HK Magazine Archive

Hong Kong's Sex, Lies and Statistics: What Numbers Tell You About Our City

Ever felt that in the city, you’re not a person, you’re just a statistic? Well, now you definitely are. Illustrations by Kay Leung and Joyce Kwok

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 3:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:10pm

As of 2015 an average Hong Kong household spends $27,627 per month. Those living on Hong Kong island spend an average of $38,643 per month, with 44% of income spent on housing. Blame rents? Of course you can.

There were 177 workplace deaths last year, of which one was in finance and one was in IT.

228.7% is Hong Kong’s mobile penetration rate—meaning each of us has at least two phones. Explains all the taxi drivers, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, an estimated 20% of the phones in use in Sub-Saharan Africa have passed through Chungking Mansions.

18.3 million liters is the total pure alcohol consumption of Hong Kong last year, or 2.83 liters per person. That puts us well below world #1 Belarus at 17.5 liters per person per year—and China, at 6.7 liters. We suspect that HK Magazine readers are pulling the average up, though…

382 million is the number of people who used public transport in March this year: that's 12.3 million per day, meaning that each of us uses public transport 1.68 times daily. Or, more realistically, most of us use it twice to commute and the tai tais and tycoons have drivers.

According to a 2008 survey, Hongkongers have sex a measly 3.9 times a month. Come on, Hong Kong! You can do better than that!

8,438 is the number of people incarcerated in Hong Kong (including those on remand). That's 115 people per 100k in prison, ranking us at a pretty good #134 in the world. But our percentage of female prisoners is 20.5%—making us world #1…

8.6 per 1,000 is Hong Kong’s very low birth rate, which is still declining. Couple that with a decreasing mortality in the elderly, and by 2034, 30 percent of the population will be over 65. Hope you’ve got your pension plan sorted. 

Hong Kong is number one in the world for competitiveness... but we're also the hardest working. And not very happy, either... 

$2,500 per month could get you the apartment in Yau Ma Tei recently dubbed the "most inhumane" housing in Hong Kong. The subdivided flat claimed to have 100 square feet of usable space, with a single-person sofa bed cosily fitting next to the shower and (child-size) toilet. Meanwhile, $594.76 million would buy you the most expensive apartment (not even house) in Asia: a 5,732 square foot 46th-floor duplex which sold in December 2015 for $103,761 per square foot. For that cash, you could rent the “most inhumane” flat for 19,825 years (and four months). 

The city has a population density of a whopping 6,690 people per square km—but Kwun Tong district has 57,250 people per square km and Ap Lei Chau an almighty 66,755. That’s a LOT of people.

59 million tourists came to Hong Kong in 2015: of whom 45.8 million were from the mainland. On average they stayed for 3.3 nights, and spent $7,234 per night. 

The average daily turnover in 2015 of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing was $105.6 billion. Its market capitalization was $24.7 trillion, or “a hell of a lot of money.”

We throw away 3,648 tonnes of food per day, a full third of our total waste production. We each consume 1.12kg of food daily… But in a three-person household, 1kg more will end up in a landfill. Supermarkets ditch 29 tonnes of edible food, daily.

There are 3,420 licensed “light refreshment restaurants,” or snack stalls in the city, or one for every 2,134 people. If each stall served 88 people per hour you could serve the whole city in a day.

What goes into the price of one of the city’s top cocktails? We dug around to find out.

Sources: Labour Department, Transport Department, Office of the Communications Authority, Gordon Mathews (CUHK), Department of Health, Census and Statistics Department, Institute for Management, UN World Happiness Report, UBS Prices and Earnings, Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Tourism Commission, Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, our brains