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Explained The Reason Behind Hong Kong’s High Life Expectancy

Explained: The Reason Behind Hong Kong’s High Life Expectancy

Aside from its cultural diversity and lofty buildings, Hong Kong is also known for its remarkably high life expectancy (83.2 for men, 87.9 for women), surpassing even some of the most developed countries in the world. 

In this article, we tackle some of the fascinating potential causes for this and answer some of the most common questions people have about Hong Kongers’ lifestyles and diets. 

What is the life expectancy of a person in Hong Kong? 

According to the record from the Census and Statistics Department in 2021, the life expectancy for males in Hong Kong is 83.2 years, while for females, it’s 87.9 years. 

Compared to 1971, the difference is quite staggering. Back then, it was 67.8 years for males and 75.3 years for females, which when compared to now, you can see that there’s been great improvement. 

Why is Hong Kong’s life expectancy so high? 

Hong Kong’s life expectancy is believed to be high for various reasons, including the abundance of green spaces, the healthiness of local diets, the strength of the local healthcare system, beneficial climate conditions, and the government’s promotion of healthy activities.

Let’s go into each of these in detail.

1. There are plenty of green spaces in Hong Kong

This urban metropolis also has a lot of green spaces. Compared to most cities around the globe, you could say that Hong Kong is one of the greenest urban settlements. 

This greenery actually helps a lot of people feel inspired to be active, so you’ll see a lot of people working out early in the day, usually around the parks. 

People in Hong Kong usually do yoga, hiking, tennis, swimming, surfing, and more. It’s easy to stay healthy in Hong Kong because there are also a lot of opportunities to walk, jog, and cycle. 

2. Hong Kongers eat healthy

For a lot of Hong Kongers, our typical diet looks like this: vegetables, animal products (including meat), fruits, and grains. 

While a lot of people here eat a lot of meat compared to other places, they consume it in smaller quantities. For example, Hong Kongers would typically eat 55g of pork, 78g of red meat, 32g of poultry, and 19g of beef per day.  

A lot of people tend to stay on a plant-based diet as most of their dishes consist of vegetables with a bit of meat. That’s not all though. Most of the local dishes are also quite nutritious because of its high protein and potassium contents 

3. Hong Kong has a great healthcare policy

Hong Kong has a great healthcare policy because it’s made available for all and not just for those who can afford it. That’s why if you’re suffering from an illness, you can just go to the hospital and leave without even being billed, all paid through taxes. 

This helps people see to their well-being better, even in the event of illness or accidents.

4. Hong Kong’s subtropical climate is healthy

Subtropical climates often have relatively consistent and moderate temperatures, which can be beneficial to one’s overall health. Extreme weather conditions (like extreme cold or heat for example), can negatively affect health and increase the risk of certain ailments. 

According to Injury Facts, extreme heat and cold are the leading weather-related deaths in the U.S. in 2021. In fact, it even claimed more lives than floods. 

The winter days aren’t too harsh in Hong Kong, which is the same for the summer season. Though humid, it’s bearable. This is why living here is much more comfortable for residents, which may help improve our quality of life. 

5. The local government promotes healthy activities

The local government in Hong Kong plays a huge part in helping the locals engage in healthy activities. For example, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has several fitness programs for children, elderly, and people with disabilities. 

To give you a glimpse of what these programs look like, they share exercises complete with instructions for warm-up, fitness, and cool-down. 

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