POP releases the latest social indicators (2019-10-02)

Oct 2, 2019
Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Press Conference – Press Materials

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POP releases the latest social indicators

Special Announcement

The predecessor of Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) was The Public Opinion Programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP). “POP” in this release can refer to HKPOP or its predecessor HKUPOP.

Abstract

POP successfully interviewed 1,061 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in mid-September. Results show that, affected by the incident of anti-extradition bill, almost all social indicators have dropped significantly and registered all-time lows since handover. First of all, among the five core indicators, ratings of “democracy”, “rule of law” and “stability” all score lower than 5 marks. Among them, “stability” and “rule of law” have plunged by 2.24 and 1.79 marks respectively. As for the seven non-core social indicators, ratings of “equality”, “public order” and “fairness” score lower than 5 marks. Among them, the drop in “public order” is as large as 2.47 marks, while those of “corruption-free practices”, “fairness” and “civilization” are more than 1 mark. Seven out of ten freedom sub-indicators have registered significant drops. Among them, “freedom of procession and demonstration” has the biggest drop, by 1.47 marks down to 4.68. In the area of rule of law, ratings of both “impartiality of the courts” and “fairness of the judicial system” have dropped significantly. The latest support rating of Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma has also dropped significantly by 5.6 marks to 57.1, and registered his all-time low since records began in 2011. All in all, apart from “prosperity”, “efficiency”, freedoms of “religious belief” and “publication”, all other indicators have registered all-time lows since the surveys began in 1997. The effective response rate of the survey is 69.5%. The maximum sampling error of ratings is +/-2.2 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 16-19/9/2019
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,061 (including 537 landline and 524 mobile samples)
Effective response rate[2] : 69.5%
Sampling error[3] : Sampling error of ratings not more than +/-2.2 at 95% confidence level
Weighting method[4] : Rim-weighted according to figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2018”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2018 Edition)”.

[1]    The landline and mobile sample ratio was revised to 2 to 1 in April 2018 and further revised to 1 to 1 in July 2019.

[2]    Before September 2017, “overall response rate” was used to report surveys’ contact information. Starting from September 2017, “effective response rate” was used. In July 2018, POP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

[3]    All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

[4]    In the past, the mobile sample would be rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. In July 2018, POP further refined the weighting method. The landline sample and the mobile sample would no longer be processed separately. The mobile sample would also no longer be adjusted using the basic PSI figures collected in the landline sample. The overall effect is that the importance of the mobile sample would be increased.

Latest Figures

Herewith the latest figures of the five core social indicators:

Date of survey 15-18/1/18 4-9/5/18 22-24/10/18[5] 6-9/5/19 16-19/9/19 Latest change
Sample size 586-640 1,017 523-554 553-615 587-669
Response rate 63.6% 59.5% 63.4% 63.2% 69.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Degree of freedom 6.72[6] 7.11[6] 6.57[6] 6.60 6.00+/-0.23 -0.60[6]
Degree of prosperity 6.93 7.21[6] 6.61[6] 6.55 5.87+/-0.19 -0.68[6]
Degree of democracy 5.74[6] 5.65 5.10[6] 5.42[6] 4.55+/-0.25 -0.87[6]
Compliance with the rule of law 6.29[6] 6.74[6] 6.21[6] 6.20 4.41+/-0.23 -1.79[6]
Degree of stability 6.65[6] 6.59 6.61 6.29[6] 4.05+/-0.20 -2.24[6]

[5]    From October to December 2018, POP conducted tests on the wordings used in different rating scales. Figures in the table are the combined results. Please visit our website for details.

[6]    The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Herewith the latest figures of the seven non-core social indicators:

Date of survey 10-13/7/17 15-18/1/18 4-9/5/18 6-9/5/19 16-19/9/19 Latest change
Sample size 579-673[7] 587-649 1,017 526-642 587-716
Response rate 72.0% 63.6% 59.5% 63.2% 69.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Degree of efficiency 6.81[8] 6.72 6.66 6.36[8] 5.88+/-0.19 -0.47[8]
Degree of civilization 7.21[8] 6.83[8] 6.84 6.78 5.68+/-0.22 -1.11[8]
Degree of social welfare sufficiency 6.55[8] 6.12[8] 6.24 5.79[8] 5.55+/-0.21 -0.25
Degree of corruption-free practices 6.74[8] 6.30[8] 6.59[8] 6.43 5.12+/-0.21 -1.31[8]
Degree of equality 6.33[8] 5.87[8] 5.82 5.69 4.71+/-0.21 -0.98[8]
Degree of public order 7.48[8] 7.52 7.47 7.02[8] 4.55+/-0.23 -2.47[8]
Degree of fairness 5.96[8] 5.47[8] 5.77[8] 5.47[8] 4.20+/-0.22 -1.27[8]

[7]    The mobile sample was not included when survey results were released. The figures in the table above have been updated to reflect the results based on the combined landline and mobile sample. However, whether changes have gone beyond sampling errors is still determined based on the figures in the first release.

