18 July 2018

CUHK Releases Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2017
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’ 2017 today (18 July). According to the latest ‘CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index’ (the Index), the overall score in 2017 was 105.09, a decrease of 0.21 points from the score in 2016 (105.30). The result indicated that the quality of life in Hong Kong slightly declined in the past year (Appendix 1). The Economic sub-index has decreased to its second-lowest on record; the Social sub-index and the Culture and Leisure sub-index have increased to the 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 2016, the Health and the Economic sub-indices have dropped in 2017, while the Social and the Cultural and Leisure sub-indices improved (Appendix 3). In particular, the Economic sub-index decreased substantially by 1.44 points to 12.67. The Health sub-index decreased 0.43 points to 24.77. The Social sub-index and the Culture and Leisure sub-index both went up to a record high since 2002 (the base year), increasing 1.21 points to 28.85 and 0.44 point to 17.32, respectively. 

12 out of the 23 indicators improved in 2017 (Appendix 4). A noticeable increase in the government performance index and the enrolment rate of the relevant age groups for first-year-first degree places of UGC-funded programmes were observed, with 15.42% and 9.57% increases between 2016 and 2017, respectively. The overall crime rate, the overseas travel index and the index of current economic conditions also improved, with an increase ranging from 4.51% to 6.66%. The increase in the remaining indicators was relatively mild, ranging from 0.47% to 2.80%. Among the 12 improved indicators, 9 of them have increased to the highest on record (Appendix 1). The overseas travel index has increased for the fourteenth consecutive year, the index of overall crime rate has increased for the eleventh consecutive year, and the index of enrolment rate of the relevant age groups for first-year-first degree places of UGC-funded programmes has increased for the eighth consecutive year. 

Compared with 2016, 8 out of the 23 indicators worsened in 2017 (Appendix 5). The public expenditure on health, the cultural programmes attendance index, the housing affordability ratio and the real rental index decreased substantially, with 12.00%, 12.56%, 30.27% and 21.43% decreases between 2016 and 2017, respectively. The press criticism index dropped 6.73%. The decreases in the freedom of speech index, the public expenditure on education and the noise index were relatively mild, ranging from 0.55% to 2.29%. Among the 8 worsened indicators, 4 of them have decreased to the lowest on record (Appendix 1). The housing affordability ratio has decreased for the eleventh consecutive year. The freedom of speech index and the cultural programmes attendance index have decreased for the fifth 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 the last 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 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.

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