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New York vs Hong Kong – The Grand Showdown

New York vs Hong Kong – The Grand Showdown

Are you ready for the ultimate showdown between two economic powerhouses?

In the blue corner, we have the city that never sleeps: New York. Meanwhile, in the yellow corner is Hong Kong, where West meets East. 

These two iconic cities are known for their great opportunities, iconic skyline, and diverse culture, but the question remains: which is better to live in? 

If you’re looking for a cheaper place to live in while retaining access to career opportunities and modern conveniences, Hong Kong would be your best bet overall. However, if you’re looking for one of the most diverse cities in the world and can stomach a higher cost of living, New York might be for you. 

We came up with this conclusion by comparing both cities in different areas, like work opportunities, cost of living, and more. 

Size of New York vs Hong Kong 

Size of New York vs Hong Kong

The size of the city of New York is 1,223.59 km2 Meanwhile, Hong Kong 2,754.97 km2 in total, which is significantly smaller than New York.  This is the total area including land and water. 

The amount allocated for residential areas in New York is roughly 70% or 856.513 km2. In Hong Kong, it’s only 79 m2. While Hong Kong is bigger overall, you can see that in New York, there’s much more land for housing. 

Population of New York vs Hong Kong 

Population of New York vs Hong Kong

The population of New York is 8.468 million whereas Hong Kong has about 7.413 million people.

As you can observe, there’s not a notable difference between these cities’ populations. Both are considered highly population-dense.  

Where did we get this information? The New York census is based on the United States Census Bureau. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s is based on the World Bank

Culture and Lifestyle in New York vs Hong Kong 

Culture and Lifestyle in New York vs Hong Kong

The culture and lifestyle in New York and Hong Kong have distinct identities. New York is heavily influenced by American culture, while Hong Kong is primarily influenced by Chinese culture. 

However, it’s worth noting that both cities have diverse cultural backgrounds, so they could both be considered melting pots of different cultures. 

The Similarities 

  • Both New Yorkers and Hong Kongers are often described as assertive, direct, and fast-paced. 
  • Both cities take pride in their plethora of arts and entertainment options, from Broadway (NYC) to Cantonese cinema (HK). 
  • Both have culinary scenes with various influences from around the world.

The Differences 

  • New Yorkers are more outgoing and can even strike up a conversation with a stranger easily. Hongkongers are more reserved, engage in less small talk, and don’t feel as comfortable with strangers. 
  • New Yorkers value personal liberties highly. Hong Kongers are more likely to focus on the laws and authoritative figures. 

Economic Environment in New York vs Hong Kong 

Economic Environment in New York vs Hong Kong

When talking about banking and communication, the economic environment is stronger in New York. Meanwhile, Hong Kong takes the lead in terms of the service sector. 

In America, New York City is the primary employment hub for banking, finance, and communication. Additionally, it holds significant importance as a major manufacturing center and shipping port. 

It’s currently flourishing in the field of technology. Prime industries in this city also have a substantial influence on an international level.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong is more service-oriented. In fact, based on the Census and Statistics Department, services were responsible for 93.4% of the city’s GDP in 2022. 

Because of how close it is to Mainland China and its affinity to other countries, research and innovation is also Hong Kong’s forte. Its proximity to the mainland makes collaboration with leading research institutions easy while also giving it access to more mainland resources. 

Transportation and Infrastructure in New York vs Hong Kong 

Transportation and Infrastructure in New York vs Hong Kong

Both New York and Hong Kong have strong infrastructure as well as transportation systems. Both sport countless skyscrapers as well as transport options like buses, subways, taxis, and trams.

On the whole, however, it’s generally more expensive to use public transportation in New York compared to Hong Kong. 

New York and Hong Kong have another similarity in this sector – both have plenty of green spaces. But because of land availability, green spaces in Hong Kong are smaller compared to New York. 

As for the infrastructure, both are famed for their skyscrapers. New York currently has 421 skyscrapers while Hong Kong has 657. 

