Hong Kong ranks second among developed cities in Asia Pacific when it comes to levels of well-being, according to MasterCard’s inaugural Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index. It also showed that Singapore (63.2) is the most positive developed city followed by Hong Kong (61.8), while Seoul (52.6), Pusan (52.5) and Tokyo (52.1) are the least positive in the region.
Today, many cities in Asia Pacific are grappling with the challenges that come with growing populations. The Index measures overall levels of well-being by examining people’s attitudes towards Work and Finances, Safety from Threats, Satisfaction and Personal Well-Being, with the aim of helping both governments and businesses to identify and address some of the key concerns of urban residents.
Apart from the Index above, MasterCard has also launched its first Next Generation Well-Being Index for which people aged 18-64 across Asia Pacific were asked about their outlook for the next generation, covering issues including gender and financial equality, the environment, health, work-life balance, stress, disease and crime.
MasterCard Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index
According to the Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index, Hongkongers were most optimistic in their outlook on Work and Finances (67.3), followed by Satisfaction (61.3), Safety from Threats (59.7) and Personal Well-Being (59.1).
In terms of Work and Finances, Hong Kong was one of the most optimistic developed cities in the region, showing positive outlook on regular income (73.5), keeping up with bills (75.9) and saving for big purchases (72.0). However, local respondents were relatively pessimistic about their employment outlook (47.7), compared to Singapore (61.1) and Tokyo (52.2).
When it comes to Satisfaction, Hongkongers were rather optimistic (61.3) about their well-being compared to Seoul (57.4) and Tokyo (50.8), with higher optimism levels across present (58.8) and five-year (63.3) life situation, work-life balance (61.2) and work/role in life satisfaction (61.7). Singapore, as the most positive developed city, showed an even more optimistic outlook in this regard (62.2), with the highest optimism level in present life situation (61.7) in the region.
On the other hand, local respondents appeared to be more concerned about their well-being regarding Safety from Threats (59.7) this year compared to 2014 (65.4), with lower levels of optimism in 2015 (59.7) across violent (62.1), financial (61.0) and cyber (56.9) crimes, disease outbreak (60.5) and natural disaster/pollution (58.0). In contrast, Singaporeans (67.1) demonstrated a more positive outlook across all of the above categories compared to last year.
Among the four components, Hongkongers showed the lowest level of optimism on Personal Well-Being (59.1). However, they were still the group with the least family (59.2), work (57.3) and financial (58.9) stress compared to other developed cities in Asia Pacific.
In Greater China, emerging market cities including Shanghai (69.0), Wuhan (67.9), Guangzhou (66.8) and Beijing (66.0) topped the chart in terms of overall levels of well-being, followed by Hong Kong (61.8) and Taipei (55.9). In particular, people in the four mainland Chinese cities were most concerned about their well-being related to “Safety from Threats”, with cyber crime being the cause for particular concern.
MasterCard Next Generation Well-Being Index
The Next Generation Well-Being Index found that Hongkongers were most optimistic about the financial outlook (95.9) of future generations and least positive about their family stress outlook (53.8).
At the regional level, Taiwan (80.0) was the most positive about well-being for the next generation, followed by Korea (71.8), Hong Kong (69.3) and Singapore (64.7). The starkest disparity in well-being levels between developed and emerging markets was seen in financial inequality issues, where China’s (7.9) optimism level is well below Hong Kong’s (57.0), lagging behind the region’s average (35.9).
Anna Yip, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard said, “We are highly encouraged by the Hong Kong results of our two latest research pieces: firstly, that Hong Kong has secured its position as one of the top three most optimistic developed cities in Asia Pacific in our inaugural Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index, and secondly, that Hongkongers are highly positive about the financial outlook of future generations, as reflected by the Next Generation Well-Being Index. Both results point to a positive future, especially for a technology company like ours that strives to connect people all around the globe. MasterCard understands the significant role that cities like Hong Kong play as centers of commerce and human interaction. And we will continue to work closely with governments and various local parties for sustainable improvements in quality of life and opportunities for city residents.”
Methodology – MasterCard Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index
The MasterCard Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index was conducted between May 2014 and June 2015 and involved 16,833 respondents aged 18-64 across 33 cities in 17 countries in Asia/Pacific. Respondents were asked 17 questions pertaining to four components: Work and Finances, Safety from Threats, Satisfaction and Personal Well-Being. The results of their responses were converted into 4 category sub-indexes, which were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Asia Pacific Cities Well-Being Index score. The Index score and the four component index scores range from 0 – 100, where 0 represents the maximum negative response, 100 represents maximum positive response and 50 represents neutrality.
Methodology – MasterCard Next Generation Well-Being Index
The MasterCard Next Generation Well-Being Index was conducted between May and June 2015 and involved 8,718 respondents aged 18-64 in 17 countries2 in Asia/Pacific. Respondents were asked 10 questions pertaining to the issues and outlook for the next generation. Next generation was defined as anyone born since the year 2000, so people who will be 30 or under by the year 2030. The results of their responses were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Next Generation Well Being Index score. The Index score which range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents the maximum negative response, 100 represents maximum positive response and 50 represents neutrality.
Data were collected via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire in local language, wherever appropriate and necessary. The Indices and their accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).