Cost of Living Worldwide

Cost of Living Worldwide

The OECD defines a cost of living index (COLI) as an index that measures the change in the minimum expenditures that would be incurred by a utility-maximizing consumer, whose preferences or tastes remain unchanged, in order to maintaining a given level of utility (or standard of living or welfare).

Central bank

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

International Reserves

US$ 285.399 billion (Source: IMF; Data updated: 2012)

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 260.471 billion (2011 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

364.742 billion of International dollars (2011 estimate)

Real GDP growth
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
0.5% 1.8% 3% 8.5% 7.1% 7% 6.4% 2.3%
2009 2010 2011 2012*        
-2.6% 7% 5% 2.6%        


GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 36,218 (2010 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$50,716 International Dollars (2010 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015**
0.3% 0.42% 0.42% 0.44% 0.44%


GDP - composition by sector

(Data released on February 2012)

  • agriculture: 0% 
  • industry: 7% 
  • services: 92.6% (2011 estimate)
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)


(Data released on March 2012)

2009 2010 2011 2012*
0.6%(2008) 2.3% 5.3% 3.8%


Unemployment rate
2009 2010 2011 2012*
5.2% 4.3% 3.4%(2009) 3.5%


Household saving rates


(Data released on December 2011)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012*
30.6% 33.2% 34.6% 33.9% 33.2%


Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011* 2012**
0.1% 1.6% 4.5% 3.7% 0.5%

*Estimate    **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AAA

Moody's rating: Aa1

Moody's outlook: POS

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Dec 2011 and Nov 2012)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2009 2010 2011
US$2.292 trillion US$2.711 trillion US$2.24 trillion
Largest companies in Hong Kong

Li & Fung (Trading Companies), Cathay Pacific Airways (Airline), Belle International Holdings (Auto & Truck Parts), SJM Holdings (Casinos & Gaming), Galaxy Entertainment Group (Casinos & Gaming), Melco Crown Entertainment (Casinos & Gaming), TPV Technology (Computer Storage Devices), Hutchison Whampoa (Conglomerates), Jardine Matheson (Conglomerates), Swire Pacific (Conglomerates), Wharf (Holdings) (Conglomerates), Noble Group (Conglomerates), China Resources Cement (Construction Materials), China Taiping Insurance (Diversified Insurance), GCL-Poly Energy Holdings (Diversified Utilities), CLP Holdings (Electric Utilities), China Resources Power Holdings (Electric Utilities), Power Assets Holdings (Electric Utilities), China Resources Enterprise (Food Retail), Shangri-La Asia (Hotels & Motels), Chow Tai Fook Jewellery (Household/Personal Care), HK Exchanges & Clearing (Investment services), First Pacific (Investment services), Citic Pacific (Iron & Steel), AIA Group (Life & Health Insurance), Bank of East Asia (Major Banks), Hong Kong & China Gas (Natural Gas Utilities), Beijing Enterprises (Natural Gas Utilities), Cnooc (Oil & Gas Operations), China Merchants Holdings (Other Transportation), MTR (Railroads), Sun Hung Kai Properties (Real Estate), Cheung Kong Holdings (Real Estate), Henderson Land (Real Estate), China Resources Land (Real Estate), Wheelock & Co (Real Estate), New World Development (Real Estate), Link REIT (Real Estate), Hang Lung Group (Real Estate), Sino Land (Real Estate), Hopson Development (Real Estate), Shanghai Industrial (Real Estate), Hysan Development (Real Estate), Yuexiu Property (Real Estate), Hopewell Holdings (Real Estate), Wing Hang Bank (Regional Banks), China Mobile (Telecommunications Services), China Unicom (Telecommunications Services) (2012)

Current account balance

US$ 8.2 billion (2010 estimate)(After 2008)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

3.2% of GDP (2010 estimate)(2009)

Exports as percent of GDP(Exports of goods and services)

223% (2010)

(Data released on April 2012)

Shares in world total merchandising export


(Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Shares in world total commercial services export

2.91% (2011)(2007)

(Data were released in 2012)

Total exports

US$439 billion (2012 estimate) 

Export commodities

electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material

Total imports

US$499.4 billion (2012 estimate) 

Import commodities

raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is reexported)

Exports - major partners

China 52.4%, US 9.9%, Japan 4% (2011 estimate)

Imports - major partners

China 44.9%, Japan 8.9%, Taiwan 7.5%, US 4.9% (2011 estimate)

FDI inflows
2009 2010 2011
US$52,394 million US$71,069 million(2009) US$83,156 million(2009)
FDI outflows
2009 2010 2011  
US$63,991 million US$95,396 million US$81,607 million  
Value of cross-border M&A;, by country of purchaser
2008 2009 2010 2011
US$-1,048 million US$7,461 million(2009) US$14,806 million(2009) US$11,293 million
Cross-border M&A; deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2010(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

Investor Group, EDF Energy PLC, United Kingdom, $9.1 billion
China Lounge Investments Ltd, Denway Motors Ltd, Hong Kong, China, $4.1 billion

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Cross-border M&A; deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2011(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, Northumbrian Water Group PLC, United Kingdom, $3.8 billion(2008 estimate)

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Best countries for doing business World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project (Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 - 185. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 2 out of 185 countries(2009) (2013)


Starting a business: 6 out of 185 countries(2009)

Enforcing Contracts: 10 out of 185 countries

Registering Property: 60 out of 185 countries

Getting credit: 4 out of 185 countries

Protecting investors: 3 out of 185 countries

Trading across border: 2 out of 185 countries

Paying Taxes: 4 out of 185 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 1 out of 185 countries

Getting Electricity: 4 out of 185 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 17 out of 185 countries


Global competitiveness ranking(ranking by country on a basis of 144, the first is the best)





Index of Economic FreedomWSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 1 Score: 89.9 (Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

Total area

1,104 km2 (2006)


Hong Kong (2009)


Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (2009)

Government type

limited democracy (2009)


Chinese (Cantonese) 89.2% (official), other Chinese dialects 6.4%, English 3.2% (official), other 1.2% (2001 census)


eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Total population
1980 1990 2000 2012* 2017**
5.06 million 5.75 million 6.71 million 7.17 million 7.49 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2011
85.2% 91.5% 100% 100%
Population median age


Population growth rate

0.1% (2011)

% of population living on less than $2 a day


Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

43.44 (1996)

(Data were released in 2011, 0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating


(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

270.7% (2011)

(sum of fixed telephone lines and mobile cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

74.5% (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Cost of living - Mercer index(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

Hong Kong: 9th (2011)

CO2 emissions(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)


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Additional Awards