Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index Continues Its Downward Trend Since 2019: Survey

A survey by the Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Society (HKFWS) shows that this year’s latest “Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index (HKFWI)” is 6.06 (out of 10), which is an “average” level and continues its decline since 2019. Teresa Cheung Wing-shan, senior manager of the HKFWS, said that the drop in the latest overall score is less significant than the last survey in 2022. She believes that it is now time to return to normal after the pandemic, but it will take time to accomplish that.Since 2020, the HKFWS has started publishing the HKFWI results every other year. This is the third survey, performed between January 2 and 23, during which the HKFWS conducted random sampling telephone interviews with the respondents, and successfully interviewed, through fixed lines and mobile phones, 2,014 Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above living with their families.The HKFWI looks at six domains, namely, family solidarity, family resources, family health, social connection, social resources, and work-life balance.The first survey was conducted during the anti-extradition movement from July to August 2019, and the results were published in 2020. At that time, the index score was 6.3. The second survey was conducted before the peak of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2022, and the result was 6.1. The latest index published this year dropped slightly to 6.06, and nearly half of the respondents said they felt their FWI is just “average,” which is more or less the same as the 2022 survey. However, the number of respondents declaring “worse” in their replies continued to go up.The survey found that the FWI among younger people is still significantly lower and continues to decline. The 18- to 29-year-old group has the lowest score in all the past three surveys, with the latest score at only 5.85. The 50- to 59-year-old group has seen the largest drop since the 2019 survey, from about 6.6 in 2019 to 5.98 this year.Low FWI in Caregivers’ Families, More Resources Needed To Identify and Connect with Those in NeedThe survey also found that the FWI of families with caregivers (people who look after family members) at home was just 5.81, which was far lower than the 6.24 for families without caregivers. The FWI of a single-caregiver family is 5.79, which is lower than the 5.83 of a family with more than one caregiver.In addition, data show that 13 percent of families with caregivers have caregivers that have emigrated overseas, and nearly half (48.5 percent) of them said that the pressure on providing caregiving has increased to varying degrees after their family members left Hong Kong.Related StoriesAmong the single caregivers interviewed, 40.9 percent were over 60 years old, and 17 percent were 70 years old or above. The HKFWS estimates that there are more than 260,000 “elderly single caregivers” in Hong Kong.The HKFWS recommends that the government should focus resources on providing appropriate services for the needs of “elderly single caregivers.” Priority is to invest resources, such as big data analysis to help identify and connect with hidden and high-risk caregivers. At the same time, it should also establish a dedicated outreach service team to contact proactively and assist in locating those high-risk individuals.It also proposed to mobilize different stakeholders in the community, including property management companies, neighborhood groups, medical and social welfare organizations, churches, businesses, and community members, to build together a community neighborhood network to support caregivers.‘Social Connection’ Returns the Worst ScoreAmong the six domains, “social connection” has always been the area with the lowest score in each of the past three surveys, with the latest being 3.34. According to the HKFWS analysis it is found that “social connection” is directly related to the age, education level, and number of family members of the respondents. In addition, women, those living in public housing, unemployed/seeking employment/other non-working people, de facto partners/married/widowed, and people living only with siblings showed higher “social connection” scores.The HKFWS also recommends that the government build more family-oriented community facilities, leisure, and public spaces to enhance families’ participation in society and their sense of belonging. In addition, the government should provide more avenues for people to participate in social affairs. It is recommended that the government conduct surveys and research to have a more thorough understanding of the obstacles and challenges faced by families while participating in and contributing to society.

Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index Continues Its Downward Trend Since 2019: Survey

.

A survey by the Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Society (HKFWS) shows that this year’s latest “Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index (HKFWI)” is 6.06 (out of 10), which is an “average” level and continues its decline since 2019. Teresa Cheung Wing-shan, senior manager of the HKFWS, said that the drop in the latest overall score is less significant than the last survey in 2022. She believes that it is now time to return to normal after the pandemic, but it will take time to accomplish that.

Since 2020, the HKFWS has started publishing the HKFWI results every other year. This is the third survey, performed between January 2 and 23, during which the HKFWS conducted random sampling telephone interviews with the respondents, and successfully interviewed, through fixed lines and mobile phones, 2,014 Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above living with their families.

The HKFWI looks at six domains, namely, family solidarity, family resources, family health, social connection, social resources, and work-life balance.

The first survey was conducted during the anti-extradition movement from July to August 2019, and the results were published in 2020. At that time, the index score was 6.3. The second survey was conducted before the peak of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2022, and the result was 6.1. The latest index published this year dropped slightly to 6.06, and nearly half of the respondents said they felt their FWI is just “average,” which is more or less the same as the 2022 survey. However, the number of respondents declaring “worse” in their replies continued to go up.

The survey found that the FWI among younger people is still significantly lower and continues to decline. The 18- to 29-year-old group has the lowest score in all the past three surveys, with the latest score at only 5.85. The 50- to 59-year-old group has seen the largest drop since the 2019 survey, from about 6.6 in 2019 to 5.98 this year.

.

Low FWI in Caregivers’ Families, More Resources Needed To Identify and Connect with Those in Need

The survey also found that the FWI of families with caregivers (people who look after family members) at home was just 5.81, which was far lower than the 6.24 for families without caregivers. The FWI of a single-caregiver family is 5.79, which is lower than the 5.83 of a family with more than one caregiver.

In addition, data show that 13 percent of families with caregivers have caregivers that have emigrated overseas, and nearly half (48.5 percent) of them said that the pressure on providing caregiving has increased to varying degrees after their family members left Hong Kong.

Among the single caregivers interviewed, 40.9 percent were over 60 years old, and 17 percent were 70 years old or above. The HKFWS estimates that there are more than 260,000 “elderly single caregivers” in Hong Kong.

The HKFWS recommends that the government should focus resources on providing appropriate services for the needs of “elderly single caregivers.” Priority is to invest resources, such as big data analysis to help identify and connect with hidden and high-risk caregivers. At the same time, it should also establish a dedicated outreach service team to contact proactively and assist in locating those high-risk individuals.

It also proposed to mobilize different stakeholders in the community, including property management companies, neighborhood groups, medical and social welfare organizations, churches, businesses, and community members, to build together a community neighborhood network to support caregivers.

.

‘Social Connection’ Returns the Worst Score

Among the six domains, “social connection” has always been the area with the lowest score in each of the past three surveys, with the latest being 3.34. According to the HKFWS analysis it is found that “social connection” is directly related to the age, education level, and number of family members of the respondents. In addition, women, those living in public housing, unemployed/seeking employment/other non-working people, de facto partners/married/widowed, and people living only with siblings showed higher “social connection” scores.

The HKFWS also recommends that the government build more family-oriented community facilities, leisure, and public spaces to enhance families’ participation in society and their sense of belonging. In addition, the government should provide more avenues for people to participate in social affairs. It is recommended that the government conduct surveys and research to have a more thorough understanding of the obstacles and challenges faced by families while participating in and contributing to society.

.