19 July 2019

CUHK Releases Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2018
Quality of Life Declines Slightly



The Centre for Quality of Life of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) released the “CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index” 2018 (the Index) today (19 July). According to this latest Index, the overall score in 2018 was 105.96, a decrease of 0.63 points from the score in 2017 (106.59). The result indicates that the quality of life in Hong Kong slightly declined in the past year (Appendix 1). The Economic sub-index has decreased to its lowest on record; the Social sub-index has increased to the highest on record; the Culture and Leisure sub-index and the Environmental sub-index have increased to their second-highest on record. 

The Index consists of 23 indicators that are grouped into five sub-indices: Health, Social, Culture and Leisure, Economic, and Environmental (Appendix 2). The indicators are selected according to their coverage, representativeness, measurability, and importance to the quality of life of Hong Kong people. The higher the indicator scores, the better it performs. 

Compared with 2017, the Health, the Culture and Leisure, and the Economic sub-indices have dropped in 2018, while the Social and the Environmental sub-indices improved (Appendix 3). In particular, the Economic sub-index decreased by 5.96% (0.75 points) to 11.89. The Culture and Leisure sub-index decreased by 0.74% (0.14 points) to 18.76. The Health sub-index decreased by 0.67% (0.17 points) to 24.62. The Social sub-index went up to a record high again this year, increasing by 0.72% (0.21 points) to 29.06. The Environmental sub-index increased by 1.04% (0.22 points) to 21.63. 

8 out of the 23 indicators improved in 2018 (Appendix 4). Noticeable increases in the enrolment rate of the relevant age groups for first-year-first degree places of  UGC-funded programmes and the Index of current economic conditions were observed, with 9.13% and 7.23% increases between 2017 and 2018, respectively. The air index, the overseas travel index and the unemployment rate also improved by 4.10%, 3.74% and 2.15%, respectively. The increases in the remaining indicators were relatively mild, ranging from 0.49% to 2.01%. Among the 8 improved indicators, 7 of them have increased to the highest on record (Appendix 1). The overseas travel index has improved for the fifteenth consecutive year, the index of the overall crime rate has improved for the twelfth consecutive year, and the index of the enrolment rate of the relevant age groups for first-year-first degree places of UGC-funded programmes has increased for the ninth consecutive year. 

Compared with 2017, 10 out of the 23 indicators worsened in 2018 (Appendix 5). The housing affordability ratio and the real rental index decreased substantially and again hitting record lows, with 17.72% and 13.21% decreases between 2017 and 2018, respectively. The government performance index dropped 7.42% and the freedom of speech index dropped 2.15%. The decreases in the remaining indicators were relatively mild, ranging from 0.20% to 1.87%. Among the 10 worsened indicators, 3 of them have decreased to the lowest on record (Appendix 1). The freedom of speech index has decreased for the ninth consecutive year. 

The “CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index” was designed by the Faculty of Social Science in 2003. This composite index is intended to measure and keep track of the quality of life in Hong Kong in the 21st century, and to provide policy makers and the community with a useful reference tool. It also aims at raising the awareness of the need to improve the quality of life of Hong Kong people. To continue this mission, in 2006, the Centre for Quality of Life was set up by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK to conduct on-going quality of life research and release the latest Index annually. Since 2012, the Centre for Quality of Life of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies has also compiled the “MTR-CUHK Youth Quality of Life Index”. The results of these two indices can be used for comparison and cross-reference. 

2002 was the base year of the “CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index”, and the value of the Index for that year was set at 100. If the value of the Index of a subsequent year is above 100, it means that the quality of life in Hong Kong in that year is better than that of 2002. If the value of the Index is below 100, it reveals that the quality of life in Hong Kong in that year is worse than that of 2002. If the value of the Index is 100, it indicates that the quality of life in Hong Kong in that year is the same as that of 2002. 

In order to measure and monitor more aspects of the quality of life in Hong Kong, based on the stage of social development, the research team at the Centre for Quality of Life of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies refines the composition and calculation methodology of the Index from time to time. From 2014 onwards, the number of sub-indices of the ‘CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index’ has been increased from three to five, namely, Health, Social, Culture and Leisure, Economic and Environmental sub-indices. The number of indicators included in the Index has been increased from 21 to 23. 

For more information on the “CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index”, please visit the website of the Centre for Quality of Life, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK: www.cuhk.edu.hk/hkiaps/qol.

(From left)  Professor Chong Tai-leung Terence, Associate Professor of the Department of Economics, Professor Wong Hung, Director of the Centre for Quality of Life, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and Associate Professor of the Department of Social Work, and Professor Chung Yat-nork Roger, Assistant Professor of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK.
(From left) Professor Chong Tai-leung Terence, Associate Professor of the Department of Economics, Professor Wong Hung, Director of the Centre for Quality of Life, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and Associate Professor of the Department of Social Work, and Professor Chung Yat-nork Roger, Assistant Professor of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK.



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