Hong Kong is on a lot of people’s bucket list on places to travel and live, but how do the people that live in Hong Kong feel about it as a city? It might be argued that happiness cannot be measured, but according to the World Happiness Report in 2015, Hong Kong is ranked at 72 out of 158 countries in terms of happiness. Earning 5.47 out of 10 scored based on GPA, freedom of life choice, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, generosity, perception of corruption and trust, it had dropped 0.037 points and 26 places since 2012, which contrasts with China, though ranked below us in 84th, rose 0.42 points.
Now what exactly has got Hong Kongers less happy? While the report will tell you that it’s the freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption. But if you have a look at the EIU’s world cost of living reports and the number of hours a Hong Kongers work on average, it all seems to make sense.
According to their 2016 biannual report, Hong Kong is close to crowning the top (though that spot is snagged by Singapore) of the world’s most expensive place to live. This cost is calculated based on a myriad of factors, including the cost of food, various goods, transportation, etc. Bare in mind that this result doesn’t even involve the cost of rent or houses.
Now let’s take a look at another factor – working hours. Apparently, Hong Kong people on average work 50 hours per week on a report by the UBS Price and Earnings 2015 report. With the cost of housings incorporated, Hong Kong is ranked at number 6, however, this doesn’t take into account the size of living space compared to the cities ranked in front. Before you pondered just how much or little that is, you might want to know that in the UK, it is illegal to work more than 48 hours per week.
If you also consider the fact that Hong Kong is home to some of the richest people on the planet, which would inevitably pull up the GPA, there is no doubt just why Hong Konger’s happiness had dropped. With unaffordable housing, long working hours and wages that are unable to keep up with inflation and the house price, Hong Konger’s struggles to stay afloat in this day and life is causing them their happiness.