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Asked and Answered Is Hong Kong like London

Asked and Answered: Is Hong Kong like London?

Ah, our beloved Hong Kong with its British roots. Some think it’s just a tiny London, right? It’s really much more than that, though. HK has very distinct characteristics that you’ll fail to find in London!

But to be completely fair, there are also London things you can’t find in HK. To really get into the details, why don’t we compare the two cities and see where they’re similar and different? 

Is Hong Kong like London?

Is Hong Kong like London

Hong Kong is like London in that both have diverse cultures and rich histories. However, due to geographical differences, they have different lifestyles and opportunities, shaping each city’s unique identity and experiences.

Let’s compare these two cities to dig into what sets London and Hong Kong apart, as well as what makes them alike.

Cost of Living in Hong Kong vs London

Cost of Living in Hong Kong vs London

Living in Hong Kong is cheaper than in London, with the average monthly living cost in HK standing at US$ 2,733, compared to London’s US$ 3,072.

In simpler terms, it is 11% less expensive to live in Hong Kong than in London, although the comparison shows the costs are quite close.

To show you how close the cost of living is in these two cities, take a look at the table below that contains data from

Expenses Hong Kong Cost Range London Cost Range 
Housing (Average Rent per Month) 
1-bedroom apartment  (downtown)US$ 2,172US$ 2,213
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city center) US$ 1,538US$ 1,668
3-bedroom apartment (downtown)US$ 4,490US$ 4,502
3-bedroom apartment (outside the city center)US$ 3,058US$ 2,780
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill) 
Utility bill for one person US$ 149US$ 172
Utility bill for a family US$ 230US$ 268
Internet plan US$ 25.2 US$ 39.1
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)US$ 1.53US$ 3.72
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)US$ 63.5US$ 104
Taxi start (normal tariff)US$ 13.1US$ 24.5
Gasoline (1 liter)US$ 2.87US$ 1.99
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Daycare or PreschoolUS$ 820 per month US$ 2,118 per month 
International Primary School US$ 20,404 per year US$ 26,005 per year 

By looking at the table, it’s easy to see how close the housing costs are between Hong Kong and London, with just minor variations for 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments. 

However, when we look at other stuff like electricity, transport, and kids’ schooling, London gets more expensive. Londoners pay more for basic stuff like electricity and internet, which could make living there a bit pricier for everyone. 

Getting around in London also costs a lot more compared to Hong Kong. Plus, if you’ve got kids, sending them to school or daycare is much more expensive in London. 

So, while renting might seem similar, these extra costs in London can make life more expensive overall.

Real Estate Prices in Hong Kong vs London

Real Estate Prices in Hong Kong vs London

Hong Kong has notably higher real estate prices compared to London.

According to, the cost of purchasing a house per square meter in the city center is significantly steeper in Hong Kong, standing at US$ 30,574 as opposed to London’s lower rate of US$ 17,196. This represents a substantial difference of approximately 78%.

Moving on to suburban housing, the trend continues – Hong Kong remains more expensive than London. 

In Hong Kong, the cost for each square meter of house space amounts to about US$ 20,548. Whereas in London, it’s notably cheaper at around US$ 9,818. This difference accounts for a significant 109% variance.

So, whether you’re considering purchasing a house outside the city or in the suburbs, the data clearly indicates that the cost per square meter in Hong Kong exceeds that of London by a considerable margin.

Diversity and Demographics in Hong Kong vs London

Diversity and Demographics in Hong Kong vs London

Hong Kong is smaller and mostly Chinese, with a slightly older crowd, while London is way bigger and has a huge mix of people from all over the place. 

In terms of size and diversity, London takes the lead, but both cities are important global places with their own special people and places.

For a closer look at their differences, consider the table below, compiled from data provided by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department and the London Datastore.

Hong KongLondon
Geographic LocationSpecial Administrative Region of ChinaEngland, United Kingdom
Size (Area)1,108 square kilometers1,572 square kilometers
Population7.5 million9 million
Median Age45.2 years36.7 years
Life Expectancy at Birth82 years81.5 years
Ethnicity92% Han Chinese (predominantly Cantonese)

4% Other Chinese (including Hakka, Teochew, Shanghainese)

4% Non-Chinese (including Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Nepalese)
44.9% White British

20.2% Asian (including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese)

19.2% Black (including African, Caribbean)

12.7% Other (including mixed race)

Obviously, Hong Kong (functioning as a Special Administrative Region of China), differs from London (a major city within England and the United Kingdom), in several aspects. 

Hong Kong is smaller and, of course, has fewer people compared to London. People in Hong Kong also tend to be older, with a median age of 45.2 years, while in London, the median age is younger at 36.7 years.

The big difference is in the cultural background of the people who live there. In Hong Kong, almost everyone (92%) is Chinese, with different types of Chinese communities and some other non-Chinese groups (like Filipinos or Indians). 

But in London, it’s a mix of lots of different ethnicities – the biggest group is White British (44.9%), followed by Asian, Black, and other backgrounds. 

Career Opportunities in Hong Kong vs London

Career Opportunities in Hong Kong vs London

Hong Kong’s job market appears to have a more favorable landscape compared to London’s, judging by their most recent unemployment rates. 

Presently, Hong Kong stands at an unemployment rate of 2.9%, while London’s rate is higher, measured at 5.8%.

Simply put, Hong Kong seems to have a better career situation compared to London when we look at its current unemployment rates. This indicates that there might be a higher demand for workers or more job opportunities available in Hong Kong than in London at the moment.

