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

 
Press Release on June 26, 2012

| Special Announcement | Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases | Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |


Special Announcement

(1) Starting from today, Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong will release the survey series of "HKSAR anniversary" according to the following schedule:

June 26, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity
June 27, 2012 (Wednesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE, CE-elect and SARG
June 28, 2012 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: People's appraisal of society's conditions, PSI analysis
June 29, 2012 (Friday) 1pm to 2pm: HKSAR anniversary survey
July 3, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of disciplinary forces
July 10, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Ratings of top 10 political groups

 

(2) Today’s release concerning the “survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity” includes a large amount of reference material, readers should click on the “What’s New” at “HKU POP SITE” (website: http://hkupop.hku.hk) and read in detail, in order to understand the background and controversy related to this survey series.



Abstract

The latest survey conducted by POP shows that in terms of absolute rating, people’s identification with “Hong Kong citizens” has dropped back a bit compared to 6 months ago, but their identification with “Chinese citizens” has dropped to a 13-year low since the end of 1999. Indepth analysis shows that the rating of those under 30 years of age continues to drop since mid-2009, and plunges to just over 5 points in the past 6 months. This warrants special attention. Moreover, 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 28 to 38 percentage points. For those under 30 years of age, the gap widens to 60 to 72 percentage points. For the overall sample, the percentages of those identifying themselves as “Hong Kong citizens” both in its narrow and broad senses (including “Hong Kong citizens” or “Chinese Hong Kong citizens”) have reached record high since the 1997 handover. 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 the strongest as “Hong Kong citizens”, followed by “members of the Chinese race”, then “Asians”, “Chinese citizens”, “global citizens”, and finally “citizens of the PRC”. All in all, 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 maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 68%.

 

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 1,001 successful interviews, not 1,001 x 68.0% 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, while the sampling error of rating figure 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 +/-0.26, sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.5, 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 2011 year-end. 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]

13-20/6/2012

1,001

68.0%

+/-3%

+/-2.5

[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 ratings on separate identities are tabulated as follows:

Date of survey

13-16/12/10

17-22/6/11

12-20/12/11

13-20/6/12

Latest change

Sample base[10]

528-550

503-596

534-551

527-601

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[7]

--

Strength rating of being “Hong Kong citizens”

Identity index of being “Hong Kong citizens”[9]

8.12[8]

77.7[8]

7.63[8]

74.7[8]

8.23[8]

79.1[8]

8.11
+/-0.18

77.4
+/-1.8

-0.12

-1.7

Importance rating of being “Hong Kong citizens” [9]

7.62[8]

7.50

7.78[8]

7.64
+/-0.20

-0.14

Strength rating of being “Members of the Chinese race”

Identity index of being “Members of the Chinese race” [9]

7.42[8]

72.1[8]

7.29

70.8

7.46

72.5

7.26
+/-0.22

69.5
+/-2.1

-0.20

-3.0[8]

Importance rating of being “Members of the Chinese race” [9]

7.12[8]

7.06

7.18

6.82
+/-0.22

-0.36[8]

Strength rating of being “Asians”

Identity index of being “Asians” [9]

7.45[8]

69.3[8]

7.63

71.2[8]

7.65

72.1

7.45
+/-0.20

69.2
+/-2.0

-0.20

-2.9[8]

Importance rating of being “Asians” [9]

6.67[8]

6.88

6.96

6.69
+/-0.22

-0.27[8]

Strength rating of being “Chinese citizens”

Identity index of being “Chinese citizens” [9]

7.10[8]

69.7[8]

7.24

70.7

7.01

67.9[8]

6.99
+/-0.22

67.0
+/-2.2

-0.02

-0.9

Importance rating of being “Chinese citizens” [9]

7.01[8]

7.08

6.80[8]

6.66
+/-0.23

-0.14

Strength rating of being “global citizens”

Identity index of being “global citizens” [9]

6.66

64.6

6.88

67.0[8]

6.91

67.0

6.61
+/-0.23

63.6
+/-2.1

-0.30[8]

-3.4[8]

Importance rating of being “global citizens” [9]

6.47

6.65

6.68

6.35
+/-0.25

-0.33[8]

Strength rating of being “citizens of PRC”

Identity index of being “citizens of PRC” [9]

6.27

60.8

6.41

62.3

6.28

61.1

6.12
+/-0.26

59.0
+/-2.5

-0.16

-2.1

Importance rating of being “citizens of PRC” [9]

6.07

6.31

6.12

5.85
+/-0.26

-0.27[8]

 

 

[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 ratings not more than +/-0.26 and sampling error of identity indices not more than +/-2.5 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[8] 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.
[9] 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.
[10] Since December 2008, the sub-sample size of the series of questions is controlled at slightly over 500 cases.


