Two of the most populated cities in the world, Hong Kong and New York, are both epicentres of trade and commercialism.
But apart from this, what are the other similarities (or differences) between the two? And to be more specific – what is the difference in the cost of living from one city to the other?
To get an accurate overview, we take data from two crowd sourcing websites, Numbeo and Expatistan. These provide up to the minute information about the price of various costs of the essentials we need to live (and is accurate as of February 2016).
Of course, property (either to rent or to purchase) has to come at the top of the list when looking at comparisons between the two cities.
When it comes to renting, you’re going to have to pay a whole lot more in New York than in its Asian counterpart – between 3 and 40% more (if you choose to live outside of the city centre, then the costs in each become more equal).
But if you’re looking to buy the tables are turned. You’ll pay 31-33% less in New York than in Hong Kong.
Mortgage costs vary widely from New York to Hong Kong. Interest on a mortgage in Hong Kong is currently running at around 2.5%. In New York, you’ll be paying 4.02% – a massive difference of 60.73%.
Sadly, once you’ve found your perfect home, you need to pay all of those pesky monthly bills such as electricity, gas, water, council taxes, Internet… The list can seem endless.
When it comes to heating, electricity, garbage, water, etc. New York is by far the winner, with monthly costs being around 40% less than Hong Kong.
But the tables turn when it comes to providing your home with Internet, as prices in Hong Kong are less than half the cost of that in the US city. This is probably not all that surprising, being that Hong Kong is one of the most tech savvy countries in the world.
And if you’re looking at cell phones, then you’ll be paying over 300% less in Hong Kong than New York.
For those who own a car, you’ll probably already know that the US offers one of the cheapest places in the developed world in which to purchase fuel. You’ll pay around 63% less for gasoline in New York. New cars (depending on make and model, naturally) also cost less here – on average they’re cheaper by around 23%.
But when it comes to using public transport, Hong Kong’s residents pay far less – by over half! For instance, a monthly pass to use the MTR (Hong Kong’s public transport system – metro, trains, buses, and trams), will set you back HK$ 450 (US$ 57). The equivalent in NYC, the MTA, will cost you HK$ 908 (US$ 116) – a big difference between the two.
When it comes to shopping for staples, there are some quite surprising (and seemingly random) differences between the two cities.
For instance, milk in the US is way cheaper than Hong Kong, by over 60%. You’ll also pay less for cheese (43%) and beef (35%), but that’s pretty much where the US advantage ends.
Bread in NYC is a massive 86% more expensive. Rice is nearly 110% dearer, chicken 13% and eggs 14%. Fruit and vegetables also cost more in New York, between 26 % (for bananas) and 114% (lettuce), with everything else in between.
We all enjoy eating out. From the naughty delights of a cheeky McDonalds to the luxury of silver service dining – it’s the little things that make life a delight.
But in New York, you’re going to pay far more for the privilege than in Hong Kong. That sneaky Big Mac is going to cost you around 95% more than in Hong Kong, and when it comes to dining at a restaurant, be ready for your bill to come to between 100-180% more.
But one thing that is cheaper in the US’s number 1 city is your daily cappuccino — where it’ll set you back around 3% less than the same in Hong Kong.
Movie buffs will also be better off in Hong Kong. A ticket to an international release here costs around 30% less than one in NYC. When it comes to keeping fit, monthly gym memberships are very much the same in both locations – with those in New York being very slightly dearer, by an average of 2%.
One thing that is a lot cheaper in the US is clothing. For instance, Levi jeans here are around 40% cheaper, and clothes in chain stores such as Zara are around 12% less.
Of course, when looking at the cost of living, the salary you can expect to earn has to be taken into consideration. And the average wage in New York, as you might expect from the prices here, is somewhat higher than that in Hong Kong – by about 23%.
The average monthly net salary in HK is just over $HK 22,370 ($US 2,870) against that in NY of $HK 27,718 ($US 3,557). Of course, depending on your field and grade, this can vary massively in either location.
This means that talent in all sectors is needed – from HR to IT, engineers to marketing specialists, there’s good opportunities for all. And for those who work in the areas of medicine, accounting, and finance, you’ll also find openings that can lead to you experiencing life and work in a different country.