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

 
Press Release on June 17, 2008

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


Abstract

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,012 Hong Kong people between June 11-13, 2008 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that Hong Kong people continues to score high in their "Asian" identity, followed by "members of the Chinese race" and then just "Chinese", all with scores over 8. "Hong Kong citizens" follows closely, with almost 8 marks, then "global citizens", with more than 7 marks, then "Citizens of PRC", with less than 7 marks. Because people give significantly different ratings to their identities of "Chinese", "Citizens of PRC" and "members of the Chinese race", their ethnic identity is a complicated matter which warrants more studies. Compared to 6 months ago, all three ratings mentioned have increased. In terms of singular choices, the percentage of people who describe themselves as "Chinese" has also increased to almost 40%, which is record high since this survey started in 1997. In other words, all indicators show that the strength of Hong Kong people's identity as "Chinese" is increasing, probably due to the Beijing Olympics and Sichuan earthquakes. The sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 and 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 67%.

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.
* The sample size of this survey is 1,012 successful interviews, not 1,012 x 67.4% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 to 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, 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 various ratings not more than +/-0.20 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3% at 95% confidence level".
* When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, 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 opinions towards ethnic identity. 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 2007 year-end. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Sampling error of percentages*

Sampling error of ratings*

11-13/6/08

1,012

67.4%

+/-3%

+/-0.20

* 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

8-12/6/07

18-22/6/07

11-14/12/07

11-13/6/08

Latest change

Sample base

1,016

1,026

1,011

1,012

--

Overall response rate

69.5%

65.1%

65.1%

67.4%

--

Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*

+/-3%

--

+/-3%

+/-3%

--

Sampling error of ratings (at 95% conf. level)*

+/-0.16

+/-0.15

+/-0.18

+/-0.20

--

Finding for each question / Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Error

--

Identified themselves as "Hong Kong Citizens"

23%

--

23%

18%

+/-2%

-5%

Identified themselves as "Chinese Citizens"

26%

--

27%

39%

+/-3%

+12%

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of "Hong Kong Citizen" plus "Chinese Citizen" **

49%

--

47%

42%

+/-3%

-5%

Identified themselves as "Hong Kong People" in broad sense

55%

--

55%

47%

+/-3%

-8%

Identified themselves as "Chinese People" in broad sense

43%

--

43%

52%

+/-3%

+9%

Identity rating of being "Asians"

--

8.04

8.69

8.56

+/-0.14

-0.13

Identity rating of being "Members of the Chinese race"

--

7.62

8.23

8.25

+/-0.15

+0.02

Identity rating of being "Chinese Citizens"

7.66

--

7.87

8.02

+/-0.14

+0.15

Identity rating of being "Hong Kong Citizens"

8.00

--

8.09

7.80

+/-0.14

-0.29

Identity rating of being "global citizens"

--

7.18

7.56

7.25

+/-0.19

-0.31

Identity rating of being "Citizens of PRC"

--

7.28

6.72

6.84

+/-0.20

+0.12

* "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 +/-0.20, 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", 18% of the respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong Citizens", 39% as "Chinese Citizens", 29% as "Chinese Hong Kong Citizens", while 13% identified themselves as "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens". In other words, 47% 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 52% identified themselves as "Chinese People" in the broader sense (i.e. either as "Chinese Citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese Citizens"), 42% 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 2008 for "Hong Kong Citizens" and "Chinese Citizens" were 7.80 and 8.02 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people's identity as "Asians" and "members of the Chinese race" were 8.56 and 8.25 marks respectively, while those for "global citizens" and "Citizens of PRC" were 7.25 and 6.84 marks respectively.

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, using the previous survey as a reference point for comparison, our "Opinion Daily" for this release starts on June 11, 2007, because the previous survey of some items was conducted from December 11 to 14, 2007 while this survey was conducted from 11-13/6/08. 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.

12/6/08

The mainland and Taiwan have agreed to open semi-official representative offices on each other's soil to strengthen cross-strait relations.

10/6/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang apologizes for the arrangement of political appointments.

9/6/08

Government is uncertain of the source of bird flu virus.

7/6/08

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is found in chickens at HK market.

6/6/08

Education Bureau announces that new arrangements will start in 2009-10 school year the earliest.

5/6/08

The Chief Executive's Office Chan Tak-lam says Government could have handled the deputy minister issue better.

2/6/08

The CEO of HKEC vows to review closing auction session system.

31/5/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen talks about Deputy Director of Bureau and Political Assistant in Shanghai.

28/5/08

Hu Jintao and Wu Poh-hsiung have a meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

25/5/08

A strong aftershock of 6.4 magnitude jolts Qingchuan county.

24/5/08

Premier Wen Jiabao meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at quake epicentre.

