25 November 2020
13 August 2014
CUHK Releases Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2013
Quality of Life in Hong Kong Declined


The Centre for Quality of Life at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) released the CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2013 today (13 August).  Compared with 2012, the overall score of the Index declined in 2013.  The economic-sub-index even dropped to its record low since 2002.

The Index consists of 21 indicators that are grouped into three sub-indices: 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 is the indicator. 

According to the latest CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index, the overall score in 2013 was 102.57, dropped 0.33 points from the revised score in 2012 (102.9). The result indicates that generally the quality of life in Hong Kong declined in the past year (Appendix 1). 

Compared with the scores of 2012, the social sub-index slightly improved in 2013, while the economic and environmental sub-indices dropped in different degrees. Particularly, the economic sub-index decreased by 0.45 points, fell to its record low since 2002 (the base year) (Appendix 3). The result shows that the quality of life in economics and environment has declined for two consecutive years. 

Seven out of the 21 indicators worsened in 2013 (Appendix 4), among which the housing affordability ratio was the most noticeable, as the lowest since the Index was launched. The result indicates that housing became continuously less affordable in 2013. The real rental index also dropped to a record low, showing that tenants have to bear heavy rental burden. Besides, the government performance index and press freedom index also worsened;the press freedom index has been decreasing for the fourth consecutive year. Two indicators under the environmental sub-index went down: air quality and the recycle rate of solid waste were comparatively worse than those in 2012. 

Compared with 2012, 13 out of the 21 indicators improved in 2013 (Appendix 5), both the public expenditure on education and health (counted by the proportions to GDP) significantly increased. The press criticism and people's evaluations on current economic conditions also went up. The increase of the remaining indicators was insignificant. (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 under the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK to conduct on-going quality of life research and release the results 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 since 2012. 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. 

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

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