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A Battle of Asian Powerhouses Singapore vs Hong Kong

A Battle of Asian Powerhouses: Singapore vs Hong Kong

When it comes to the prosperous metropolises in Asia, two powerhouses often steal the spotlight: Singapore and Hong Kong. 

Being in close proximity, these two places have several similarities. However, each one also has its distinct attractions, which is why this article exists.

So, which is better?

Both Singapore and Hong Kong have rich cultures and lifestyle opportunities. However, Singapore is arguably better in terms of transportation, career opportunities, and population distribution. Hong Kong is larger, on the other hand, offers a lower cost of living, and has very slightly better healthcare.

As you go into this article, you’ll see how we came to this conclusion.

Size of Singapore vs Hong Kong 

Size of Singapore vs Hong Kong

The size of the whole area of Singapore including land and water is 734.3 km2. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s total is 2,754.97 km2, making it 275.183% larger than Singapore.  

Population of Singapore vs Hong Kong

Population of Singapore vs Hong Kong

According to the World Bank, there are 5.454 million residing in Singapore. Hong Kong has roughly 7.413 million people, beating Singapore’s population count by 35.91%.

Cost of Living in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Cost of Living in Singapore vs Hong Kong

The cost of living in Singapore is significantly higher than Hong Kong’s in terms of housing and tuition fees for children. However, utilities and transportation fare in Hong Kong are slightly more expensive. 

This observation is based on the data we got from Living Cost, which we wrote down in detail on the table below. 

Expenses Singapore Cost Hong Kong Cost 
Housing (Average Rent per Month) 
1-bedroom apartment  HK$22,377HK$19,500
3-bedroom apartment HK$50,503HK$35,000
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill) 
Utility bill for one person HK$718HK$851.06
Utility bill for a family HK$1,109.10HK$1,319.53
Internet plan HK$217.13HK$217.06
Transportation (Fare) 
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)HK$11.72HK $12.02
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)HK$756.06HK$510.64
Taxi start (normal tariff)HK$71.47HK$99.16
Gasoline (1 liter)HK$18.12HK$22.25
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Preschool HK$8,943.08 per monthHK $5,894.96 per month
International Primary School HK$195,443.39 per yearHK $146,241.78 per year

Culture and Lifestyle in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Culture and Lifestyle in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are places known for their unique Eastern and Western influences. This is why you’d hear a lot of people dub them as places “where East meets West”. 

Since Singapore and Hong Kong aren’t too far away from each other, both have a number of similarities. That said, there are also a few things that give them their own identity. 

The Similarities

  • Punctuality is important in both places, especially in business settings. 
  • They both have a thriving local art scene. 
  • Singapore also follows certain Chinese traditions  like Hong Kong since the former consists of a large Chinese community. 
  • Both are big English speakers. 
  • Singaporeans and Hongkongers live a fast-paced lifestyle.

The Differences

  • While both have a rich culinary scene with a plethora of dishes from all over the globe, Hong Kong focuses more on Chinese food (beef noodles, dim sum, etc). Singapore has Chinese cuisines too, but they also focus on Indian, Malay, and Singaporean cuisine. 
  • Luxury dining is more expensive in Hong Kong than in Singapore. 

Transportation in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Transportation in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Singapore and Hong Kong both have efficient public transportation systems. It’s also easy to get around from one place to another using the buses and trains and both are dubbed walkable cities. 

Based on a report made by CNN, Singapore even ranked 6th in a list about the world’s best cities for public transit. Meanwhile, Hong Kong ranked 7th. 

Commuting in Singapore 

While there’s a certain time of day where you’ll see a lot more cars than usual on Singapore roads, there’s very little traffic in the country. Like we said, the public transportation is so efficient here that people don’t see the need to buy their own automobile.

Commuting in Hong Kong

Compared to Singapore, Hong Kong is on the short end of the stick when it comes to traffic jams. In fact, based on a report by the Transport and Logistics Bureau, Hong Kong suffers from road congestion because of several factors like competing use of road space, uncontrolled number of vehicles, and more. 

Attractions and Entertainment in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Attractions and Entertainment in Singapore vs Hong Kong

If you want to see architectural wonders, Singapore has plenty of that and more. Meanwhile, if you want to see more traditional sights and experience world-class dishes, Hong Kong might just swoop in and steal your heart. 

Places to go in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Singapore boasts several attractions recognized worldwide such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion, and even their very own airport, the Changi Airport. 

An airport being a top tourist attraction isn’t something you usually hear about, but Singapore managed to attract visitors by turning Changi Airport into an entertainment hub. 

When it comes to Hong Kong, the must-see destinations are mostly temples – the Tian Tian Buddha and the Man Wo Temple. However, there are also vantage points of the iconic local skyline such as the Avenue of Stars and Victoria Peak. 