21/5/08

The State Council will spend 70 billion yuan for rebuilding after the quake.

19/5/08

The nation mourns at 2:28 pm for those who died in Sichuan earthquake.

18/5/08

The State Council announces national mourning on May 19 to 21.

17/5/08

Lakes formed by earthquake could burst, threatening millions in Sichuan.

16/5/08

President Hu Jintao stresses saving lives as top priority.

15/5/08

The rescue headquarters of the State Council estimate at least 50,000 people dead.

14/5/08

People's Liberation Army troops arrived Wenchuan and started to rescue.

13/5/08

Sichuan toll rises to 12,335, with 30,000 injured and 10,000 still under the rubble.

12/5/08

The strongest earthquake to hit China causes at least 8,749 peoples dead.

8/5/08

Chinese climbers, including Tibetans, take the Olympic flame to on top of Qomolangma.

7/5/08

President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda have a meeting in Tokyo.

4/5/08

Chinese officials and representatives of the Dalai Lama have a meeting in Shenzhen.

2/5/08

The Olympic torch relay at Hong Kong completes.

30/4/08

The Beijing Olympic flame arrives in Hong Kong.

29/4/08

HK Sports Federation and Olympic Committee announces list of 120 bearers for Olympic torch relay.

22/4/08

Hong Kong will build a rail link connecting the city to Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

20/4/08

French protests spread across China.

13/4/08

Siew Wan-chang finds the Boao Forum fruitful.

12/4/08

Hu Jintao and Siew Wan-chang meet in Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan.

10/4/08

Yuan breaks 7 against US dollars.

9/4/08

Budget airline Oasis Hong Kong collapses.

8/4/08

Olympic torch relay could be cut short.

7/4/08

Protest mounts during the Olympic torch relay in Paris.

31/3/08

The Olympic torch relay starts.

26/3/08

Beijing Olympic Games becomes politicized due to Tibet incident.

24/3/08

The flame for the Beijing Games are ignited at the sacred site of ancient Olympia.

18/3/08

The first session of the 11th National People's Congress closes.

16/3/08

Riots stopped in Tibet, but violence spreads to Sichuan.

15/3/08

At least 10 people have been killed in Lhasa's violence.

13/3/08

Proposal of reforming public health system is officially released.

5/3/08

Premier Wen Jiabao delivers government work report in National People's Congress.

27/2/08

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah delivers his first finanical budget, returning up to $100b to the people.

24/2/08

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah will announce his first financial budget for the upcoming year on Wednesday.

22/2/08

Education Bureau proposes secondary schools to be given freedom of choosing which language to use for teaching.

5/2/08

Ching Cheong is released on parole.

1/2/08

Various local organizations give hands in relief work for Mainland's persistent snowstorm.

29/1/08

Chaos casused by snowfalls in Mainland is getting worse, Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hunan to follow the relief work.

27/1/08

Food supply to HK is also affected as chaos caused by heavy snow continues in Mainland.

26/1/08

Rail services are disrupted due to blizzards in China.

25/1/08

36 deputies are elected to represent HK in the National People's Congress.

30/12/07

The decision made by NPC regarding the introduction of universal suffrage for CE and Legco in HK becomes a controversial issue.

29/12/07

National People's Congress to rule out universal suffrage for the election of the chief executive and all legislators in 2012.

20/12/07

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


Commentary

Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "A year ago, on top of "Hong Kong citizens" and "Chinese citizens", POP began to study the strength of Hong Kong people over a range of other identities, including "members of the Chinese race", "Citizens of PRC", "Asians" and "global citizens". Our latest survey shows that Hong Kong people continues to score high in their "Asian" identity, followed by "members of the Chinese race" and then just "Chinese", all with scores over 8. "Hong Kong citizens" follows closely, with almost 8 marks, then "global citizens", with more than 7 marks, then "Citizens of PRC", with less than 7 marks. Because people give significantly different ratings to their identities of "Chinese", "Citizens of PRC" and "members of the Chinese race", their ethnic identity is a complicated matter which warrants more studies. Compared to 6 months ago, all three ratings mentioned have increased. In terms of singular choices, the percentage of people who describe themselves as "Chinese" has also increased to almost 40%, which is record high since this survey started in 1997. In other words, all indicators show that the strength of Hong Kong people's identity as "Chinese" is increasing, probably due to the Beijing Olympics and Sichuan earthquakes. Whether this is in fact true or not, we leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our "Opinion Daily"."

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 19, 2008, Thursday, between 1pm and 2 pm, when the latest findings of people's opinions towards Taiwan issues and Tibet issues will be released. Then, on 24 June, 2008, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government 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 . 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 releases of December 21, 2006, June 26 as well as December 27, 2007. 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 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?", "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?" and "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.



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