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

 
Press Release on January 8, 2009

| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Appraisal of Society's Current Conditions) |


Abstract

HKUPOP interviewed 1,022 Hong Kong people between 23-29 December, 2008 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that whether in terms of absolute ratings or relative percentages, people are most concerned with economic problems, then social and political problems. In terms of satisfaction level, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions have all dropped compared to six months ago, and satisfaction with economic and political conditions are both negative. Looking back, those who said we are worse than 3 years ago have surged across all three areas, with economic condition registering the largest increment of 40 percentage points. Fortunately, when looking ahead, those who expected the economic and social conditions would become better in 3 years' time have also jumped, compared to six months ago. This shows that people are generally optimistic about Hong Kong's development in the middle-and-long term. The sampling error of the survey is below +/-1 to 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 73%.

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 1,022 successful interviews, not 1,022 x 72.8% 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 +/-3.1 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-2008. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of percentages*

23-29/12/2008

1,022

72.8%

+/-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

18-20/12/06

15-21/6/07

19-24/12/07

24-26/6/08

23-29/12/08*

Latest change

Sample base

1,016

1,006

1,019

1,031

1,022

--

Overall response rate

64.1%

65.2%

66.2%

72.1%

72.8%

--

Most concerned with economic problems

42%

32%

40%

56%

63% +/-3%

+7%#

Most concerned with social problems

51%

62%

53%

35%

31% +/-3%

-4%#

Most concerned with political problems

5%

4%

6%

4%

5% +/-1%

+1%

Rating on concern for economic problems

7.14

7.07

7.29

7.21

7.52 +/-0.12

+0.31#

Rating on concern for social problems

7.21

7.35

7.34

6.99

7.30 +/-0.12

+0.31#

Rating on concern for political problems

5.71

5.87

5.82

5.50

5.73 +/-0.14

+0.23#

Current economic condition: Satisfaction rate**

46%

57%

55%

31%

22% +/-3%

-9%#

Current economic condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

22%

17%

20%

34%

47% +/-3%

+13%#

Current social condition:
Satisfaction rate**

43%

54%

53%

40%

35% +/-3%

-5%#

Current social condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

23%

18%

18%

27%

31% +/-3%

+4%#

Current political condition: Satisfaction rate**

29%

39%

37%

30%

29% +/-3%

-1%

Current political condition: Dissatisfaction rate**

27%

24%

27%

33%

36% +/-3%

+3%

Regarded economic condition has become better in the last 3 years

72%

81%

73%

48%

10% +/-2%

-38%#

Regarded economic condition has become worse in the last 3 years

9%

7%

11%

35%

75% +/-3%

+40%#

Regarded social condition has become better in the last 3 years

55%

60%

59%

41%

19% +/-2%

-22%#

Regarded social condition has become worse in the last 3 years

19%

16%

16%

31%

52% +/-3%

+21%#

Regarded political condition has become better in the last 3 years

43%

50%

49%

39%

25% +/-3%

-14%#

Regarded political condition has become worse in the last 3 years

19%

14%

16%

28%

38% +/-3%

+10%#

Expected economic condition to become better in 3 years' time

42%

50%

40%

31%

55% +/-3%

+24%#

Expected economic condition to become worse in 3 years' time

17%

12%

19%

36%

18% +/-2%

-18%#

Expected social condition to become better in 3 years' time

35%

44%

39%

31%

43% +/-3%

+12%#

Expected social condition to become worse in 3 years' time

23%

15%

18%

31%

22% +/-3%

-9%#

Expected political condition to become better in 3 years' time

32%

42%

37%

33%

36% +/-3%

+3%

Expected political condition to become worse in 3 years' time

16%

14%

15%

24%

20% +/-3%

-4%#

* "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.
# Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


The survey conducted in late-December, 2008 showed that 63% of the respondents were most concerned with economic problems, 31% with social problems, while 5% attached their greatest concern to political problems. Using a scale of 0-10 marks, the ratings of people's concern over economic, social and political problems were 7.52, 7.30 and 5.73 marks correspondingly. Meanwhile, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions were 22%, 35% and 29% respectively. Regarding people's appraisal of Hong Kong's development, 10%, 19% and 25% respectively considered our economic, social and political conditions have improved in the last 3 years, while 55%, 43% and 36% respectively believed economic, social and political conditions 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, in order to let readers judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP each day starting from July 24, a record of significant events of that day, according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to "Opinion Daily" as soon as they are verified by POP.

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from June 24 to 26, 2008 while this survey was conducted from December 23 to 29, 2008. 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.

27/12/08

Workers' bonus protest delays dozens of flights.

24/12/08

1) People enjoy Christmas during tough time.
2) Yuan will be used in transactions for companies in HK and Macau with trade partners in Guangdong and the Yangtze River Delta as part of a pilot project.

22/12/08

Hospital Authority apologizes for the failure to rescue a dying patient on the doorstep of Caritas Medical Centre.

21/12/08

Caritas Hospital defends clerk for the deadly delay.

20/12/08

Henry Tang leads shopping trip in bid to encourage public spending.

19/12/08

The Central Government will implement 14 measures to help the city's economy.

18/12/08

CSSA Scheme is being misapplied.

17/12/08

Federal Reserve cut benchmark interest rate, HK banks refuse to follow.

9/12/08

Bird flu outburst in a chicken farm in Yuen Long.

8/12/08

Hong Kong SAR government announces a massive rescue package.

