HKU POP releases latest survey on Hong Kong people's ethnic identityBack

 
Press Release on December 28, 2011

| Special Announcement | Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |


Special Announcement

Because of the great popularity of our previous "DC Guessing Game", a new game was launched at our "PopCon" (http://popcon.hk) for guessing the results of the CE Election Primary. Any user can make guesses on the final result of the Pan-democrats' CE Election Primary, due to take place on January 8 next year. Users can make daily guesses, in order to earn credits and win prizes which include tablet PC and coffee coupons. Guessing figures will be released real time until the last minute of the election. The game was already launched at noon of December 23, and by noon today, the game has already accumulated 56,325 bonus PopCoins, while Albert Ho leads Frederick Fung by 64% to 36% in the guessing game.



Abstract

The latest surveys conducted by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong show that if we use a dichotomy of "Hong Kong citizens" versus "Chinese citizens" to measure Hong Kong people's ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as "Hong Kong citizens" outnumbers that of "Chinese citizens" both in their narrow and broad senses, by about 20 to 30 percentage points, while the percentage of those identifying themselves as "Chinese citizens" has dropped to a new low since 2000, now at 17%. Figures also show that in terms of absolute rating, people's identification with "Hong Kong citizens" has reached a ten-year high, while that of "Chinese citizens" has dropped to a 12-year low. This is contrary to the China's economic development in recent years, so it must be due to factors beyond economic development. Moreover, if we use "identity indices" ranging between 0 and 100 to measure the strengths of people's identities (the higher the index, the stronger the identity), Hong Kong people's feeling is strongest as "Hong Kong citizens", followed by "members of the Chinese race", then "Asians", "Chinese citizens", "global citizens", and finally "citizens of the PRC". Combining all measurements, Hong Kong people feel strongest as "Hong Kong citizens", then followed by a number of cultural identities. The feeling of being "citizens of the PRC" is the weakest among all identities tested. The sampling error of ratings is not more than +/-2.4 while the maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level. The response rate of the surveys is 66%.

Points to note:
[1] The address of the "HKU POP SITE" is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.
[2] The sample size is 1,016 successful interviews, not 1,016 x 66.4% response rates. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level. "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 +/-0.25, sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.4, and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level".
[4] When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places in order to match the precision level of the figures.
[5] 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 via the POP Site the latest survey on people's ethnic identity. All the 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-year 2011. Herewith the latest contact information:

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages [6]

Maximum sampling error of ethnicity indices[6]

12-20/12/2011

1,016

66.4%

+/-3%

+/-2.4

[6] Errors are 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

9-13/6/10

13-16/12/10

21-22/6/11

12-20/12/11

Latest Change

Sample base[10]

1,004

1,013

520[10]

541[10]

--

Overall response rate

68.2%

67.4%

65.7%

66.4%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[7]

--

Identified themselves as "Hong Kong citizens"

25%[9]

36%[9]

44%[9]

38+/-4%

-6%[9]

Identified themselves as "Chinese citizens"

28%[9]

21%[9]

23%

17+/-3%

-6%[9]

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of "Hong Kong citizens" plus "Chinese citizens" [8]

46%[9]

41%[9]

32%[9]

43+/-4%

+11%[9]

Identified themselves as "Hong Kong People" in broad sense

57%[9]

63%[9]

65%

63+/-4%

-2%

Identified themselves as "Chinese People" in broad sense

43%[9]

35%[9]

34%

34+/-4%

--

[7] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. "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 percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[8] This means the percentage of "Chinese Hong Kong citizens" plus "Hong Kong Chinese citizens".
[9] 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.
[10] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 541, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated. 


When asked to make a choice among 4 given identities, namely, "Hong Kong citizens", "Chinese Hong Kong citizens", "Chinese citizens" and "Hong Kong Chinese citizens", 38% of the respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong citizens", 17% as "Chinese citizens", 25% as "Chinese Hong Kong citizens", while 18% identified themselves as "Hong Kong Chinese citizens". In other words, 63% 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 34% identified themselves as "Chinese People" in the broader sense (i.e. either as "Chinese citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese citizens"), 43% chose a mixed identity of "Hong Kong citizens plus Chinese citizens" (i.e. either as "Chinese Hong Kong citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese citizens").

Because the concepts of "Hong Kong citizens", "Chinese Hong Kong citizens", "Chinese citizens" and "Hong Kong Chinese citizens" 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 right from the beginning conducted parallel tests on the strengths of people's separate identities as "Hong Kong citizens" and "Chinese citizens" using a scale of 0-10. In June 2007, POP expanded its study to include four new identities for strength rating, namely, "citizens of PRC", "members of the Chinese race", "Asians" and "global citizens". In December 2008, the study was further expanded by including separate importance ratings for different identities, and the compilation of a separate index for each identity using geometric means. Herewith the latest results:

Date of survey

9-13/6/10

13-16/12/10

17-22/6/11

12-20/12/11

Latest change

Sample base[14]

531-558

528-550

503-596

534-551

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[11]

--

Strength rating of being "Hong Kong citizens"

Identity index of being "Hong Kong citizens" [13]

7.90[12]

74.8
[12]

8.12[12]

77.7
[12]

7.63
[12]

74.7[12]

8.23
+/-0.16

79.1
+/-1.7

+0.60[12]

+4.4[12]

Importance rating of being "Hong Kong citizens" [13]

7.38

7.62[12]

7.50

7.78
+/-0.19

+0.28[12]

Strength rating of being "Members of the Chinese race"

Identity index of being "Members of the Chinese race" [13]

7.87

76.1

7.42[12]

72.1
[12]

7.29

70.8

7.46
+/-0.22

72.5
+/-2.1

+0.17

+1.7

Importance rating of being "Members of the Chinese race" [13]