The above figures were collected from independent rating questions, but not involving the dichotomy issue of “Hong Kong citizens” and “Chinese citizens”. Latest findings showed that the identity ratings for “Hong Kong citizens”, “Asians” and “members of the Chinese race” were 8.11, 7.45 and 7.26 marks respectively. Using the same rating method, the strength of people’s identity as “Chinese citizens”, “global citizens” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.99, 6.61 and 6.12 marks respectively. As for the importance ratings, “Hong Kong citizens” and “members of the Chinese race” scored 7.64 and 6.82 marks respectively, while those for “Asians”, “Chinese citizens”, “global citizens” and “citizens of PRC” were 6.69, 6.66, 6.35 and 5.85 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 was “Hong Kong citizens”, “members of the Chinese race”, “Asians”, “Chinese citizens”, “global citizens” and “citizens of PRC”. Their scores were 77.4, 69.5, 69.2, 67.0, 63.6 and 59.0 marks respectively.

 

As for the results from the survey mode used for long on Hong Kong people’s sense of ethnic identity, recent figures are tabulated as follows:

 

Date of survey

13-16/12/10

21-22/6/11

12-20/12/11

13-20/6/12

Latest Change

Sample base[14]

1,013

520[14]

541[14]

560[14]

--

Overall response rate

67.4%

65.7%

66.4%

68.0%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[11]

--

Identified themselves as “Hong Kong citizens”

36%[13]

44%[13]

38%[13]

46+/-4%

+8%[13]

Identified themselves as “Chinese citizens”

21%[13]

23%

17%[13]

18+/-3%

+1%

Identified themselves with a mixed identity of “Hong Kong citizens” plus “Chinese citizens” [12]

41%[13]

32%[13]

43%[13]

34+/-4%

-9%[13]

Identified themselves as “Hong Kong People” in broad sense

63%[13]

65%

63%

68+/-4%

-5%[13]

Identified themselves as “Chinese People” in broad sense

35%[13]

34%

34%

30+/-4%

-4%

 

[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 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.
[12] This means the percentage of “Chinese Hong Kong citizens” plus “Hong Kong Chinese citizens”.
[13] 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.
[14] Starting from June 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample size of this survey is 560, 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", 46% of the respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong citizens", 18% as "Chinese citizens", 23% as "Chinese Hong Kong citizens", while 11% identified themselves as "Hong Kong Chinese citizens". In other words, 68% 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 30% identified themselves as "Chinese People" in the broader sense (i.e. either as "Chinese citizens" or "Hong Kong Chinese citizens"), 34% 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, to study ethnic identity in different levels. In June 2007, POP has already 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. Though they may not be perfect, the complex studies adopted by POP were already very comprehensive.


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 December 12 to 20, 2011 while this survey was conducted from June 13 to 20, 2012. 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.

16/6/12

China’s first female astronaut rides in Shenzhou IX.

10/6/12

25,000 protestors demand Li Wangyang probe.

4/6/12

180,000 people take part in the June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park.

1/6/12

Donald Tsang apologizes to the public for his use of luxury hotel suites during overseas visits.

2/5/12

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng seeks protection in US embassy after fleeing house arrest.

10/4/12

Premier Wen Jiabao reminds Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that it is important for politicians to stay away from corruption.

9/4/12

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Wang Guangya says it’s time to put aside differences and look forward future.

25/3/12

Leung Chun Ying wins the Chief Executive election with 689 votes.

15/3/12

Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang replaces Bo Xilai as the Secretary of Municipal Committee of the CPC in Chongqing.

21/1/12

Beijing University professor Kong Qingdong comments many Hong Kong people are dogs.



Commentary

Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Our latest survey shows that in terms of absolute rating, people’s identification with ‘Hong Kong citizens’ has dropped back a bit compared to 6 months ago, but their identification with ‘Chinese citizens’ has dropped to a 13-year low since the end of 1999. Indepth analysis shows that the rating of those under 30 years of age continues to drop since mid-2009, and plunges to just over 5 points in the past 6 months. This warrants special attention. Moreover, 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 28 to 38 percentage points. For those under 30 years of age, the gap widens to 60 to 72 percentage points. For the overall sample, the percentages of those identifying themselves as ‘Hong Kong citizens’ both in its narrow and broad senses (including ‘Hong Kong citizens’ or ‘Chinese Hong Kong citizens’) have reached record high since the 1997 handover. 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 the strongest as ‘Hong Kong citizens’, followed by ‘members of the Chinese race’, then ‘Asians’, ‘Chinese citizens’, ‘global citizens’, and finally ‘citizens of the PRC’. All in all, 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

  • June 27, 2012 (Wednesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE, CE-elect and SARG

  • June 28, 2012 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: People’s appraisal of society's conditions, PSI analysis

  • June 29, 2012 (Friday) 1pm to 2pm: HKSAR anniversary survey

  • July 3, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of disciplinary forces

  • July 10, 2012 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Ratings of top 10 political groups



Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity


| Special Announcement| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Releases |Reference materials on survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity |
| Detailed Findings (People's Ethnic Identity) |