3/12/08

Taxi strike against new fare structure blocks highway.

2/12/08

Newspapers report and discuss the issue of Hong Kong people stranded in Thailand.

1/12/08

The government arranges charter flights to pick up residents in Thailand.

29/11/08

2,000 restaurants are to introduce "$1-meal" next month.

19/11/08

Hopewell Holdings cut down the size of its long-proposed Wan Chai Mega Tower.

18/11/08

The latest HK unemployment rate rises to 3.5%.

17/11/08

HSBC announces it will slash 450 jobs in Hong Kong.

14/11/08

HK economy shrinks for a second quarter as global crisis bites.

12/11/08

The Legislative Council will investigate the Lehman Brothers minibonds affair.

10/11/08

HKSAR Government announces a HK$10 billion loans special scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises.

7/11/08

1) HSBC cuts its prime lending rate by a quarter percentage point.
2) DBS Group to cut 900 jobs.

29/10/08

Premier Wen Jiabao issued five pledges to help Hong Kong ride out the global financial storm.

27/10/08

Hang Seng Index dives 12.7 percent.

24/10/08

Chief Executive calls back his decision on the means test mechanism to Old Age Allowance.

22/10/08

SFC launched formal investigation into the affairs of CITIC.

21/10/08

Citic Pacific stock losses $17.5bn in a day.

20/10/08

Citic Pacific faces $15bn losses on currency bets.

18/10/08

Financial turmoil leads economic downturn.

17/10/08

1) Tailin undergoes liquidity.
2) Banks agrees to buy back the minibonds.

16/10/08

Toymaker Smart Union Group (Holdings) closes factories in Dongguan.

15/10/08

Donald Tsang announces his 4th Policy Address.

14/10/08

HKSAR government guarantees all bank deposits.

12/10/08

HKSAR government makes great effort to rescue financial crisis.

10/10/08

Stock bloodbath as fear prevails.

9/10/08

U-Right International went into liquidation due to financial difficulties.

6/10/08

Government urges the banks to buy back mini-bonds issued by Lehman.

3/10/08

Public consultation is launched to review the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance.

30/9/08

Hong Kong Monetary Authority announces 5 points emergency plan to ease the credit crunch in the banking system.

24/9/08

Rumors panic BEA customers.

20/9/08

Hong Kong first kidney stone case due to tainted milk.

16/9/08

AIG crisis further leads to global financial turmoil.

15/9/08

Lehman bankruptcy triggers U.S. financial turmoil.

8/9/08

Liberal Party has a shock loss and DAB emerges as the biggest winner at LegCo election.

7/9/08

2008 Legislative Council election ends with a turnout of only 45%.

6/9/08

Newspapers report and discuss LegCo election.

5/9/08

Hang Seng Index slippes below 20,000 points.

28/8/08

Hong Kong and the mainland signed a new energy deal.

16/8/08

Donald Tsang says Secretary for Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee do not need to step down.

15/8/08

Leung Chin-man quit his job with New World China Land.

11/8/08

Newspapers follow and discuss the Mongkok blaze.

5/8/08

Construction of the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge will be able to begin by 2010 after the central government agreed to inject funds.

31/7/08

Hong Kong's Exchange Fund suffered a record investment loss of HK$35 billion in the first half year for the first time in its history.

30/7/08

The government will waive the HK$400-a-month foreign domestic helper levy for two years.

29/7/08

The SAR government and Ministry of Commerce signed Supplement V to the Hong Kong-Mainland Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA5) to allow Hong Kong enterprises greater and easier access to the mainland market.

22/7/08

Provincial Communist Party secretary Wang Yang reveals new measures worth 40b yuan from Guangdong to assist HK SMEs.

21/7/08

Hong Kong's consumer prices rose 6.1 percent in June over a year earlier, the most in almost 11 years.

20/7/08

The waiving of the domestic helper levy is likely to start a month early on August 1.

19/7/08

38 nominations receveid for Legislative Council election on the first day of nomination period.

16/7/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen has unveiled an HK$11 billion inflation relief package.

12/7/08

Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan succeeds Frederick Ma Si-hang as the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.

11/7/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promises to formulate policies to ease the burdens created by inflation.

10/7/08

Hong Kong passed its first anti-racism law.

9/7/08

HK Government will invite new tenders for the development of Kai Tak cruise terminal.

6/7/08

Vice-president Xi Jinping pledges Beijing support for city.

1/7/08

Protesters of the annual July 1 march urging the Government's response to demands.

26/6/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen makes unprecedented appearance in chamber to defend political appointees.

25/6/08

Resignation of Frederick Ma Si-hang for Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development brings rumors.

24/6/08

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang has resigned after being diagnosed with brain lesions.


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 most concerned with economic problems, then social and political problems. In terms of satisfaction level, people's satisfaction rates with the current economic, social and political conditions have all dropped compared to six months ago, and satisfaction with economic and political conditions are both negative. Looking back, those who said we are worse than 3 years ago have surged across all three areas, with economic condition registering the largest increment of 40 percentage points. Fortunately, when looking ahead, those who expected the economic and social conditions would become better in 3 years' time have also jumped, compared to six months ago. This shows that people are generally optimistic about Hong Kong's development in the middle-and-long term. We leave it for our readers to figure out the reasons for such feelings using detailed records shown in our 'Opinion Daily' feature page."

Next Release (Tentative)
  • January 13, 2009 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of the CE and principal officials


| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Appraisal of Society's Current Conditions) |