POP releases appraisals of society’s current conditions

Press Release on July 7, 2020

POP releases appraisals of society’s current conditions

Special Announcements

  1. 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.
  2. The survey on appraisals of society’s current conditions released by POP today may be the last of its series, whether it will be continued or not will depend on public support.

Abstract

POP successfully interviewed 1,002 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in mid-June. Our survey shows that people’s net satisfaction rates with the current economic, livelihood and political conditions are negative 52, negative 54 and negative 81 percentage points respectively. All three have improved significantly from a month ago. Using a one-in-three choices method, 44% and 35% of the respondents were most concerned with livelihood and political problems respectively, while 19% attached their greatest concern to economic problems. Compared to half a year ago, the percentage of people most concerned with political problems has receded by 5 percentage points from its historical high. Using a scale of 0-10 marks, the ratings of people’s concern over livelihood, economic and political problems are 7.84, 7.32 and 7.24 marks respectively. People’s concern over livelihood and political problems have both registered historical highs again since the survey series began in 2005, while concern over economic problems has registered record high since 2008. The effective response rate of the survey is 54.1%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-3%, that of net values is +/-4% and that of ratings is +/-0.16 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 15-18/6/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,002 (including 497 landline and 505 mobile samples)
Effective response rate[2] : 54.1%
Sampling error[3] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3%, that of net values not more than +/-4% and that of ratings not more than +/-0.16 at 95% conf. level
Weighting method : 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 2019”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2019 Edition)”.

[1]     This figure is the total sample size of the survey. Some questions may only involve a subsample, the size of which can be found in the tables below.

[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.

Latest Figures

People’s recent satisfaction towards the society’s conditions are summarized as follows (the figures have been released in the press release on June 23):

Date of survey 16-21/1/20 17-19/2/20 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 Latest change
Sample size 866 1,008 1,004 1,005 1,001 1,002
Response rate 69.7% 64.6% 62.9% 64.5% 55.6% 54.1%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[4]
16% 9%[5] 12%[5] 11% 9% 12+/-2% +3%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[4]
63%[5] 73%[5] 70% 72% 75% 64+/-3% -11%[5]
Net satisfaction rate -47%[5] -64%[5] -58%[5] -61% -66% -52+/-4% +13%[5]
Mean value[4] 2.2[5] 1.9[5] 2.1[5] 2.0 1.9[5] 2.2+/-0.1 +0.3[5]
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[4]
17% 9%[5] 16%[5] 14% 12% 12+/-2%
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[4]
68% 79%[5] 67%[5] 70% 73% 66+/-3% -7%[5]
Net satisfaction rate -52% -69%[5] -51%[5] -56% -61% -54+/-4% +7%[5]
Mean value[4] 2.1 1.8[5] 2.1[5] 2.0 1.9[5] 2.1+/-0.1 +0.2[5]
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[4]
6%[5] 3%[5] 6%[5] 7% 3%[5] 3+/-1%
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[4]
85% 86% 80%[5] 81% 88%[5] 84+/-2% -4%[5]
Net satisfaction rate -79%[5] -83% -74%[5] -74% -86%[5] -81+/-3% +4%[5]
Mean value[4] 1.5 1.4 1.6[5] 1.6 1.4[5] 1.5+/-0.1 +0.1[5]

[4]     Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[5]     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.

People’s latest satisfaction rates with the current economic, livelihood and political conditions are 12%, 12% and 3% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 52, negative 54 and negative 81 percentage points respectively. The mean scores of economic condition and livelihood condition are 2.2 and 2.1 respectively, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general; that of political condition is 1.5, meaning between “quite dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” in general. All three have improved significantly from a month ago.

The latest survey results on people’s level of concern for social problems are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 19-22/6/17 18-19/12/17 14-21/6/18 17-20/12/18 13-18/12/19 15-18/6/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,007 1,013 1,000 1,000 1,046 1,002
Response rate 71.2% 64.9% 59.6% 60.6% 61.6% 54.1%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Most concerned with livelihood problems 68%[7] 65% 63% 66% 41%[7] 44+/-3% +3%
Most concerned with political problems 13%[7] 16%[7] 16% 13% 40%[7] 35+/-3% -5%[7]
Most concerned with economic problems 17% 16% 18% 19% 16% 19+/-2% +3%
Rating on concern for livelihood problems[6] 7.45[7] 7.37 7.45 7.46 7.57 7.84+/-0.13 +0.27[7]
Rating on concern for economic problems[6] 6.88 6.81 6.97[7] 6.99 6.90 7.32+/-0.14 +0.42[7]
Rating on concern for political problems[6] 5.85[7] 5.97 5.97 6.05 7.09[7] 7.24+/-0.16 +0.15

[6]     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.

[7]     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.

Latest survey shows that using a one-in-three choices method, 44% and 35% of the respondents were most concerned with livelihood and political problems respectively, while 19% attached their greatest concern to economic problems. Compared to half a year ago, the percentage of people most concerned with political problems has fallen back by 5 percentage points from historical high. Using a scale of 0-10 marks, the ratings of people’s concern over livelihood, economic and political problems are 7.84, 7.32 and 7.24 marks respectively. People’s concern over livelihood and political problems have both registered historical highs again since the survey series began in 2005, while concern over economic problems has registered record high since 2008.