However, according to, London offers higher earning potential, with its average monthly income at US$ 4,237 versus Hong Kong’s US$ 3,317. 

But, of course, the cost of living should be considered. Even though salaries are higher in London, the city’s higher living expenses might offset the advantage of the higher income. 

Needless to say, it’s about weighing job availability, income, and living expenses. Both cities present opportunities, but they differ in their economic dynamics, impacting how careers thrive in each place.

Crime Index in Hong Kong vs London

Crime Index in Hong Kong vs London

According to the 2022 World Crime Index, Hong Kong is deemed safer to live in compared to London. 

The data indicates that Hong Kong possesses a notably low crime index of 21.62, whereas London exhibits a moderately higher crime index of 53.29.

This indicates that Hong Kong indeed reports a lower crime rate compared to London. Consequently, residents in Hong Kong are likely to encounter fewer reported crime incidents, fostering a perception of increased safety in contrast to London.

Speaking of safety, this lower crime rate translates into a safer environment for walking around the streets of Hong Kong, day or night. This is further supported by Hong Kong’s higher safety index of 78.38 compared to London’s 46.71.

Lifestyle in Hong Kong vs London

Lifestyle in Hong Kong vs London

Both cities present unique lifestyles shaped by their cultural diversity and global allure.
Hong Kong features a fast-paced, vibrant urban lifestyle blending Eastern and Western influences.

London’s lifestyle is marked by multiculturalism, traditional pubs, and expansive green spaces, offering a blend of modern city living with a touch of historical charm.

For a deeper insight into the lifestyle each city offers, below is a detailed comparison based on various factors like weather, leisure activities, and healthcare services.

Weather in Hong Kong vs London

Hong Kong has a subtropical climate heavily influenced by monsoon patterns and its Southeast Asian location. In contrast, London experiences a temperate maritime climate due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.

This means Hong Kong encounters hotter and more humid summers, averaging temperatures between 28°C and 33°C (82°F and 91°F).

London’s summers, though generally pleasant, have lower average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).

During the winter, both cities share relatively mild temperatures. However, Hong Kong tends to be drier during this season compared to London.

Things to Do in Hong Kong vs London

Both cities promise a wide range of engaging activities for visitors.

Hong Kong presents a bustling urban scene with must-visit landmarks like Victoria Peak and Disneyland, coupled with lively street markets (with Temple Street Night Market to begin with), offering vibrant shopping experiences

Its diverse culinary scene and vibrant nightlife are highlights for tourists seeking dynamic urban adventures.

In contrast, London caters to those interested in rich historical and cultural exploration. It boasts historical landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. 

Visitors can explore world-renowned museums like the British Museum and indulge in the diverse cultural offerings found in their neighborhoods.

Healthcare in Hong Kong vs London

Both Hong Kong and London have good healthcare systems, but they work differently.

In Hong Kong, healthcare is mostly paid for through private insurance. This means that people with lower incomes might find it hard to afford healthcare. 

However, the city’s healthcare system is notable for its mix of private and public healthcare.

On the other hand, in the UK (specifically London), healthcare is funded by taxes through the National Health Service. So, everyone gets care, no matter what they earn.

Moreover, Hong Kong’s healthcare system is fragmented, with a mix of public and private hospitals and clinics. This can make it difficult to navigate the system and coordinate care.

In contrast, the NHS is a centralized system, with hospitals and clinics organized into regional trusts. This can lead to greater efficiency and coordination of care.

Hong Kong vs London: How They Stack Up

All in all, Hong Kong and London sure have their similarities. However, we can’t deny that they’re truly different in so many aspects.

Once again, let’s take a closer look at what they are as we recap the things we’ve discussed.

FactorsSimilarities Differences
Cost of Living Hong Kong and London have comparable housing costs, especially for 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments. The average monthly living expenses in both cities are close as well.London exhibits higher expenses for basic necessities like electricity, internet services, transportation, and, notably, children’s education, which tends to be significantly more expensive compared to Hong Kong.
Real Estate Both cities share high real estate costs.Hong Kong’s real estate prices significantly exceed London’s. In the city center, Hong Kong’s house prices per square meter are approximately 78% higher than London’s. 

Additionally, suburban housing in Hong Kong is around 109% more expensive per square meter compared to London.
Diversity and DemographicsHong Kong and London are both influential global cities, each with its own distinct communities and cultural elements.London stands out for its larger size and a vast mix of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. In contrast, Hong Kong, being smaller in size, primarily consists of a predominantly Chinese population.
Career Opportunities Both Hong Kong and London offer job prospects and opportunities within their respective markets, contributing to their status as significant economic hubs.The key difference lies in the job market conditions: Hong Kong currently presents a more favorable landscape with lower unemployment rates, potentially indicating more job opportunities compared to London. 
Crime IndexBoth Hong Kong and London care about safety and keeping their residents and visitors secure.However, Hong Kong is seen as safer than London, as evidenced by its lower reported crime rate compared to London.
Lifestyle Both cities share relatively mild winters.

Both Hong Kong and London offer diverse and engaging activities for visitors.

Both cities have good healthcare systems aimed at providing quality medical care to their residents.
The main difference lies in their summer climates, with Hong Kong experiencing significantly hotter and more humid summers than London.

They differ in their focal points. London’s emphasis lies in providing a range of historical, cultural, and museum experiences, while Hong Kong focuses more on urban vibrancy, entertainment, and diverse culinary adventures.

Hong Kong’s healthcare relies on private insurance and a mix of public-private facilities, while London’s NHS offers tax-funded universal care through a centralized system.
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