Hong Kong, China

Title: General Household Survey (GHS)


1. Background

Further information is available from Census and Statistics Department,HKSAR of 21/F Wanchai Tower, 12 HarbourRoad, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, phone: 852 2887 5506, fax: 852 2508 1501, e-mail: ghs@censtad.gov.hk.
Data have been collected by household survey since 1981.

2. Purpose and coverage

The following purposes are considered to be very important or of some importance:
Lesser importance is attached to:

Geographic coverage: Selected areas only, namely the Hong Kong special administrative region with the following geographic areas excluded: marine population .

Population coverage:
The following types of household are included in the data collection:
The following types of household are excluded in the data collection:

Dwelling units are used in the sample selection and are characterised by:
Data are recorded for the household unit which is characterised by:
Data are recorded for the income unit which is characterised by: 1

Unit members: Visitors (not usual residents) temporarily living in the dwelling are not included as unit members. Domestic staff living in same dwelling/compound are included in the unit. Renters living in same dwelling/compound are not included in the unit. Boarders living in same dwelling/compound are not included in the unit.

Head of unit:
The concept of head of household/other unit is used in this survey and is characterised by:

3. Reference periods

This survey is conducted continuously. The statistics are published every monthly.


4. Sample design

The Primary, Secondary and Ultimate Sampling Units are none, none and address respectively.

Areas/districts were stratified using the following criteria:

The sampling frames for the Primary Sampling Unit (PSU) and Ultimate Sampling Unit (USU) were none and register of addresses and Master sample of blocks respectively. The sample size was 24000 households or other units. 3 The overall response rate for the survey was 90 percent. Errors/biases were minimized by using an updated sampling frame, an increased sample size.

Enumeration procedure: Enumeration uses neither a single round survey design nor a panel design. A smaller set of reporting units is selected from which information on specific issues is gathered or more detailed questions are asked. 4

As the rotational replicate sample design is adopted in the survey, about half of the sampled quarters in the current month are cases enumerated three months ago, while another half are newly selected quarters. For thosenewly selected quarters, face-t o-face interviewing is used such that field officers visit the households concerned in person to collect the required information. For those sampled cases in the current month which had been enumerated three months ago, the Computer-Assisted Telephone I nterviewing (CATI) approach is applied to collect their information as far as possible..


5. Income data

Income data are collected. Receipts have to be regular and recurring to be considered as income. Income includes receipts resulting from the sale or reduction of assets and/or from incurring liabilities are included in income. Income excludes receipts that are not currently available to the unit.

The following receipts are collected but not separately:
The following receipts are not collected:
The following receipts are classified as income from paid employment:
The following receipts are classified as other employment-related income:
The following receipts are classified as other income but not employment-related:
The following receipts are excluded due to measurement problems:
The following receipts are collected using the last month as the reference period:

Income data were collected separately for each person receiving income. Components of income for an individual were collected directly from the individual. Negative values (business losses) were excluded when computing self-employment income.

6. Expenditure data

Expenditure data are not collected from this source.

7. Other Data Collection Issues

The following other topics are covered:

Non-response: There is no substitution for non-response, whether by non-contact or by refusal.

Non-response is reduced using the following measures:5
Reporting errors are reduced using the following measures:


Answers are pre-coded on data collection forms to the extent possible.

The responses are edited by the following:

Extreme values are retained without change. Neither in-kind receipts nor consumption of own production is included in the estimates.

Treatment of owner-occupied housing: Values of owner-occupied housing are not included in the total income/expenditure estimates.

Treatment of selected groups/values in analysis: Some households/units are excluded from analysis because of incomplete response. Missing values are by as non-response cases. Supplementary sources are not used to adjust estimates for under- or over-reporting. No groups are excluded from data analysis.

Weighting factors are used to adjust for:

Sampling errors: Sampling errors are not computed.

Tabulation and Analysis: Statistics are presented showing averages per month and statistics are analysed and tabulated for households and for individuals separately.

The following classifications are used for tabulation and analysis of income statistics:

Documentation and Dissemination:
Published survey reports: Quarterly Report on General Household Survey, (published two months after the reference quarter)
Published methodological information: Quarterly Report on General Household Survey, (published two months after the reference quarter)

Additional statistics (or special tables on request) are available for public use, free of charge (regular tabulations) and with charges (tailor-made tabulations). Separate tables are published for low income households. Files of unidentifiable unit data are not available (or available on request) for public use.

(1) HH refers to a group of persons who live together and make common essentials provisions for living. (2) The first to the last day in a single month. These data are collec ted the following month. (3) Per three-month period. (4) The special topic enquiry is a supplementary part of the General Household Survey (GHS) and covers half of the GHS sample. It aims at collecting statistical data on selected social issues on an ad hoc basis. (5) Publicity via press release, and the issue of a pre-survey letter to sampled households. (6) "Income from paid employment" and "income from self-employment" were not separately classified. (7) Also office staff code the answers.