surveys, 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.

22/12/07

Ngong Ping 360 cable car is relaunched for trial-run successfully after stopped service for half year

21/12/07

CLP Power and Hongkong Electric will raise tariffs by 4.5 and 6 percent, respectively, from New Years Day.

20/12/07

The NPC Standing Committee will soon discuss the consultation report on HK constitutional reform submitted by Donald Tsang

17/12/07

Hang Seng Index plunges about 1,000 points to close at 26,597

12/12/07

CE submits a report on political reform to Central Gov't

5/12/07

Tsang Tak-sing criticizes Anson Chan for being "sudden democrat" and her "sudden support for livelihood"

3/12/07

Many newspapers follow and discuss the result of LC by-election

2/12/07

Anson Chan wins the Legco by-election

1/12/07

1) Legco by-election on HK island will be held tomorrow
2) MTR and Kowloon-Canton Railway corporations officially merges

28/11/07

HK Tourism Board is criticized for ineffective administration and overspending in the latest report by Audit Commission.

27/11/07

1) Kowloon Motor Bus will offer octopus card discount for fares on 21 interchange routes.
2) Four transplant patients mistakenly received organs donated from a man later found to have lung cancer in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

23/11/07

CE Donald Tsang makes his first duty visit to Central Government since re-election.

22/11/07

MTR sets out fare cuts up to 35% for 2.8 million rail commuters once the merger takes into effect next month.

19/11/07

The Democrats suffers from its biggest DC election setback in 10 years with only 106 seats 

18/11/07

A record of 1.4 million voters cast their ballots in the third-term District Council Election today

17/11/07

District Council Election will be held tomorrow to elect 364 district councilors

12/11/07

The Securities and Futures Commission takes over Great Honest Investment Company to stop its unauthorized dealings and irregularities with clients' accounts

9/11/07

Local banks announce to cut rates by 25 basis points again

8/11/07

The Hong Kong Exchange Fund has earned HK$114.6 billion in investment income for the first nine months

6/11/07

Alibaba.com increased 192 percent to close at HK$39.5 on its first trading day

5/11/07

The Hang Seng Index plunges 1,526 points, the largest one-day points drop in its history

3/11/07

Premier Wen Jiabao states that the "through-train" investment scheme is put on hold.

2/11/07

Govt launches a 5-month consultation on a proposal to ban drivers from leaving engines idling while parked

1/11/07

Hong Kong banks cut interest rate by 0.25% following Fed's move in U.S.

31/10/07

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority sells HK$7.8 billion Hong Kong dollars to purchase US dollars for five times

26/10/07

The surging Hang Seng Index closes above 30,000 for the first time

25/10/07

Martin Lee criticized for urging other countries to use next year's Olympics to press for human rights improvements in China

23/10/07

Government subsidizes MTR $6 billion to build West Island Line.

18/10/07

Hang Seng Index breaches the 30,000-point level for the first time

17/10/07

The government furthers its plans for political appointees to the administration

14/10/07

Mother leaps to her death after children thrown from 24th floor in Tin Shui Wai

13/10/07

1) CE Donald Tsang apologizes for equating democracy with Cultural Revolution 
2) Finanical Secretary plans for tax cuts

10/10/07

CE Donald Tsang releases his Policy Address entitled "A New Direction for Hong Kong"

9/10/07

Green light for rail merger

2/10/07

Hang Seng Index soars, reaching over 28,000 points

27/9/07

Regina Ip formally announces her candidacy in LegCo by-election for HK Island

19/9/07

Hang Seng index soared through the 25,500-point mark

18/9/07

Government discloses investigation report on the accident of Ngong Ping 360 cable car

17/9/07

Government suspends poultry imports from Guangdong

14/9/07

The government declares King Yin Lei mansion as a proposed monument

12/9/07

The government announces a new proposal for the West Kowloon Cultural District

11/9/07

Anson Chan formally announces her candidacy in LegCo by-election for HK Island

10/9/07

Acquisition of HKEx by HK Government causes rapid increase in HKEx's price, yet draws different opinion

28/8/07

The Venetian Macao hotel-casino opens and brings competition to HK's exhibition industry

27/8/07

HK stock market scores record high as affected by the "foreign stocks investment for individuals" scheme to be implemented shortly.

24/8/07

The Hospital Authority and Prince of Wales Hospital disclose investigation report on a medical blunder that killed a young woman

22/8/07

Beef supplier Ng Fung Hong raises wholesale price again by 15%.

20/8/07

New trial scheme from Central Government boosts Hong Kong stocks. 

19/8/07

HK stocks is expected to recover due to the rebound in US. 

16/8/07

Global stock markets crash due to US subprime crisis, Hong Kong stocks mark two-day slump.  

11/8/07

Metal workers on strike for a fourth day brings traffic in Hong Kong's central business district to a standstill 

9/8/07

The Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Ma Lik, dies of colon cancer at 55 

2/8/07

A new express rail linking Hong Kong with Guangzhou via Shenzhen will be built as a dedicated track, reducing the traveling time. 

1/8/07

1) Hong Kong police evict protesters from Queen's Pier
2) Global stock market plummets 

31/7/07

The Queen's Pier protesters flocked to the Pier preparing for a showdown with the government as the deadline for clearing the site passed. 

30/7/07

HSBC announced 25% increase of first-half net profits compared with the first half of last year 

29/7/07

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended the forum for Queen's Pier 

27/7/07

Ripple effect from subprime and weak housing triggers global stock market sell-off; Hang Seng Index plummeted 641 points 

21/7/07

Primary school teacher allegedly took $700,000 from parents to secure places for children. 

20/7/07

Government sets measures to end pork supply monopoly. 

16/7/07

Consumer Council study reveals MPF management fees stand at a high level 

15/7/07

Taxi and light van drivers in a protest at airport against the new pick-up and drop-off measures 

13/7/07

Hang Seng Index breaks 23,000 

11/7/07

Gov't published Green Paper on Constitutional Development for public consultation 

4/7/07

Pig shortage most probably puts up the price 

29/6/07

President Hu Jintao visits HK for 3 days. 

26/6/07

RMB bonds for sale tomorrow 

23/6/07

New SARG officals under accountability system meet the media. 

20/6/07

Fanny Law quits as the report on HKIEd incident discloses. 

18/6/07

1) Records set for HK stock market
2) Many newspapers comment on the widening of wealth gap


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "According to our survey conducted at the end of last year, whether in terms of absolute ratings or relative percentages, people are still most concerned with social problems, then economic and political problems. However, their degree of concern for economic problems has significantly increased over the past six months. In terms of satisfaction level, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions are all similar to those six months ago, but they are relatively less satisfied with the current political condition. Looking ahead, nearly 40% believed that Hong Kong's economic, social and political conditions would become better three years from now. Such figures are significantly lower than those registered six months ago, especially the 10 percentage-point drop in people's optimism in the economic domain. Moreover, it should be noted that across all three areas, those who expect things to get better in 3 years' time are much less than those who said things have improved over the past 3 years, meaning that people are expecting a slow-down in Hong Kong's development in the next 3 years. We leave it for our readers to figure out the reasons for such changes using detailed records shown in our "Opinion Daily" feature page."

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 January 15, 2008, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest results of subjective freedom indicators 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 and July 12. 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.

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