No one can deny that both Hong Kong and Mumbai are two of the Asian “super cities.” Crowded, crazy, vibrant, eclectic… There’s no shortage of adjectives used to describe either one.
Both places are a bit like Marmite – you either love them or hate them – but what are the little (and not so little) differences between them?
What about the cost of living? The weather? Which is the safer place to live? There are endless comparisons to be looked at.
So with that in mind, we’ve boiled it down to the major factors that most people consider when comparing one city to another.
- Crime rates and safety
- Employment opportunities
- Study opportunities
- Cost of living
Crime Rates and Safety
According to the Safe Cities Index 2015, both Hong Kong and Mumbai are in the top 50 safe cities of the world. This list was put together using four main categories of safety: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety, and personal safety.
Hong Kong came in at number 11 of the safest cities in the world, with Mumbai at 44. The Indian city, however, scored well in the cyber security stakes, and Hong Kong not so well in air pollution.
When it comes to overall crime, there are far higher incidences reported in Mumbai than in Hong Kong, but then the population density in Mumbai, according to Versus, is far higher – with around 6,500 people per square kilometre in Hong Kong, as opposed to approximately 21,000 in the same area in Mumbai.
As you’d expect from two such powerhouse cities, there are employment prospects in each. However, there is a far higher unemployment rate in Mumbai – 9.9 per cent versus 3.3 per cent in Hong Kong.
This, naturally, means that competition for employment in India’s largest city is harder fought – although there will always be openings for skilled professionals at the higher end of the scale.
For such opportunities, one good website to begin a job search is The Mumbai Times.
Hong Kong, on the other hand, is a firm favourite for international job seekers. With low unemployment, and the fact that English is one of the main languages, it’s long been a magnet for those seeking to live in a different location.
One of the top employment websites for this location is Jobs DB, where you can search for virtually any field, from medical to HR, sales to finance.
The University of Hong Kong is a renowned institution and currently sits at number 30 in the QS World University Rankings (number 2 in Asia).
Mumbai University, however, ranks lower than 701 in the world list, and at 125 in the Asian rankings. These results speak for themselves, and state that when it comes to study, Hong Kong offers better opportunities by far.
Which city has the better climate depends on your love of heat and humidity. World Weather Online explains what to expect in either city at various times of the year:
Mumbai is tropical, with defined wet and dry seasons. Maximum temperatures remain at around the 32 to 32 degree mark during the winter months (December to February), but can push upwards of 40 degrees between March and May.
June to September is monsoon period, with high humidity and associated high rainfall. October and November see a relief from the rains and humidity, with slightly lower temperatures.
Hong Kong is sub tropical, meaning mild winters and long hot summers. Summer (June to September) sees the mercury pushing around 30 degrees, with above average rainfall.
December to February is winter, with generally dry days and agreeable temperatures of around 22 degrees. Spring and autumn temperatures are similar, but autumn can see high amounts of rainfall. And of course, Hong Kong does suffer from typhoons anytime between May and November.
Cost of Living
Of course, when determining the cost of living, it’s also necessary to know the average salary. In Hong Kong, as of end January 2016, this is almost HK$ 23,000.
In Mumbai, it’s just above HK$ 5,250. So, it will come as no surprise that the cost of everything else in Hong Kong (housing, utilities, groceries, etc.) is far higher than its Indian counterpart.
For instance, you’ll pay between 75-85% more on rental for an apartment in Hong Kong, and around the same if you wish to purchase a property. Utility prices (heating, electricity, water, etc.) costs about 80% more here than in Mumbai, and Internet nearly 30% more.
You’ll pay nearly 90% more to use Hong Kong’s public transport than Mumbai’s. Taxis are also more expensive by around the same amount.
Following the theme, food staples cost far less in the Indian city. Milk, bread, rice, eggs, meat, and chicken cost between 70 – 80% more in Hong Kong, and fruit and vegetables vary from 40 – 80% more.
Eating out is also more expensive in Hong Kong, by up to 70% in some restaurants.
When the facts are put down in black and white, it can at first seem that Hong Kong offers a better way of life than Mumbai, but there are many people who enjoy an excellent standard of living in India, and with the continent continuing to enjoy excellent trade and the resulting global corporations, it really can be a good place to live and work.
Whatever your view, both cities have their pros and cons. Both will probably be a culture shock to anyone moving there from a less frenetic part of the globe, both are rich with culture, and both offer endless opportunities for adventure and life enriching experiences.