In Asia Pacific, countries included in the survey were Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
Mick Gordon, Managing Director, Ipsos Hong Kong said: “On many subjects – murder rates, terrorist deaths, teenage pregnancy, diabetes and how healthy people feel – things are NOT as bad as they seem. Hong Kong people also seem fairly accurate on most important issues, however, the data shows they hugely underestimate the significance of the suicide issue in the city.”
Among individual Asia Pacific countries, we get some things very wrong and other guesses are quite accurate…
1. Good Health: In Hong Kong we think other people report their health as worse than they actually do. Our average guess is that 41% of people say their health is good or very good, but actually 58% say their health is good or very good. The Asia Pacific region average is 55% for people saying their health is good or very good, while 9% said their health was poor.
2. Teenage pregnancy: we hugely overestimate the proportion of 15-19-year-old women and girls giving birth each year across the Asia Pacific region. Hong Kong people think it’s 10% when the actual figure is only 0.3%.
3. Facebook membership: All countries also overestimate Facebook membership, with an average guess that 82% of Hong Kongers aged 13+ have a Facebook account, when the actual figure is 65%. The Asia Pacific average was 71%.
4. Vehicles: Most countries overestimate the number of registered vehicles per 100 people, Hong Kongers estimate it at 33% when it is only 7%, with the Asia Pacific average being 84%.
5. Suicide: There is a real split in accuracy on the proportion of deaths by suicide among young people. Hong Kong people estimated the proportion of deaths of women aged 15-24 due to suicide was 14% when the actual was 50%. Estimates for the deaths of young men due to suicide was 14% when the actual number was 38.4%.
6. Vaccines: There are a wide variety of views among Asia Pacific countries when it comes to beliefs around the link between some vaccines and autism in healthy children despite the claim being widely discredited. In Hong Kong 22% believe the statement to be true and 50% say they don’t know, with 28% saying it is false. Across the Asia Pacific region, 22% said the claim was true while 36% said it was false.
7. Belief in Heaven, Hell and God: There is a wide range of different opinions in Asia Pacific countries when it comes to religious beliefs. We think Hong Kong people are more religious or spiritual than they actually are. We think that 41% of people in Hong Kong believe in God, when 49% say they actually do. The Asia Pacific region averages 60% who believe in God.
Find all the detailed Hong Kong answers on the Perils of Perception website: www.perils.ipsos.com