30 November 2020
26 September 2013
CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index:
Quality of Life in Hong Kong Rebounded Slightly


The CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index, compiled by the Centre for Quality of Life of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), shows that though the quality of life in Hong Kong has rebounded a little, it is still lower than 2010. 

According to the latest CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index which is released today (26 September), the overall score in 2012 was 102.97, went up by 0.44 points from 2011 (102.53). The result indicates that the quality of life in Hong Kong slightly improved (Appendix 1) in 2012. 

The Index consists of 21 indicators that are grouped into three sub-indices, viz. social, 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 of the indicator. 

Compared with the scores of 2011, only the social sub-index slightly improved in 2012, while the economic sub-index and environmental sub-index dropped. The economic sub-index even sank to its record low since 2002 (the base year) (Appendix 3.1). The result shows that the economic and environmental situation worsened in 2012. 

Among the 21 indicators, 7 of them worsened in 2012 (Appendix 4), with the most notable being the housing affordability ratio (from -2.12 to -3.46), the lowest since the Index was launched. The result indicates that housing became significantly less affordable in 2012. The real rental index also dropped to a record low, which shows that tenants have to bear heavy rental burden. The press freedom index also worsened. Three indicators under the environmental sub-index went down, indicating that water quality, noise pollution and the recycle rate of municipal solid waste had decreased. 

Compared with 2011, 12 out of the 21 indicators improved in 2012 (Appendix 5), the indicators of notification rate of notifiable infectious diseases and government performance index increased significantly while the increase of the remaining 10 indicators were insignificant. Public expenditure on education as a proportion (in percent) of the GDP has slightly improved (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.  For this reason, the Centre for Quality of Life has been set up to conduct on-going quality of life research. Starting from the year of 2003, the Index has been released annually. In order to have further understanding of quality of life in Hong Kong, the Centre for Quality of Life compiled the MTR-CUHK Youth Quality of Life Index (www.cpr.cuhk.edu.hk/en/press_detail.php?id=1567) this year. The results of these two indices can be used for cross-reference. 

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. 

For more information on the CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index, please visit The Centre for Quality of Life website: www.cuhk.edu.hk/ssc/qol .

(From right) Prof. Paul Lee, Dean of Social Science and Professor, School of Journalism and Communication; Prof. Ng Sai-leung, Director, Centre for Quality of Life and Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management; Prof. Chong Tai-leung, Associate Professor, Department of Economics; and Prof. Wong Hung, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, CUHK.