25 November 2020
3 November 2016
CUHK Releases Hong Kong Quality of Life Index 2015
Quality of Life Declines Visibly


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’ 2015 today (3 November). The overall score has declined for the second consecutive year. The Economic sub-index has decreased for the ninth consecutive year; the Health and Social sub-indices worsened. 

According to the latest ‘CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index’ (the Index), the overall score in 2015 was 101.83, a drop of 1.12 points from the score in 2014 (102.95). The result indicated that the quality of life in Hong Kong generally 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, representativeness, measurability, and importance to the quality of life of Hong Kong people. The higher the indicator scores, the better it performs.

Compared with 2014, the Culture and Leisure sub-index and the Environmental sub-index have improved in different degrees in 2015, while the decline of Health, Social and Economic sub-indices has continued. Particularly, the Economic sub-index dropped to 13.67, with a significant decrease of 1.3 points. The Social sub-index fell 0.72 points to a record low of 25.93 since 2002 (the base year), whereas the Health sub-index dropped 0.63 points to 24.15 (Appendix 3). The result shows that the economic, social and health aspects of the quality of life in Hong Kong worsened in the past year. 

12 out of the 23 indicators worsened in 2015 (Appendix 4). Noticeable decline in public expenditure on health, housing affordability ratio and freedom of speech index, with 19.84%, 18.57% and 18.05% decreased between 2014 and 2015, respectively. Specifically, freedom of speech index was at the lowest point since the Index was launched thirteen years ago. The housing affordability index also dropped to a record low, a result indicating that housing has been continuously less affordable to Hong Kong people in 2015. Along with this, average patient days, government performance index, public expenditure on education, cultural programmes attendance index, real rental index, unemployment rate, index of current economic conditions, water index and noise index also worsened. 

Compared with 2014, 11 out of the 23 indicators improved in 2015 (Appendix 5). The overseas travel index and recreation and sport activities participation index significantly improved, with 12.25% and 11.7% increased between 2014 and 2015, respectively. General life satisfaction index and air quality index were much better than 2014, while the increase of remaining indicators was relatively mild. 

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 enhancing 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 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 of the Centre of Quality of Life of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies will refine the composition and calculation methodology of the Index from time to time. From 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.

(From right) Prof. Ting Kwok-fai, Professor, Department of Sociology; Prof. Wong Hung, Director, Centre for Quality of Life, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, and Associate Professor, Department of Social Work; Prof. Chong Tai-leung Terence, Associate Professor, Department of Economics; and Prof. Ng Sai-leung, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management, CUHK.