16 October 2015

CUHK Releases Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2014
Quality of Life Declines Slightly



The Centre for Quality of Life at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) released the CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2014 today (16 October). Compared with 2013, the overall Index score of 2014 has declined slightly. The economic sub-index has decreased for the tenth consecutive year; the social and health sub-indices have also dropped in different degrees. 

According to the latest CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index, the overall score in 2014 was 101.75, a drop of 0.17 points from the score in 2013 (101.92). The result indicates that generally the quality of life in Hong Kong declined in the past year (Appendix 1). 

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 the coverage, measurability, representativeness, and importance to the quality of life in Hong Kong. The higher the score, the better the performance. 

Compared with the scores of 2013, the Culture & Leisure and Environmental sub- indices slightly improved in 2014, while the Health, Social and Economic sub-indices dropped in different degrees. Particularly, the Social sub-index dropped to 26.94, a significant decreasement of 0.83 points. The Economic sub-index fell 0.16 points to a record low of 14.35 since 2002 (the base year) (Appendix 3). The result shows that the quality of social and economic life declined in the previous year. 

11 out of the 23 indicators worsened in 2014 (Appendix 4). Freedom of speech was particularly noticeable with an 18.63 percent plunge, the lowest since the Index was launched. The housing affordability index also dropped to a record low, a result indicating that housing became continuously less affordable in 2014. Along with this, the stress index, general life satisfaction, press criticism index, government performance index, cultural programmes attendance, recreation and sport activities participation, public expenditure on education, real wage index and the water index also worsened. 

Compared with 2013, 11 out of the 23 indicators turned better in 2014 (Appendix 5). The air index, the real rental index, the public’s evaluations on current economic status, and the overall crime rate significantly improved. The increase in the remaining indicators was less significant. (Appendix 1) 

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 enhancing the quality of life in Hong Kong by drawing the public’s attention to this issue. To continue this mission, in 2006, the Centre for Quality of Life was set up at the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK to conduct on-going quality of life research and release the results annually. Since 2012, the Centre for Quality of Life has also compiled the MTR-CUHK Youth Quality of Life Index. The results of these two indices can be used for comparison and referencing. 

2002 was the base year of the study, and the CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index for that year was set at 100. If 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 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 Index is 100, it indicates that the Hong Kong quality of life in that year is the same as that of 2002. 

In order to reflect more aspects of the quality of life, based on the stage of social development, the research team at the Centre of Quality of Life will refine the composition and calculation methodology of the Index from time to time. From this year 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 included indicators have 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: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/hkiaps/qol/en/index.html .

 

(From left) Prof. Ting Kwok-fai, Professor, Department of Sociology; Prof. Wong Hung, Director, Centre for Quality of Life; Prof. Chong Tai-leung, Associate Professor, Department of Economics; and Dr. Zhang Yin, Research Associate, Centre for Quality of Life, CUHK.
(From left) Prof. Ting Kwok-fai, Professor, Department of Sociology; Prof. Wong Hung, Director, Centre for Quality of Life; Prof. Chong Tai-leung, Associate Professor, Department of Economics; and Dr. Zhang Yin, Research Associate, Centre for Quality of Life, CUHK.