[8]    The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Herewith the latest figures of the ten freedom sub-indicators:

Date of survey 10-13/7/17 15-18/1/18 4-9/5/18 6-9/5/19 16-19/9/19 Latest change
Sample size 526-653[9] 589-673 1,017 525-651 609-700
Response rate 72.0% 63.6% 59.5% 63.2% 69.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Degree of freedom (repeated listing) 7.00[10] 6.72[10] 7.11[10] 6.60[11] 6.00+/-0.23 -0.60[10]
Freedom of religious belief 8.68[10] 8.55 8.51 8.12[10] 7.79+/-0.18 -0.33[10]
Freedom to enter or leave Hong Kong 8.37[10] 8.00[10] 8.14 7.77[10] 7.14+/-0.20 -0.63[10]
Freedom to engage in
artistic and literary creation
7.32[10] 6.99[10] 7.10 6.93 6.54+/-0.22 -0.40[10]
Freedom to engage in
academic research
7.47[10] 6.96[10] 7.06 6.78 6.46+/-0.22 -0.32[10]
Freedom of speech 7.20[10] 6.65[10] 6.80 6.20[10] 5.85+/-0.24 -0.35[10]
Freedom of publication 6.71[10] 6.24[10] 6.40 5.76[10] 5.81+/-0.22 +0.05
Freedom of press 6.63[10] 6.21[10] 6.43[10] 5.81[10] 5.72+/-0.23 -0.09
Freedom of association 6.68[10] 6.47[10] 6.42 5.38[10] 5.13+/-0.25 -0.25
Freedom to strike 6.80[10] 6.31[10] 6.25 5.86[10] 5.04+/-0.25 -0.82[10]
Freedom of procession and demonstration 6.72[10] 6.54 6.79[10] 6.15[10] 4.68+/-0.28 -1.47[10]

[9]    The mobile sample was not included when survey results were released. The figures in the table above have been updated to reflect the results based on the combined landline and mobile sample. However, whether changes have gone beyond sampling errors is still determined based on the figures in the first release.

[10] The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

[11] The frequency of core social indicators is different from other indicators. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same intervals.

Herewith the latest figures of the two rule of law sub-indicators and the rating of the Chief Justice:

Date of survey 10-13/7/17 15-18/1/18 4-9/5/18 6-9/5/19 16-19/9/19 Latest change
Sample size 602-654[12] 629-726 1,017 527-688 642-690
Response rate 72.0% 63.6% 59.5% 63.2% 69.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Compliance with the rule of law (repeated listing) 6.98[13] 6.29[13] 6.74[13] 6.20[14] 4.41+/-0.23 -1.79[13]
Impartiality of the courts 6.89[13] 6.54[13] 6.84[13] 6.20[13] 5.52+/-0.21 -0.68[13]
Fairness of the judicial system 6.81[13] 6.05[13] 6.35[13] 5.63[13] 4.37+/-0.22 -1.26[13]
Support rating of Geoffrey Ma 66.8 65.1[13] 69.6[13] 62.7[13] 57.1+/-2.2 -5.6[13]

[12] The mobile sample was not included when survey results were released. The figures in the table above have been updated to reflect the results based on the combined landline and mobile sample. However, whether changes have gone beyond sampling errors is still determined based on the figures in the first release.

[13] The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

[14] The frequency of core social indicators is different from other indicators. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same intervals.

The latest survey shows that almost all social indicators have dropped significantly as compared to four months ago, and registered all-time lows since handover. Regarding the core indicators, on a scale of 0 to 10, people’s ratings on “freedom” and “prosperity” are relatively higher, with 6.00 and 5.87 marks respectively. Ratings on “democracy”, “rule of law” and “stability” score lower than 5 marks, with 4.55, 4.41 and 4.05 respectively. Compared with the survey in early May, all five indicators have dropped significantly. Among them, the drops in “stability” and “rule of law” are rather big. Meanwhile, the rating on “prosperity” has registered record low since October 2003, while the other four have registered all-time lows since surveys began in 1997.

As for the non-core indicators, “efficiency”, “civilization”, “social welfare sufficiency” and “corruption-free practices” got higher ratings, with 5.88, 5.68, 5.55 and 5.12 marks respectively. Ratings on “equality”, “public order” and “fairness” score lower than 5 marks, with 4.71, 4.55 and 4.20 respectively. Compared with the previous survey, all indicators except “social welfare sufficiency” have dropped significantly. Among them, the drops in “public order”, “corruption-free practices”, “fairness” and “civilization” are rather big. Meanwhile, the rating on “efficiency” has registered record low since April 2003, while the other six have registered all-time lows since surveys began in 1997.

As for the freedom sub-indicators, freedoms of “religious belief”, “entering or leaving Hong Kong”, “artistic and literary creation” and “academic research” got higher ratings, with 7.79, 7.14, 6.54 and 6.46 marks respectively, followed by freedoms of “speech”, “publication”, “press”, “association” and “freedom to strike”, with 5.85, 5.81, 5.72, 5.13 and 5.04 marks respectively, while freedom of “procession and demonstration” only score 4.68 marks. Compared with the previous survey, seven indicators (except freedoms of “publication”, “press” and “association”) have dropped significantly. Among them, the drop in freedom of “procession and demonstration” is the biggest. Meanwhile, the rating on freedom of “religious belief” has registered record low since May 2001, while the other eight (except freedom of “publication”) have registered all-time lows since handover.

