Youth comparison study - Hong Kong, Shanghai and U.S.
By Murray Bourne, 04 Feb 2009
A Harris Interactive survey, Key Insights on Youth in Shanghai, Hong Kong and the U.S. Revealed in Comparison Study, showed some interesting differences between Chinese and U.S. youth.
The survey is based on the views and experiences of volunteers only, so is not all that representative, but interesting nonetheless.
Nearly all Shanghai (94%) and Hong Kong (91%) 15-21 year olds say they spent time instant messaging yesterday, while only six in ten (59%) U.S. 15-21 year olds did the same. Nearly nine in ten (88%) Shanghai 15-21 year olds and two-thirds (66%) of Hong Kong youth the same age spent time text messaging yesterday, compared to only half (51%) of U.S. 15-21 year olds. Playing massively multi-player online games (MMO's) is more popular among Chinese than U.S. teens and young adults, with six in ten (64%) Shanghai and nearly half (46%) of Hong Kong 15-21 year olds spending time playing these games. Only two in ten (22%) U.S. teens and young adults the same age do the same.
Here it is in graphical form:
Spent Time Instant Messaging Yesterday
Spent Time Text Messaging Yesterday
Spend Time Playing Massively Multi-player Online Games
The U.S. figures are quite a bit lower than I expected. A key factor could be the costs involved with these activities. Asians love texting, but it is quite cheap compared to the U.S.
Also, there is the stereotype that Asian kids stick their noses in books all day, but the above suggests they also make sure they have fun and communicate with friends.
More Traditional Media
When it comes to TV and print media, there are also quite marked differences.
"More than two-thirds (68%) of U.S. 15-21 year olds say they watched television yesterday, compared to 19 percent of Hong Kong teens and young adults, and only 15 percent of Shanghai youth. On the other hand, Shanghai and Hong Kong youth are more reliant on print media than U.S. youth. Eighty-one percent of Shanghai and 65 percent Hong Kong 15-21 year olds read a magazine, compared to only two in ten U.S. youth.
Putting that in a form that can be digested, we have:
Watched Television Yesterday
Read a Magazine Yesterday
This is very surprising. Only 15% of American kids watched television? How different this is from the 50s and 60s, when teenagers were glued to the box.
There are other interesting insights in the report, like:
Becoming a millionaire tops the list of aspirational goals that 15-21 year olds in all three countries strive for, especially U.S. teens and young adults (56% U.S., 28% Shanghai, 39% Hong Kong).
See the full article at: Key Insights on Youth in Shanghai, Hong Kong and the U.S. Revealed in Comparison Study (2007).
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