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 some of the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from 13 to 18 December, 2019 while this survey was conducted from 15 to 18 June, 2020. 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.

18/6/20 The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress discusses the national security law.
16/6/20 The government relaxes restrictions and allows group gatherings of up to 50 people.
15/6/20 The Central Government will have enforcement powers regarding the national security law.
12/6/20 The Central Government criticizes groups for organizing referendum for class boycott.
9/6/20 The government announces investment of $27.3 billion in Cathay Pacific Airways to avoid its collapse.
8/6/20 The government announces the arrangements for $10,000 cash payout.
4/6/20 June 4 vigils are held in various districts.
29/5/20 Donald Trump announces new measures toward China and Hong Kong and says China has replaced one country, two systems with one country, one system.
28/5/20 National People’s Congress passes resolution to enact national security law in Hong Kong.
27/5/20 Over 360 people are arrested in protests against the National Anthem Bill and the national security law.
24/5/20 People rally against the national security law on Hong Kong Island. Over 180 people are arrested.
22/5/20 The Central Government will set up national security agencies in Hong Kong after implementation of national security law.
21/5/20 National People’s Congress will deliberate on national security law in Hong Kong.
19/5/20 Unemployment rate in Hong Kong rises to 5.2%.
18/5/20 Starry Lee Wai-king is elected the chairperson of the House Committee of the Legislative Council.
16/5/20 Two managers of liberal studies resign from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
15/5/20 Independent Police Complaints Council releases a report saying there is no evidence of casualties in the Prince Edward MTR incident on August 31.
11/5/20 Ocean Park seeks $5.4 billion government bailout to avoid shut down.
8/5/20 Eleven democrats get thrown out after conflicts occur in a meeting of the House Committee of the Legislative Council.
4/5/20 Hong Kong’s GDP drops by 8.9% year-on-year in the first quarter.
3/5/20 The government will distribute reusable masks.
24/4/20 The House Committee of the Legislative Council continues the election of chairman.
21/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issues multiple statements to criticize Dennis Kwok.
20/4/20 Unemployment rate in Hong Kong rises to 4.2%.
18/4/20 15 pan-democrats including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai are arrested.
14/4/20 Carrie Lam claims the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office did not interfere in Hong Kong affairs.
13/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office criticize Legislative Councillor Dennis Kwok.
9/4/20 The government launches a subsidy scheme involving $80 billion to keep workers in employment.
8/4/20 The government announces relief measures involving over $130 billion to combat the pandemic.
1/4/20 The government orders karaoke lounges, mahjong parlors and nightclubs to close.
28/3/20 “Prohibition on Group Gathering” takes effect.
27/3/20 The government announces the ban on gathering with more than 4 people.
23/3/20 The government bans bars and restaurants from selling alcohol.
23/3/20 The government announces ban on non-residents arrivals at the airport from entering Hong Kong.
17/3/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from any foreign country will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
9/3/20 Global stock markets crash.
8/3/20 Police arrests during midnight 17 people who are suspected of making explosives.
28/2/20 Police arrests Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.
26/2/20 Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers the Budget.
13/2/20 Xia Baolong is appointed the Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.
6/2/20 People rush to purchase daily necessities.
5/2/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from mainland China will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
3/2/20 The government announces further closure of borders.
1/2/20 Hospital Authority Employees Alliance members vote to go on strike.
29/1/20 People rush to purchase masks, which are in short supply.
28/1/20 The government announces partial border closure.
27/1/20 The government imposes immigration restrictions on Hubei residents and people who visited Hubei.
22/1/20 Two “highly suspected” Wuhan pneumonia cases are found in Hong Kong.
19/1/20 Rally at Central turns into a conflict between protestors and the police.
14/1/20 The government announces ten initiatives to benefit livelihoods of the people.
13/1/20 The government plans to provide over $10 billion to Ocean Park as a subsidy.
4/1/20 Luo Huining is appointed the Director of the Liaison Office.
1/1/20 The Civil Human Rights Front organizes the New Year Rally.
31/12/19 Protesting activities occur in multiple districts on New Year’s Eve.
28/12/19 Number of tours for tourists from mainland China has plunged.
25/12/19 Protesting activities occur in multiple districts during Christmas.

Data Analysis

Our latest survey shows that people’s net satisfaction rates with the current economic, livelihood and political conditions are negative 52, negative 54 and negative 81 percentage points respectively. All three have improved significantly from a month ago. Using a one-in-three choices method, 44% and 35% of the respondents were most concerned with livelihood and political problems respectively, while 19% attached their greatest concern to economic problems. Compared to half a year ago, the percentage of people most concerned with political problems has receded by 5 percentage points from its historical high. Using a scale of 0-10 marks, the ratings of people’s concern over livelihood, economic and political problems are 7.84, 7.32 and 7.24 marks respectively. People’s concern over livelihood and political problems have both registered historical highs again since the survey series began in 2005, while concern over economic problems has registered record high since 2008.

Detailed Findings

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