IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Individual-, household- and neighbourhood-level characteristics associated with life satisfaction: A multilevel analysis of a population-based sample from Hong Kong


  • Chia-Yueh Hsu

    (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

  • Shu-Sen Chang

    (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)

  • Paul Yip

    (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)


We examined the relationships between individuals’ life satisfaction and individual-, household- and neighbourhood-level characteristics and evidence for cross-level interactions. We used data on individuals’ life satisfaction and a range of individual- and household-level characteristics from the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (2011) with linkage to neighbourhood-level aggregated data extracted from the 2011 census. The neighbourhood-level variables included the poverty rate and four factors derived from factor analysis based on 21 variables. Multilevel models were used to allow for the hierarchical nature of the data. Most of the variance in life satisfaction could be explained by individual- and household-level characteristics. Neighbourhood-level characteristics accounted for a small proportion (around 5% or less) of the variance. Most of the individual- and household-level characteristics studied were associated with life satisfaction. Life satisfaction was negatively associated with local poverty rate and three neighbourhood factors (deprivation, social fragmentation and ageing). There was evidence of cross-level interactions. For example, the level of life satisfaction decreased with an increasing neighbourhood poverty rate among individuals who did not receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), but CSSA recipients had a higher level of life satisfaction in areas with higher poverty rates. The negative effect of neighbourhood poverty on life satisfaction was more marked in individuals who rented or owned their homes than in those who lived in public housing. Our results have implications for urban policies that may improve life satisfaction such as financial and housing support for high risk individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Chia-Yueh Hsu & Shu-Sen Chang & Paul Yip, 2017. "Individual-, household- and neighbourhood-level characteristics associated with life satisfaction: A multilevel analysis of a population-based sample from Hong Kong," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(16), pages 3700-3717, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:54:y:2017:i:16:p:3700-3717

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:138:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1658-5 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:54:y:2017:i:16:p:3700-3717. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.