Hong Kong: Cost of Living

by Goinglobal

Hong Kong is expensive. It is ranked the second most expensive city in the world. However, most foreigners working in Hong Kong earn more money there than at home. 


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is expensive. It is ranked the second most expensive city in the world, according to human resources firm Mercer, global real estate service Savills and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
It costs 105,400 USD a year to live in Hong Kong, according to Savills.
The main reason for Hong Kong’s lack of affordability is the cost of housing, which is driven by the shortage of land on the island. Nonetheless, foreign nationals tend to be happy there; Hong Kong’s low tax rates contribute to this sense of well-being. 


The rich in Hong Kong are getting richer. Hong Kong boasts 4,080 ‘ultra-high net worth individuals’ (UHNWIs) – a person with investable assets of at least 30 million USD –, according to global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals will likely increase 40 percent by 2026, to 5,710. 

Median Wages 

The median wage in Hong Kong is 16,200 HKD per month, up 3.9 percent since last year. The average monthly salary for a newly-minted university graduate is 14,685 HKD.
Average Salaries for Select Occupations in Hong Kong 

Occupation Annual Salary
(in HKD)
IT business analyst 356,775
Business development manager 474,781
Graphic designer 197,574
Marketing manager 410,918
Software engineer 293,333

Source: Payscale 

Foreign Employees’ Wages 

Hong Kong remains a popular destination for foreign nationals, who rank its economics among their top ten destinations. Most foreigners assigned to Hong Kong earn more money there than at home, according to the Expat Explorer Survey. Financial services professionals comprise 49 percent of the foreign workers there. Salaries for foreign nationals are high, averaging 170,000 USD per year. The average compensation package for an “expatriate middle manager” is 265,500 USD per year, according to ECA International.