Hong Kong people identified themselves more as Hongkongers than as citizens of PRC, according to the latest study by The University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP).

The research unit interviewed 1,011 Hong Kong people on the topic of ethnic identity via phone between December 3 and 7. Compared to the last survey on identity, the amount of people who identified themselves as a Hongkonger increased, while those who identified themselves as Chinese receded.

hongkonger mainland
Banners in Mong Kok reading ‘I am not Chinese’ and ‘Hong Kong is my home’. Photo: Ellie Ng.

In terms of absolute strength of identity, the interviewees’ identity rating of ‘Hongkongers’ stood at 8.12. Identity ratings for ‘Asians’ stood at 7.85, ‘global citizens’ at 7.08, and ‘members of the Chinese race’ at 7.04. All of these saw a rise compared to the last survey.

However, those who rated themselves as ‘Chinese’ and ‘citizens of PRC’ both decreased, which came in at 6.59 and 5.75 respectively.

The respondents’ importance ratings were then incorporated to generate ‘identity indices’ ranging between 0 and 100. ‘Hongkongers’ was still the most prominent identity category at 78.7 marks, followed by ‘Asians’ at 73.4, ‘members of the Chinese race’ and ‘global citizens’, both at 67.9, ‘Chinese’ at 63.0, and ‘citizens of the PRC’ at 55.3. The identity indices of ‘Asians’ (at 73.4) and ‘global citizens’ (at 67.9) were both the highest they have been since the indices were first calculated in 2008.

Interviewees were also asked to make a choice among four given identities – ‘Hongkongers’, ‘Hongkongers in China’, ‘Chinese’ and ‘Chinese in Hong Kong’. 40 percent of the respondents identified themselves as ‘Hongkongers’, 18 percent as ‘Chinese’, 27 percent as ‘Hongkongers in China’, while 13 percent identified themselves as ‘Chinese in Hong Kong’.

district council election poll
Photo: HKFP.

In order to allow readers to take note of the factors that could have potentially affected the polling figures, HKUPOP also listed significant events that took place since the last survey in its “Opinion Daily” section. Included on the list of events were the latest cost estimates for the high-speed railway which were revised to HK$84.4 billion, the announcement that the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be pushed back one year, the record 47 percent District Council Election turnout rate, Hong Kong’s tie with China in the World Cup Asian qualifying match, the first anniversary of the Occupy Movement, and so on.

Some other surveys conducted by HKUPOP include the ratings of political groups and parties, and the media climate in Hong Kong.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.