Hong Kong is a truly unique place on the colourful map of our world. Many people are accustomed to considering it a Chinese city, but it’s not exactly so. For a long time, it was a British colony and joined the People’s Republic of China relatively recently and with special rights, reserving the right to its own currency and an autonomous management system.
Asia and Europe are wonderfully intertwined in Hong Kong, so thousands of people dream of moving here to live, work, absorb the centuries-old culture and enjoy the ultramodern benefits of civilization. But, admiring the colourful picture, we mustn’t forget that there are always two sides of the same coin. Today we will tell you some facts about the real Hong Kong life.
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. 262 islands that are part of its structure, are inhabited by more than 7.3 million people. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that with such a population density, the issue of job search is extremely acute.
Of course, the vacancy can be found on special sites with ads. But the competitive selection for a position is simply colossal, so in Hong Kong, people get a job mainly through acquaintances. Some large companies often do not open vacancies at all, and the selection of new staff is carried out on the recommendation of existing employees.
Local citizens believe that useful contacts are incredibly important, so they try to present themselves whenever possible – they talk about their projects and achievements even with unfamiliar people and give out business cards in packs.
By our standards, Hong Kong residents have good salaries. The monthly salary of a cleaner is about 9,000 Hong Kong dollars (about 1,000 US dollars). But everyone who lives in Hong Kong will tell you that it’s almost impossible to survive on such a salary with local prices.
The gap between rich and poor people is especially acute in this region. To make good money and live in prosperity, you need to have a prestigious profession and good experience. And, as mentioned above, the situation with jobs isn’t simple at all. Therefore, in Hong Kong, just steps from modern business centres and high-end skyscrapers, you’ll see dirty, overpopulated slums.
Another spoon of tar in a barrel of Hong Kong honey is its fabulous property price. You’ll have to give up the dream of buying a piece of land in Hong Kong to build your house right away because all the land belongs to the local government and is not for sale. The maximum you can count on is rent for a period of 50 years.
As of 2017, at an average of 6.5 thousand people live in the region per 1 square kilometer. Prices for apartments in the poorest district start from 4 million Hong Kong dollars and the initial payment on the mortgage must be at least 40% of the housing prices.
In this situation, it is not surprising that the so-called coffin houses appeared in Hong Kong. These are extremely small rooms in apartment buildings, where a whole family with children can kennel on 2-5 square meters. In such terrible and unsanitary conditions, sometimes, not having the opportunity to even draw themselves up to their full height, people live for years, paying 300-600 dollars to rent this kind of flats.
Social carers are ringing the alarm because living together with a large number of people in such a limited space negatively affects their mind, but, unfortunately, the Hong Kong government is in no hurry to help people change such unhealthy living conditions.
Despite the influence of Britain, Hong Kong is still an Asian region. Therefore, the life expectancy of the local population, as in the whole of China, is very high and reaches 84-85 years. The official retirement age is 65 years, regardless of gender. Social financial assistance consists of three parts:
- The first part includes payments for those who have lived in the region for at least 7 years. But there is a nuance. If the governing bodies in the process of checking assets and accounts consider that a potential pensioner has enough money for a comfortable existence, they may refuse a pension. The size of such payments is 2450 in local currency.
- The second part is a universal old-age pension. It is charged to all people over 70 years old, regardless of status. It is about 1290 Hong Kong dollars.
- The third part is formed on the basis of the pensioner’s labour savings. Pensioners can get it in the form of a one-time payment or conclude an agreement for monthly payments. This type of payment can be received upon reaching early retirement at the age of 60.
There are pensions that are accrued regardless of age:
- For citizens moving to another country for permanent residence.
- For people who have a medical certificate stating their palliative status.
- For those who have less than 5,000 Hong Kong dollars on their account.
Such a multi-stage pension system, as well as generous social benefits, allow people to have a decent life in old age. However, up to this point, they have to work tirelessly to survive in this difficult and expensive region.