College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Survey Reveals Hong Kong’s Youth Less Happy than Singapore’s

A survey conducted by the researchers of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences shows that young people in Hong Kong were not as happy as their peers in Singapore. 

The research team reached 2,304 people aged 40 or below from both cities during the first half of 2019. They were required to rate their levels of satisfaction in 11 aspects affecting the quality of life, including political and social, economic, environment, medical and health, entertainment and leisure, housing, law and order, social welfare, cultural inheritance, employment opportunities and job, and education. 

A “Happiness Index” was released to conclude the survey result, in which Hong Kong and Singapore scored an average of 6.8 points and 7.48 points out of 10 respectively. Professor Dennis WONG Sing-wing, the lead researcher of the survey, predicted the figure could have been as low as 6.4 or 6.5 if the survey was conducted recently as the controversy over the extradition bill escalate.

Not only did the lower overall score rated by Hong Kong’s youth alarming, the fact that they have given lower points than the Singaporeans in all 11 categories was also of concern.

Housing issue has triggered the greatest dissatisfaction in Hong Kong. While Singapore’s youth gave an average of 7.31 points, those in Hong Kong only rated it at 3.87. Regarding the huge difference, Professor Wong remarked that the living space per person in Hong Kong was just 161 square feet, and young people may have to get into a lifelong debt only to buy a small flat, while the housing situation in Singapore was better.

The locals were not happy with the political and social situation either. They rated it at 4.79 points only, compared to 7.15 points by the Singaporeans. 

While it was no surprise that young people in Hong Kong are most satisfied with local entertainment and leisure and rated it at 6.75 points, the research team did not expect the law and order category came in second with a score of 6.68. Professor Wong predicted, however, that it could have dropped drastically to around 4 points if the research had been conducted in July. 

As for the youngsters in Singapore, the best area was law and order, scoring as high as 8.36 points. The worst areas were cultural inheritance and employment opportunities, with both obtained 7.09 points only. Yet, it was still higher than the scores rated by Hong Kong’s youth in all the 11 categories. 

Student researchers of this project have been invited to several radio interviews to share their views after the survey result was released. 

Young People’s Satisfaction with Quality of Life in 11 Areas


Hong Kong


1) Housing



2) Political and social



3) Environment



4) Social welfare



5) Cultural inheritance



6) Medical and health



7) Employment opportunities and job



8) Economic



9) Education



10) Law and order



11) Entertainment and leisure



Cover photo: Not only did Hong Kong lag Singapore in the overall “Happiness Index”, Hong Kong’s youth also rated a lower score in each of the 11 categories surveyed. 

Photo 2: Criminology students were interviewed by RTHK reporter regarding their views on Happiness.

Photo 3: Students of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences were invited for several radio interviews.