Eighty-four percent of Hongkongers believe that their lives are miserable, a survey by Hong Kong Shue Yan University has revealed.

The survey found that 83.9 percent of the interviewees believed that the lives of Hong Kong people are miserable – an increase compared to 79 percent last year. Those who believed Hong Kong people lead extremely miserable lives also rose from 22.4 percent to 24.6 percent. Only 1.6 percent felt certain Hongkongers’ lives were not miserable.

Photo: Ko Chun-ming,

The overall misery index also increased to 3.07 from 3.00 last year, and the number has been continuously on the rise since 2013.

Out of six livelihood issues, the problem of housing continued to top the list with 49 percent of interviewees believing that it was what most contributed to the misery in the lives of the people in this city. This was a jump from the 36 percent recorded in 2013. However, there was a decrease in the weight given to the role played by commodity prices and employment.

File photo: HKFP.

A total of 84.9 percent of interviewees were of the view that government policy influenced people’s livelihoods, while 79.1 percent thought that the relationship between the government and the legislature has an impact. According to the study, 73.8 percent of interviewees also believed that filibustering and adjournment of meetings in Legislative Council affects Hongkonger’s livelihoods. The study said that in an executive-led government, as is the case in Hong Kong, the responsibility falls more on the government than the legislature.

The survey also found that young people, out of all of the age groups, were most likely to believe that the government and their policies heavily influence people’s livelihoods. They also felt that the government neglected their needs regarding housing.

The survey on Hong Kong people’s hardships was conducted as part of the Hong Kong Shue Yan University’s Economic and Wellbeing Research Project by researchers Thomas Yuen Wai-kee and Winnie Chu Wing-Lam. A total of 868 people were interviewed by telephone during the first two weeks of March and the results were released on Thursday.


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.