As for the two rule of law sub-indicators, “impartiality of the courts” got 5.52 marks, while “fairness of the judicial system” got 4.37 marks. Both have dropped significantly, and registered all-time lows since surveys began in 1997. As for Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma, his latest rating is 57.1 on a scale of 0 to 100, which has also dropped significantly and registered his all-time low since records began in 2011.

Opinion Daily

In 2007, POP started collaborating with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP a record of significant events of that day according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would then become “Opinion Daily” after they are verified by POP.

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from 6 to 9 May, 2019 while this survey was conducted from 16 to 19 September, 2019. 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.

18/9/19 The Jockey Club cancels night race due to safety concerns.
15/9/19 Protest on Hong Kong Island turns into conflicts between protestors and the police.
14/9/19 Conflicts occur between people with the national flag and those against the extradition bill.
10/9/19 MTR releases screenshots of 8.31 CCTV footage.
8/9/19 Rally in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act turns into conflicts between protestors and the police.
7/9/19 Anti-extradition bill protesters call for blocking the airport and nearby roads.
6/9/19 Fitch Ratings downgrades Hong Kong‘s credit rating.
4/9/19 Carrie Lam announces the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill.
1/9/19 Anti-extradition bill protesters hold a demonstration near Hong Kong International Airport.
31/8/19 Protests and conflicts between protestors and the police occur in multiple districts in Hong Kong.
30/8/19 Several pro-democracy Legislative Councillors and Demosistō members are arrested.
27/8/19 Carrie Lam says government is responsible for looking at all laws in Hong Kong to stop chaos.
25/8/19 Protest against extradition bill in Tsuen Wan turns into a conflict between protestors and the police, a police officer fires a warning shot into the air.
24/8/19 Protest against extradition bill in Kwun Tong turns into a conflict between protestors and the police.
24/8/19 MTR partially suspends train service due to protest against extradition bill.
20/8/19 Carrie Lam announces the government would set up a platform for dialogue with citizens.
18/8/19 The Civil Human Rights Front announces that around 1.7 million people participated in the rally against the extradition bill.
16/8/19 Cathay Pacific CEO and the chief customer and commercial officer resign.
13/8/19 Protest against extradition bill at Hong Kong International Airport turns into a conflict between protestors and the police.
11/8/19 Protests and conflicts between protestors and the police occur in multiple districts in Hong Kong.
9/8/19 The Civil Aviation Administration of China issues a warning of major aviation safety risks to Cathay Pacific.
5/8/19 Rallies in multiple districts in Hong Kong are held during strike resulting in conflicts between protestors and the police.
30/7/19 44 people are charged with rioting in the conflict in Central and Sheung Wan.
27/7/19 The “Reclaim Yuen Long” march turns into a conflict between protestors and the police.
25/7/19 Police object to the “Reclaim Yuen Long” march to be held on July 27.
22/7/19 Men dressed in white indiscriminately attacked citizens in Yuen Long last night.
14/7/19 Protest against extradition bill in Shatin turns into a conflict between protestors and the police.
9/7/19 Carrie Lam says the extradition bill is “dead”.
1/7/19 Anti-extradition bill protesters occupy the Legislative Council Complex.
16/6/19 The Civil Human Rights Front announces that around two million people participated in the protest against the extradition bill.
15/6/19 Carrie Lam announces the suspension of the extradition bill.
12/6/19 The police uses tear gas rounds, beanbag shots and rubber bullets as anti-extradition bill sit-ins turn into a conflict between protesters and the police.
9/6/19 The Civil Human Rights Front announces that around 1.03 million people participated in the protest against the extradition bill.

Data Analysis

The latest survey shows that, affected by the incident of anti-extradition bill, almost all social indicators have dropped significantly and registered all-time lows since handover. First of all, among the five core indicators, ratings of “democracy”, “rule of law” and “stability” all score lower than 5 marks. Among them, “stability” and “rule of law” have plunged by 2.24 and 1.79 marks respectively. As for the seven non-core social indicators, ratings of “equality”, “public order” and “fairness” score lower than 5 marks. Among them, the drop in “public order” is as large as 2.47 marks, while those of “corruption-free practices”, “fairness” and “civilization” are more than 1 mark. Seven out of ten freedom sub-indicators have registered significant drops. Among them, “freedom of procession and demonstration” has the biggest drop, by 1.47 marks down to 4.68. In the area of rule of law, ratings of both “impartiality of the courts” and “fairness of the judicial system” have dropped significantly. The latest support rating of Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma has also dropped significantly by 5.6 marks to 57.1, and registered his all-time low since records began in 2011. All in all, apart from “prosperity”, “efficiency”, freedoms of “religious belief” and “publication”, all other indicators have registered all-time lows since the surveys began in 1997.

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