Hong Kong hits all-time low on happiness index

Updated: 2016-01-25 20:04

By Wang Yuke and Timothy Chui in Hong Kong(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Hong Kong hits all-time low on happiness index

Hong Kong people had the lowest overall happiness of three cities, ranking 6.83 out of 10, while Seoul saw ratings of 7.01 and Osaka 7.41, according to Happiness Index survey results announced by Professor Dennis Wong Sing-wing, seated, center, from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. [Photo by Wang Yuke / China Daily]

Hong Kong people are less happy compared with peers in Osaka and Seoul. Housing-related problems, a slowing economy and political bickering are dragging ratings down, according to a City University of Hong Kong poll.

Among the three cities, Hong Kongers had the lowest overall happiness, ranking 6.83 out of 10 while Seoul scored 7.01 and Osaka 7.41.

Hong Kong's score dipped by 0.15 against last year's result of 6.98, breaking the 7 threshold for the first time since the survey began in 2002. Even when the city was stricken by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in 2003 the index was 7.11.

Indeed the mood in Hong Kong reached such a low that survey fixture Singapore was omitted from this year's study, according to Professor Dennis Wong Sing-wing.

Singapore's score had constantly outranked Hong Kong to such an extent that Seoul made for a more appropriate comparison, "given a more similar situation to Hong Kong's condition," he said.

Wong said Hong Kong people were unhappy with the opposition's filibustering as well as the shortage of public housing and exorbitant property prices and rentals.

By contrast, in Japan efforts are made to make living spaces more affordable for low-income groups.

Satisfaction, or rather dissatisfaction, with politics and society came in at 4.33 while environmental rankings stood at 4.8 and housing at 4.05, a record low in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at City University of Hong Kong Happiness Index survey.

The study also found senior citizens in Hong Kong were happier than other age groups, probably due to less work and family stress, Wong said.

The indices were based on satisfaction in six categories: politics and society, economy, environment, housing, public health and leisure and entertainment. More than 1,100 residents were interviewed in each city.