7.49

7.12[12]

7.06

7.18
+/-0.22

+0.12

Strength rating of being "Asians"

Identity index of being "Asians" [13]

7.96

73.4

7.45[12]

69.3
[12]

7.63

71.2[12]

7.65
+/-0.20

72.1
+/-2.0

+0.02

+0.9

Importance rating of being "Asians" [13]

7.07

6.67[12]

6.88

6.96
+/-0.21

+0.08

Strength rating of being "Chinese citizens"

Identity index of being "Chinese citizens" [13]

7.63

74.5

7.10[12]

69.7
[12]

7.24

70.7

7.01
+/-0.23

67.9
+/-2.3

-0.23

-2.8[12]

Importance rating of being "Chinese citizens" [13]

7.42

7.01[12]

7.08

6.80
+/-0.24

-0.28[12]

Strength rating of being "global citizens"

Identity index of being "global citizens" [13]

6.87

65.6

6.66

64.6

6.88

67.0[12]

6.91
+/-0.23

67.0 +/-2.1

+0.03

--

Importance rating of being "global citizens" [13]

6.51

6.47

6.65

6.68
+/-0.24

+0.03

Strength rating of being "citizens of PRC"

Identity index of being "citizens of PRC" [13]

6.38[12]

61.6[12]

6.27

60.8

6.41

62.3

6.28
+/-0.24

61.1
+/-2.4

-0.13

-1.2

Importance rating of being "citizens of PRC" [13]

6.20[12]

6.07

6.31

6.12
+/-0.25

-0.19

[11] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. "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 not more than +/-0.25 and sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.4 at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[12] 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.
[13] New items since December 2008. "Identity index" is calculated for each identity of a respondent by taking the geometric mean of the strength and importance ratings of a certain identity, multiply by 10. If either the strength or importance rating of a respondent is missing, it is substituted by the sample mean of that identity.
[14] Since December 2008, the sub-sample size of the series of questions is controlled at slightly over 500 cases.


Latest findings showed that the identity ratings for "Hong Kong citizens", "members of the Chinese race", "Asians" and "Chinese citizens", were 8.23, 7.46, 7.65 and 7.01 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people's identity as "global citizens" and "citizens of PRC" were 6.91 and 6.28 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, "Hong Kong citizens", "members of the Chinese race" and "Asians" scored 7.78, 7.18 and 6.96 marks respectively, while those for, "Chinese citizens", "global citizens" and "citizens of PRC" and were 6.80, 6.68 and 6.12 marks respectively.

Taking the geometric mean of the strength and importance ratings of each respondent and then multiply it by 10, we have an "identity index" for the respondent for a certain identity between 0 and 100, with 0 meaning no feeling, 100 meaning extremely strong feeling, and 50 meaning half and half. Using these identity indices, the rank order of Hong Kong people's six identities were "Hong Kong citizens", "members of the Chinese race", "Asians", "Chinese citizens", "global citizens" and "citizens of PRC". Their scores were 79.1, 72.5, 72.1, 67.9, 67.0 and 61.1 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, 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 some of the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from June 17 to 22, 2011 while this survey was conducted from December 12 to 20, 2011. 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.

12/12/11

A total of 65,500 registered voters voted in the 2011 Election Committee Subsector Elections.

17/11/11

Henry Tang and Leung Chun-ying said the announcement of their candidacy for next year's Chief Executive Election will be made at the end of this month.

12/11/11

President Hu Jintao has reminded the SAR Government to get prepared for financial crisis.

6/11/11

About 1.2m registered electors have cast their votes in the 2011 District Council election.

12/10/11

The Chief Executive Donald Tsang announce the 2011-12 Policy Address.

9/10/11

Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin attends the 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution ceremony.

29/8/11

Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang clarified the security actions made during Vice Premier's stay.

16/8/11

Vice-Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang arrived in Hong Kong for a three-day official visit.

27/7/11

Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office director Wang Guangya commented on the governing ability of Hong Kong civil servant.

23/7/11

Two high-speed rail trains collided and derailed at Wenzhou and resulted in deaths and injuries.

11/7/11

Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office director Wang Guangya talked about the conditions for the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

7/7/11

Xinhua News Agency declared the death of former president Jiang Zemin as rumour.

1/7/11

Many newspapers on the following day report the July 1 march.



Commentary

Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, 「Our latest survey shows that if we use a dichotomy of "Hong Kong citizens" versus "Chinese citizens" to measure Hong Kong people's ethnic identity, the proportion of people identifying themselves as "Hong Kong citizens" outnumbers that of "Chinese citizens" both in their narrow and broad senses, by about 20 to 30 percentage points, while the percentage of those identifying themselves as "Chinese citizens" has dropped to a new low since 2000, now at 17%. Figures also show that in terms of absolute rating, people's identification with "Hong Kong citizens" has reached a ten-year high, while that of "Chinese citizens」 has dropped to a 12-year low. This is contrary to the China's economic development in recent years, so it must be due to factors beyond economic development. Moreover, if we use "identity indices" ranging between 0 and 100 to measure the strengths of people's identities (the higher the index, the stronger the identity), Hong Kong people's feeling is strongest as "Hong Kong citizens", followed by "members of the Chinese race", then "Asians", "Chinese citizens", "global citizens", and finally "citizens of the PRC". Combining all measurements, Hong Kong people feel strongest as "Hong Kong citizens", then followed by a number of cultural identities. The feeling of being "citizens of the PRC" is the weakest among all identities tested. As for the reasons behind the ups and downs of these figures, we will leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our "Opinion Daily"."



Future Releases (Tentative)

  • December 30, 2011 (Friday) 1pm to 2pm: 2011 year-end and 2012 forecast survey
  • January 3, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government

| Special Announcement | Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |