• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 5:51pm
NewsHong Kong

It’s true, Hong Kong’s a better place to live than five years ago, report says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 10:25am


  • Yes: 13%
  • No: 87%
29 Aug 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 661

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.



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This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
Education for English speakers is only decent if your company is giving you a grant to pay for your kids' education.
What a load of tosh; HK is more overcrowded, more polluted and more expensive than 5 years ago, and as for the standard of government......................
Dai Muff
I guess the problem with this survey is that the surveyed are expats on overseas terms who largely live in a cocoon, separate from the concerns and the problems of the rest of us.
You have got to be kidding me. The authors of this study cannot possibly have lived in Hong Kong.
Well, it is like comparing the blind and the lame with athletes. Having lived in SG and HK, I cannot really understand what the authors mean with "Culture". Both HK and SG are so much behind the moon compared to Melbourne, London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, etc.
Face the fact that English at a much more higher standard in SG than in HK and Education for "English speakers" (=western Expatriates?) is just so ridiculously expensive in both cities. Same as housing, this is just ridiculous in both places.
And regarding "Stability" I would rank HK 50 points perhaps and SG 95, because HK is de-facto not under its own rule, it is governed by the Chinese Communistic Party and they decide which rules to make and when to make them.
Is Hong Kong a better place to live than it was 5 years ago? Major categories: 1) Our your flat/living conditions better? 2) Is the air cleaner? 3) Is the education system better? 4) Is the health care system better? 5) Have you saved better for retirement? 6) Is the city better (parks, open space, cultural amenities)? 7) Is the government better? 8) Are your career prospects better?
For most people, most of these answers would be no, but you might be able to answer yes to a couple of these questions (perhaps career and money questions since you are 5 years older). Overall, Hong Kong is not better.
Not sure if the writer can count.
From what I can see, Hk edges Singapore in two categories, there are two ties, and the Lion City ranks higher in infrastructure.
I'm very surprised that Singapore scored so lowly in education. If the survey was geared towards those are not from the city, then surely Singapore should score 101 if HK is a perfect score as it a greater variety of international schools than the territory. It also has a greater diversity of quality collaborations between its world class universities and those from the West
As culture and entertainment, maybe the Westerners can stand the fact that they can't buy **** from HMV here. But if you talk about the number of top international music acts that are passing through the city (from various genres), theatre and dance performances and the works, exhibitions, as well as intellectual discussions, I find it very strange that the Lion City scores so lowly as well.
The report clearly shows the laziness of the EIU in keeping up with the times in the Lion City.
HK is riding its luck on past perceptions, whilst Singapore suffers from its old reputation as a "nanny-state/cultural desert".
Its not a reflection on either city but the tardiness of those who conduct these rankings
Unbelievable. ...see last 5 year pollution evolution in hku's Hedley index: ****hedleyindex.sph.hku.hk/home.php
This survey was obviously conducted in Sham Shui Po !
The most favourable aspect is that if this report was printed on paper, its recyclable.
The EIU has surely not been on the HK's MTR when they did the ratings.
Nor have they taken a proper sniff of the HK's fresh air or visited the spacious homes with 3 generations "lego-ed" into the same compact "household."
The situation cannot be better today than what it was 5 years ago.
I have lived in HK for 20 years & in SG for 30 years, and still travelling between the 2 cities. HK has indeed made tremendous progress in terms of environment since 2003 and it has a wide array of cultural programmes for enjoyment & learning. Its public transportation is top notch (taxi drivers who know the streets so well, buses and trains that are so predictable and frequent). Public transportation affects a lot of people and it's irritating if its not efficient. The survey results are pretty true in my experience.
and if the magical F1 night race and the upcoming WTA championships tournament in the Lion City aren't world class entertainment, I don't know what is.
I think this report is not far from the truth except that they omit the Price/Money factor.
I mean if I have the financial capabilities to eat everyday in a 5 stars restaurant, live in a flat like Opus and drive expensive car, yes I will be better.
Dai Muff
There's more than one kind of civil servant. And even for those with full contracts, the old perks, and even pensions, are things of the past. The government is no longer the great employer it once pretended to be. In fact, it sometimes delights in not being bound by labour laws that private companies are. It doesn't even pay ITS half of your MPF as any other employer would have to.
Simple Life
When it comes to education, students under the spoon-feeding teaching style are under huge pressure ( for those who cannot afford international school fee). They dare not to be innovative (some may call it 'taking risk') but to follow the marking scheme in order to produce the so-called model answer. In the coming future, when the students join the labor market, they can no longer be guided by the straight model answer. It all depends on their interpersonal skills and creative mindsets. I dont think the educational system here can build an all-rounded students, sad to say.
Also, the existing medical industry is receiving less resources then before. Some doctors said the medical instruments are old but the hospital authority seems lack of money to renew the instruments. As everybody knows, the waiting time for medical check is unbelievably long. Are the government putting patients in jeopardy? Of coz, the government officials would go private hospitals instead of the public one. ''It is none of my business'', right?
Education in HK is poor for locals compared to other industrialised countries.
Only for English speaker or wealthy local families who can afford sending their kids to international schools you have a high standard of education in this city.
HKnese live in shoeboxes called apartments and they are paying high premiums for this.
So, HK is only a better place to live for the rich and wealthy.
"the report reflected only the opinions of English speakers" what else to say except "****" to this report. Just look at the poll on the right! 90% voted "NO!"
Another Social Critics...
Is this Report also Employed & Utilized by that 'CY' & Its Related Group!!!???
Liveable Place ranked Upwarding!!!???
That 'CY' & Its Related Group is Intending to utilize the Shortest Time, to Sell-Off the Most Treasured of HK's, especially in its Land & its Developments...Self-Profiteering Only...
Becoming the Most Un-Liveable Place for general Populations of HK 's...
Step by Step if Let's that 'CY' & Its Related Group remained its Position...
It's that Evil Nature of that 'CY' & Its Related Group...That Inevitably leads to its Own Destructon...
Step by Step should Central China Governmnent exeute Its...
IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL of that 'CY' & Its Related Group...
Do HK's Peoples another Great Achievement...BRAVO!!!
In my daily stroll this morning
down a leafy slope along a brook above St Stephen’s Girls’
crisscrossed Dr Sun Historical Trail
and passed by Man Mo Temple
I experienced our answer
to Kyoto’s philosophers’ trail
and paths frequented by the Vienna Circle
In fact I met Daniel Tsui in the vicinity
shortly after he won the Nobel laurel
and other notables
Despite our various problems,
HK is a much better place than most people fairly realize
It’s every resident’s duty to make ours an even better place
How many of you would analyze your wife and your children in great details
merely for comparison with those of your neighbor?
It’s family and we don’t have a choice.
We’d live with ours and try our best to improve
according to our own standards to achieve our purposes.
These reports are always nonsense. For a start you could ignore the HK results totally if they only asked English speakers! And as an English speaker I would rate HK about 20% on culture (obviously different if you are a Cantonese speaker).
I also note that the top cities in these reports are always pleasant enough places but also utterly dull. Melbourne, anywhere in Canada, Geneva for god's sake!
Do they not ask for ratings on 'having a spark of life'? HK would score far higher than sleepy Melbourne or vacuous Vancouver.
We see rubbish like this every now and again by some organisation that knows nothing and conducts a survey among a selected group who are totally unrepresentative of the population.
Well if you're really a civil servant like your name suggests, then you also live in your own cocoon separate from the concerns and the problems of the locals.
Sorry but Civil Servants are paid more than the private sector and work less hours. I am sure that Civil Servants hired after 1997 don't have as good packages as existing Civil Servants, but the work environment is still better than what locals have to put up with.
Dai Muff
Once again you show you have no clue of the range of jobs done within the civil service.


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