Things to do in Singapore 

  • Skip the liquor for a cup of coffee – Since Singapore is notorious for expensive alcohol because of the high taxes imposed on liquor, it’s best to take a stroll down Haji Lane to visit unique local shops or to visit Tiong Bahru for the hip cafes. 
  • Check out the museums – As mentioned, Singapore has a thriving art scene much like Hong Kong. To see something cool, we suggest going to the Singapore Art Museum, ArtScience Museum, and Vintage Camera Museum. 
  • Explore sentosa – Sentosa is known as Singapore’s island resort. Here, you can enjoy several entertainment options like Madam Tussauds, S.E.A. Aquarium, and of course, Singapore’s very own Universal Studios.  

Things to do in Hong Kong

  • Try out different cuisines – If you find yourself in Hong Kong, you should take the chance of trying out different cuisines you haven’t tried before. Hong Kong has a rich culinary cuisine with dishes from around the world. 
  • Go on a hike – There are plenty of great hiking spots in Hong Kong that promise stunning views on the top. This includes the Sunset Peak, Dragon’s Back Trail, and Ngong Ping Trail. 
  • Party at Lan Kwai Fong – LKF might as well be Hong Kong’s party capital. In these streets, there are various bars, restaurants, and clubs to choose from, so you can party all night long! Additionally, there are plenty of foreigners, expats, and locals in LKF, so it wouldn’t be that hard to make friends. 

Career Opportunities in Singapore vs Hong Kong 

Career Opportunities in Singapore vs Hong Kong

If you’re in the field of sales, education, and service, you might have an easier time acquiring a job in Singapore. If your forte is in business and finance, however, more employers are looking for someone in your field in Hong Kong. 

If we take a look at the unemployment rate in both places, more residents in Hong Kong (3%) are unemployed compared to Singapore (1.90%). 

Based on Indeed, the most in-demand jobs in Singapore as of 2023 are customer service representative, e-commerce specialist, teacher, sales executive, and human resource specialist. 

In Hong Kong, the top jobs as of the moment are Network Architect, Talent Acquisition Manager, and Financial Planning and Analysis Manager. This data is based on Morgan Mckinley,

If we were to take a look at the career opportunity of both places based on the unemployment rate, it’s safe to say that Singapore offers more. According to the data from CEIC Data, Singapore has 1.90%. 

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department reported that 3% of Hongkongers are unemployed. 

Diversity in Singapore vs Hong Kong 

Diversity in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Singapore and Hong Kong both consist of diverse ethnic groups with the largest percentage consisting of Chinese people. 

Based on Wikipedia, Singaporeans are a group made up of Chinese (75.9%), Malay (15%), Indian (7.5%), and others (1.6%). 

Meanwhile, according to another article from Wikipedia, the top 5 ethnic groups in Hong Kong are Chinese (91.6%), Filipinos (2.7%), Indonesians (1.9%), White (0.8%), and Indians (0.6%). 

Healthcare in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Healthcare in Singapore vs Hong Kong

Both Singapore and Hong Kong have great healthcare systems that are easily accessible to residents. 

Based on Bloomberg’s Health Care Efficiency Index, Hong Kong’s system has an efficiency score of 87.3 with a life expectancy of 84.3 years old, whereas Singapore’s has 85.6 with a life expectancy of 82.7 years old. 

The HealthCare Efficiency Index by Bloomberg is made to calculate which places in the world have the best healthcare system by considering life expectancy and health care affordability. 


That was a tough competition between Singapore and Hong Kong! However, it seems that ultimately, there’s no winner. 

Singapore is a lot better in certain aspects like transportation and career opportunities, but there are several aspects where Hong Kong takes the crown like cost of living and healthcare. 

Factors The Better PlaceWhy 
SizeHong KongHong Kong is bigger than Singapore by 2,0,0.67 km2
PopulationSingapore(less people) There are roughly 1,959,000 million fewer people in Singapore than in Hong Kong. 
Cost of Living Hong KongSingapore is notably more expensive when it comes to housing and childcare compared to Hong Kong. There are some things that are more expensive in Hong Kong but not by a large margin. 
Culture and LifestyleTiedBoth places exhibit interesting culture and lifestyle which makes it impossible to pick one winner. 
Transportation SingaporeWhile both have efficient modes of public transit, Hong Kong experiences traffic congestions that Singapore doesn’t. 
Attractions and EntertainmentTied (depends on your taste)Overall, the better place depends on what you like exploring, which makes it a tie for this round. 
Career OpportunitiesSingaporeThere are more unemployed people in Hong Kong by 1.1% compared to Singapore. 
DiversityTie Both places have a diverse group of people. 
HealthcareHong KongHong Kong has a higher efficiency score based on Bloomberg’s Healthcare Efficiency Index. 
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