New York’s dazzling skyline features landmarks like the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. Hong Kong is the proud owner of landmarks like the Bank of China Tower and the International Commerce Centre. 

As for transport, it can be difficult to compare pricing as it varies by transport option and distance, and can fluctuate due to pressures from things like oil pricing. 

That said, it’s worth noting that a 3km taxi ride in NYC is usually worth around 10.52 USD (HK $82.15) while a 3km taxi ride in Hong Kong is just HK $57.

Attractions and Entertainment in New York vs Hong Kong 

Attractions and Entertainment in New York vs Hong Kong

If you want to experience a combination of Eastern and Western culture, you might want to go to Hong Kong. 

Meanwhile, if your goal is to immerse yourself in centuries worth of art and a nightlife you won’t forget, you might want to check out the city that never sleeps, New York. In fact, according to CNN, New York ranks 3rd in the list of cities with the best nightlife. 

For a closer look at attractions and entertainment options in New York and Hong Kong, we compare each city more specifically based on places to go and things to do. 

Places to Go in New York vs Hong Kong 

New York is home to several attractions recognized worldwide such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has the Victoria Harbour, Tian Tian Buddha, and Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. 

As you can see, religion plays an important part in Hong Kong’s attractions. In New York it seems like people frequently visit it for the striking views, among other things of course. 

Things to Do in New York 

  • Watch Broadway – In New York, you can catch the famous Broadway shows like The Lion King, Hadestown, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Additionally, you can go to the world’s best museums like the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of the City of New York.  
  • Experience the Local Nightlife – If you’re not particularly interested in experiencing the New York art scene, you can always go for an unforgettable experience of its vibrant nightlife.  

You can watch drag shows while you’re here. According to Here Magazine’s interview of Rupaul’s Drag Race royalty Miz Cracker from season 10, one of the best places to watch drag is the Barracuda Lounge. 

  • Dance the Night Away – If drag for you, is, well, a drag, you can always go for a dance at one of the city’s best dance bars according to My Bartender, The Bowery Electric. 

Things to Do in Hong Kong

  • See the Temples – If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, it’s important to check out the temples for its cultural and historical significance along with the aesthetic aspects of it. 

There are plenty of beautiful temples in Hong Kong like the Man Mo Temple and The Big Buddha. 

  • Go on a Food Trip – You can also try out different cuisines from around the globe without breaking the bank! That said, Cantonese dishes are a must try. 

In fact, Hong Kong is home to the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan. 

Cost of Living in New York vs Hong Kong 

Cost of Living in New York vs Hong Kong

When it comes to rent, transportation, and childcare, Hong Kong is cheaper than New York. In terms of utilities, New York is cheaper but not by a significant amount. 

The data in the table below is from One Life Passport, RentHop, and Living Cost. To avoid confusion, everything will be discussed in Hong Kong Dollars. 

Expenses New York Cost Hong Kong Cost 
Housing (Average Rent per Month) 
Studio ApartmentHK $27,327.32HK $14,000
1-bedroom apartment  HK $32,753.74HK $19,500
2-bedroom apartment HK $39,039.02HK $35,000
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill) 
Utility bill for one person HK $819.83HK $851.06
Utility bill for a family HK $1,249.26HK $1,319.53
Internet plan HK $526.25HK $217.06
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)HK $21.47HK $12.02
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)HK $1,007.22HK $510.64
Taxi ride (normal tariff)HK $156.94HK $99.16
Gasoline (1 liter)HK $9.37HK $22.25
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Preschool HK $17,567.75 per monthHK $5,894.96 per month
International Primary School HK $199,663.36 per yearHK $146,241.78 per year

Based on the table, you can observe that both countries are expensive to live in. However, in most cases, New York is significantly more expensive especially when it comes to education. 

This is most likely why you’d hear a lot of people in New York talking about their costly student loans. 

Utilities are more expensive in Hong Kong, but the internet plan in New York is significantly more costly. 

