Hongkongers' top concern is the family, despite crisis, survey finds

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 November, 2008, 12:00am

About 80 per cent of Hongkongers were satisfied with their lives and ranked family issues as their top concern despite the financial crisis, a poll taken at the start of the meltdown found. But the survey also revealed that more than 60 per cent of the 1,000 respondents believed tougher times were ahead.

The study, commissioned by Cigna, a global health service company, was conducted by City University Professional Services between September 8 and 21, the period during which investment bank Lehman Brothers failed and insurer AIG received a bailout from the US government.

Despite the gloomy economic situation, 88 per cent of the people interviewed over the phone ranked family issues as their No1 concern.

The respondents considered work-life balance, ability to enjoy life after retirement, children's future development and marriage as other top issues.

Sixty-one per cent of those surveyed were concerned about a collapse of the stock and property markets, while 64 per cent said life would be harder.

'This could suggest that Hong Kong people had already anticipated the impact of the global credit markets and had already begun to prepare for a more difficult time ahead,' said Tyrrell Schmidt, chief marketing officer for Cigna Asia-Pacific.

Environmental issues - such as the impact of climate change on future generations and air quality on health - registered the second-most-important concern, as indicated by 81 per cent of the respondents.

Personal financial security such as job security, inflation, expenditure on children and housing affordability came next with 79 per cent, followed by health, with 75 per cent.

Seventy per cent of the respondents said social issues such as the city's ageing population and political freedom were concerns.