Thursday, March 06, 2008
HK vs. UK Statistics
Many bbcs are in the position (because of dual nationality) of having a choice between living in Britain or Hong Kong and quite a few of us will - at some point in our life - have to weigh up the benefits of staying in either country.
So I thought it would be interesting to try and gather some statistics to compare the two places. We all have personal opinions about which country we prefer but perhaps looking at some actual data might change those opinions?
The statistics are from the website Nationmaster where you can find a wealth of information about various countries. It's generally considered to be a reliable website for facts and figures.
I was limited by the data available from the site so whilst I was hoping to compare all kinds of stats such as quality of life, cultural diversity, arts etc. there simply weren't that many categories that have figures for both the UK and HK.
For some reason, it's crime that has the most comprehensive data so this article will be dominated by crime-related stats.
All the figures are proportional (e.g. per 1000 people) so the figures should provide a fair comparison.
So here we go, let's have a look at 'HK vs UK Statistics':
Total Crimes per capita
Ranked #6 of 60 United Kingdom: 85.5517 per 1,000 people
Ranked #43 of 60 Hong Kong: 11.6817 per 1,000 people
The UK experiences massively more crime per capita than HK and surprisingly the stats show that only 5 other countries in the world have a higher crime rate than Britain.
But crime comes in all shapes and sizes, so let's look in a little more detail...
Robberies per capita
Ranked #8 of 64 United Kingdom: 1.57433 per 1,000 people
Ranked #35 of 64 Hong Kong: 0.497608 per 1,000 people
A surprisingly high ranking for the UK with only 7 other nations in the world worse for robbery.
Murders per capita
Ranked #46 of 62 United Kingdom: 0.0140633 per 1,000 people
Ranked #59 of 62 Hong Kong: 0.00550804 per 1,000 people
Both countries rank low, but the UK figure is over twice as high.
Assaults per capita
Ranked #8 of 57 United Kingdom: 7.45959 per 1,000 people
Ranked #30 of 57 Hong Kong: 1.07987 per 1,000 people
UK figure is 7 times higher.
Burglaries per capita
Ranked #7 of 54 United Kingdom: 13.8321 per 1,000 people
Ranked #35 of 54 Hong Kong: 1.30004 per 1,000 people
HK is known for its dense housing yet this figure more than 10 times higher in the UK. Those metal gates on all the doors obviously do their job.
Software Piracy Rate
Ranked #53 of 84 Hong Kong: 52%
Ranked #79 of 84 United Kingdom: 29%
The one crime where HK scores higher. You're probably not surprised, right? Interestingly, HK is still way down the league table, though.
Ranked #12 of 34 United Kingdom: 214.3 per 100,000 people
Ranked #24 of 34 Hong Kong: 34 per 100,000 people
Drugs seem to be a lot less common in HK.
Ranked #2 of 61 United Kingdom: 5.28324 per 1,000 people
Ranked #24 of 61 Hong Kong: 0.737788 per 1,000 people
UK is nearly the world leader in fraud. Germany is 1st.
That's a selection of the various crime stats I found on Nationmaster, and as you can see the UK out-scores HK massively in every area ... except software piracy.
An interesting thought is that the difference is so huge in so many areas and yet Hong Kong was a British colony for almost a century, in theory being run under a British system and British values.
It occurred to me (although it wasn't what I set out to prove) that for those who say Hong Kong is what it is mainly because of the British influence, these stats show that the British influence didn't really permeate Hong Kong that deeply. Because if they had, you could argue, the differences wouldn't be so huge.
So what else can we look at besides crime? I tried to find more lifestyle and health related stats and the ones I was able to pull are as follows:
Suicide amongst Females
Ranked #12 of 81 Hong Kong: 11.3 per 100,000 people
Ranked #51 of 81 United Kingdom: 3.3 per 100,000 people
Suicide amongst Males
Ranked #43 of 81 Hong Kong: 13.4 per 100,000 people
Ranked #47 of 81 United Kingdom: 11 per 100,000 people
Similar numbers for males but both are higher in Hong Kong, and a lot higher for HK females.
Seeing this statistic, I was reminded of melodramatic scenes from those Hong Kong TV dramas where a distraught woman can see no way out but to take her own life. I wonder if Chinese/Asian society is more tolerant of suicide and whether this might explain the higher numbers for HK? Culturally is there a difference between how suicide is perceived? Is it more stigmatised in the West?
GDP per capita
Ranked #13 of 195 United Kingdom: $36,508.663 per capita
Ranked #29 of 195 Hong Kong: $25,592.286 per capita
The UK remains a financial force to be reckoned with, and the GDP reflects this. However, considering Hong's tiny size and limited resources, its GDP is pretty impressive.
Ranked #6 of 220 Hong Kong: 81.68 years
Ranked #36 of 220 United Kingdom: 78.7 years
Despite it's reputation for smelly air and the lack of a welfare state, only 5 countries in the world have a higher life expectancy than HK.
So there you have it: A selection of stats comparing HK to the UK. Did any of them surprise you?