Career Opportunities in New York vs Hong Kong 

Career Opportunities in New York vs Hong Kong

If you’re in the market for jobs relating to health, real estate, and retail, there’s a big possibility that there would be more work opportunities for you in New York. Meanwhile, if you want to venture into business and finance, Hong Kong is the way to go.

Going over the unemployment rate in both cities however, more New Yorkers (5.30%) are unemployed compared to Hongkongers (3%).

Based on the data collected by Indeed, the most in-demand jobs in New York are retail associates, registered nurses, customer service, and real estate. 

Whereas if you check the data from Morgan Mckinley, the most in-demand jobs in Hong Kong are Network Architect, Talent Acquisition Manager, and Financial Planning and Analysis Manager.

If we base the number of career opportunities on the unemployment rate in both cities, the possibilities to land a promising career seems encouraging. 

According to Ycharts, 5.30% of New Yorkers are unemployed, making it the lowest average in a long time. Meanwhile, as the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department reported, 3% of Hongkongers are unemployed. 

Diversity in New York and Hong Kong

Diversity in New York and Hong Kong

Both New York and Hong Kong have diverse populations. However, if you consider the percentage of ethnic groups living in both cities, New York is arguably more diverse compared to Hong Kong. 

The top ethnic groups that comprise the local population of Hong Kong are predominantly Asian (94.1%) whereas in New York, you have White people, Hispanics, Black or African Americans, and more. 

According to Wikipedia, the top ethnic groups in New York are White (42.7%), Hispanic or Latino (29.1%), Black or African American (24.3%), Asian (13.9%), Native American (0.4%), Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (0.1%), and other races (15.1%). 

Meanwhile, based on the article in Wikipedia, the top ethnic groups in Hong Kong are Chinese (91.6%), Filipinos (2.7%), Indonesians (1.9%), White (0.8%), and Indians (0.6%). 

Healthcare in New York vs Hong Kong 

Healthcare in New York vs Hong Kong

The healthcare services in Hong Kong are far cheaper than in New York because about 52% New Yorkers experience struggling to afford healthcare. In Hong Kong however, only 8% of Hong Kongers have experienced this problem. 

America is notorious for having expensive and almost unaffordable healthcare. In fact, if you check the survey conducted by NY Health Foundation to around 980 adults living in New York, 52% of them have experienced struggling to afford healthcare. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong is known for its efficiency and affordability. According to a study published in PLOS One, only about 8% of Hongkongers have no access to medical care because of financial struggles. 


Ultimately, both cities are clear winners in certain aspects. The answer to the question of “Which is better: New York or Hong Kong?” is essentially up to the individual. 

To wrap things up, we’ll compare both cities again side by side to tell which city wins which.  

Factors The Better City Why 
SizeNew YorkHong Kong is bigger than New York by a huge margin with 1,971,2 km² difference between the two. However, only a small area of Hong Kong is used for residential spaces, which is why New York wins this round. 
PopulationHong KongThere are around 1,055,000 million more people in New York compared to Hong Kong. However, since Hong Kong seems to have more problems with overcrowding, we’re not sure if we’re still the winner here. 
Culture and LifestyleTied We find that the culture and lifestyle in both cities are unique and beautiful, which is why it’s impossible for one to be better than the other. 
Economic EnvironmentTiedBoth cities have their own strengths, so we have to say it’s a tie. 
Transportation and InfrastructureHong Kong Using public transportation in Hong Kong is a lot cheaper than in New York. 
Attractions and EntertainmentTied (depends on your taste)Both cities offer unique attractions and forms of entertainment. Whichever is more enjoyable depends on the individual. 
Cost of LivingHong KongHong Kong is cheaper in terms of rent, transportation, and childcare compared to New York. 
Career OpportunitiesHong KongWhile both cities offer various career opportunities, Hong Kong has less unemployment rate. 
DiversityNew YorkNew York wins this round because the top ethnic groups found in the city are from different parts of the globe. Meanwhile, most residents in Hong Kong are Asian. 
HealthcareHong KongHealthcare in Hong Kong is far more affordable than in New York. Moreover, there’s less percentage of people who can’t afford it in Hong Kong. 
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