It’s true, Hong Kong’s a better place to live than five years ago, report says
Hong Kong appears to have become a better place to live compared to five years ago, an international think tank says in its annual report on 140 cities.
Worldwide, the city is ranked 31st in the latest "liveability" ratings - up 10 places from 2008, despite the world becoming a less habitable place in general, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said.
Hong Kong scored full marks for education, compared with 83.3 out of 100 for Singapore, which was up two places to 52.
However, City University economist Chan Yan-chong sounded a note of caution, pointing out that the report reflected only the opinions of English speakers. Each of the 140 cities rated were given a score out of 100 for each category, based on the judgment of the EIU's in-house analysts and in-city contributors. That meant the rankings relied on the perceptions of the unit's own analysts instead of being survey-based, Chan said.
EIU economist Edward Bell said the ranking "is geared towards the challenges for somebody not from that city to live there; what they would be anticipating and looking forward to if they move there".
He added: "Ratings reflect specific improvements in the quality [of living], or the deterioration in other cities."
The report considered more than 30 factors broadly grouped under stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Melbourne, Australia, ranked first, with Vienna second and Vancouver third.
Hong Kong scored higher than Singapore in four of the five categories.
The city scored 92 for overall liveability, while Singapore scored 88.7.
"There is no objectivity [when comparing cities]; it always depends on who you ask," Chan said.
Both places scored 87.5 for health care.
Chan said Singapore's health care had been developed as an industry, so basic medical services and hospital beds were much more expensive than Hong Kong, which had one of the cheapest public medical services in the world.
Chan said pupils in Singapore were known for good exam grades; however, they were under more pressure than those in Hong Kong as they had four public exams - two in primary school and two in secondary school - before they even entered university.